Insecurity Builds Walls

A few months back while listening to a sermon series by, Chip Ingram Living On The Edge  he talked about living in authentic community.  I heard him say, “We are all desperately insecure people.”  The way we live this out depends on our back story, how we were raised, our experiences, our view of God, ourselves & others.

Insecurity is rooted in FEAR.  Fear of failure.  Fear of success.  Fear of the unknown. Fear of not being good enough.  Fear of not being liked.  You name it!   It may be different for all of us, but we are all insecure in our own way.

     He went on to explain how insecurity exhibits itself:  Some of us are puffed up with pride and arrogance which is rooted in fear of being found out or found lacking; so we are driven to push harder, to accomplish much and climb that ladder of success to prove we are ok.  Driven people also drive others, sometimes over the edge!  Others of us are introverted to a fault.  We would rather just sit on the side lines than get in the game for the very same reasons that the driven person pushes so hard!  We don’t push at all!  At any rate, insecurity is the root of it all.  Which I have come to believe is the birth child of FEAR.  I should know, I have been the victim of fear more than I care to share here!  Be it panic attacks, sleepless  nights, worry, anxiety all of it is rooted deeply in fear.

     Over the past few years I have seen up close & personal how insecurity can damage relationships.  How insecurity builds walls not bridges.  Those who allow fear of losing control learn to isolate & insulate those they “love” from all others.  They become possessive to a fault.  It is heart-breaking for all who feel the ripple effects.   Like an infectious disease if not treated it has the power can to effect & infect the people we love the most.  Instead of keeping them leashed to us, it pushes them far away.  The very thing we feared becomes reality – all because of insecurity.

I know this because I once lived in the shadow of insecurity.  Which leads to social awkwardness and silent pain.   I adapted and learned to live in the shadow of others so I could just breathe and experience a degree of comfort.  This insecurity affected my entire family and was the root of my battle with depression.

Now, I see it for what it is.

Insecurity builds walls not bridges.

Walls are erected to keep the insecure person feeling safe.  In the process of protecting their hearts they end up building tall, thick walls that at times are impenetrable.  I am sure that I am not the only one who has struggled in this battle with insecurity.  We all have people like this in our lives.  Maybe we have tried reaching out to this person from a pure motive with no strings attached but each time our actions are misinterpreted through a screen of insecurity and the need to be in control and at the same time control those closest to this person.  Which in turn shuts down communication and relationship with others.  It is unfair and can I say also unjust?  Leashes were made for animals not people!

As a recovering insecure, fearful, anxiety filled person I can spot one a mile away.  Not that I am sitting in judgement but you know the quote, “It takes one to know one”? Yes….that was me.  What I have learned from my own insecurity issue is this:

Yes, we are all desperately insecure people.  ALL of us.  Even the most confident people we know are insecure.  

Fear desires to control others, schedules, environments and creates an atmosphere of
oppression for all those affected by it.  Fear erects tall, thick walls.  Keeps those they love so close that over time they feel like they wbuilding brick wallsill suffocate.

Fear builds the walls to protect but in protecting our safe little cocoon others are pushed out and kept at a distance.

Fear breeds  a sense of competition.
Fear feeds comparison even if in our minds.

Even with those we say we love the most, and makes for a very unhealthy environment to live in and be “happy” in.

Insecurity fosters fear, fear feeds control, control erects walls, walls result in insolation and eventually isolation.  Isolation destroys relationships.  What a waste of energy! When instead that energy could be used to build bridges.

Do you struggle with insecurity, control, fear and inferiority?  Or, maybe you have someone like that in your life or live with someone like this and are miserable?  What are we to do?  How do we build a bridge when they are busy building a wall?

PRAY for them and for ourselves.
PRAY and choose NOT to live your life under their thumb but enjoy the freedom, love and joy found in Jesus Christ.
PRAY they would see and be able to be honest with themselves and God.
PRAY the wounds of their past would be healed by the Holy Spirit through the Word.
Remember they are the real prisoner behind the walls of their own making.  Be patient. Love them where they are.  Speak truth into their lives when led to.  Help them get counseling from a biblically sound and compassionate professional counselor.

Let’s ask the Lord to help us tear down the walls we have built up to keep others out and instead learn to trust Him to help us begin building bridges to one another’s hearts.

 

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

God’s Invitation To All… “Come in and know me better man”

ghost of christmas present

I just love Christmas movies!  During the Christmas season I make it my aim to watch all of the old classics.  One of my favorites is Christmas Carole,  by Charles Dickens.  That scene of “the Ghost of Christmas Present”, always reminds me of God the Father!

I realize He is Father Christmas; but his unbridled joy, untamed laughter and his larger than life stature; helps me visualize how absolutely Great God is!

His call to Ebenezer Scrooge to, “Come in and know me better man!”; resonates in my heart for me to do the same!

In this movie, Father Christmas is wearing what looks like a Christmas wreath on his head. His eyes dance with life!  His robe is long and flowing & he is surrounded by a bountiful feast!  His voice fills the entire house! In his right hand is what looks like a torch always lit to lead the way.  Reminding me of the Light of the World – Jesus Christ! John 8:12 – Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.  

His presence radiates a brilliant light, so bright that grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge has to shield his eyes upon entering the room!  What a beautiful picture of our heavenly Father! Scripture tells us about His glory – 2nd Corinthians 4:6 –  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  

Just like the Ghost from Christmas Present with delightful things at his disposal; God’s word tells us in Ephesians 1, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.  ALL spiritual blessings in heavenly places!  How amazing is that.  Can’t you see this picture of our Abba, withholding nothing good from His kids – ALL spiritual blessing means ALL!  He is saying to us through His Son Jesus Christ, from the Cross, from the empty tomb, and from the written word of scripture; “come in and know me better man.”

Many of us are a lot like Ebenezer Scrooge!  We are in our own little world, thinking we are rich when in fact we are the poorest of the poor!  Maybe we are friendless? Maybe our relationships in our families are broken because we are proud, self-sufficient and need nothing from anyone? Could it be we are just as greedy with our time as Old Ebenezer Scrooge was with his money?   Maybe like Scrooge, we just want to stay in our nice comfy bed with the covers pulled tight over our heads.  Have we squandered the time spent that we could have used to get to know Him better?  It’s not too late!

Oh! What if we would answer the call and seek to know God better!  There is no better way to “come in and know me better”, than to set aside time each morning to get quiet and still before the Word of God.  To open up His Word and read with one desire and motive; to know Him better!

All we could possibly want or desire is found in Him.

The time we choose spending to get to know Him better; will reap bountiful benefits & treasures.  Treasures that no amount of money can buy and no amount of work can supply! Things like abundant grace,unlimited mercy, extravagant love, total forgiveness, & complete acceptance!  We are all in short supply of these.

In Max  Lucado’s book, Grace: More Than We Deserve Greater Than We Can Imagine ,  he quoted Nancy Spiegelberg – “Lord, I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup…if only I had known you better, I’d have come running with a bucket.”  Oh how abundant His marvelous grace is poured out for us!   Why not heed the words of The Ghost of Christmas Present, like Old Ebenezer Scrooge did – “Come in and know me better man.”

PS:  Don’t forget to bring a bucket!

Posted in shadow living devotions or thoughts | Tagged | 1 Comment

Grateful

scThankful for this life I have “in Jesus Christ”!

Grateful to God for saving me at 26 years old. I wasn’t looking to be saved. I was just living my life, doing my thing, no concern for eternal things, no need for God.

I didn’t know I was a lost, undone, insecure, broken little girl with so many deep war wounds. I was oblivious to the truth that I lived my life in the shadow of others.

BUT God did!
He found me.
He redeemed my life.
He restored my soul.
He is teaching me how to live in the shadow of The Almighty!

According to His Word I was dead in trespasses & sin but He brought me from death to life in Christ Jesus! (Ephesians 2)

He transferred me from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of Light! (Colossians 1:3)

He gave me a new heart, a new name, a new garment to wear.
He put a new song in my mouth and is even now making ALL things NEW!

Thankful for this Journey to my eternal home.

We can’t be good enough! We can’t win Gods love! We can’t do it right!
Romans 3:23 For ALL have sinned & fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We can’t do enough brave, good, honorable things to be made right with God. Romans 3:10 “as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;”

Salvation is the work of God.
Ephesians 2:8-10 8 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

There are NOT many roads that lead to heaven just One…through the God-man – Jesus Christ.
John 14:6 – “I am The way, The truth & The life; no one comes to the Father except through Me”.

Attending Church won’t save you (although vitally important to help us grow).

Your morals will not save you. Ephesians 2 (read it) explains it well.

We must come to the Cross! Salvation is found in Jesus Christ and Him alone!

Gods word says in 2 Corn 5:16-17 “if anyone is in Christ they are a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new”.

No change? No transformation. NO Jesus!

He didn’t save us to leave us in our sin and filth. He saved us to set us free from the power of sin, death, hell and the power of the devil!

Do you know the Jesus of the Bible? I don’t mean just know about Him, but do you have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ? Have you been born-again by the Spirit?

More importantly does He know you? Is your name written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life? If so, your life will look dramatically different. Not perfect but distinctly different.

In the shadow of The Almighty,
Renee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We Pray & God Pursues

 

Are you the mother of a prodigal? If so, have you been pursuing your child in order to bring him or her back to the “fold”? You know what I mean; do you find yourself filled with anxiety, worry or fear?

Do you spend most of your time with these wayward kids preaching and prodding instead of loving on them & living your faith before them?

 In the words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for ya?”

After spending more years than I care to admit preaching, prodding & proclaiming to my children their desperate need for Jesus, I finally came to understand that as our children become adults our role as mother should be
drastically & dramatically different.

Let’s face it! Our job of laying the groundwork and the foundation is done.

What I have learned the hard way (I seem to learn a lot of things the hard way), I have learned at the feet of Jesus Christ. I believe as Mommas of adult children we are to love them unconditionally like God loves us. We are to still speak truth into their lives when the Holy Spirit leads us; but I am convinced that our main job is to be their chief prayer warrior.

To pray kingdom-size prayers!
To PRAY and let God PURSUE!

No amount of preaching, playing the Holy Spirit or prodding will produce the eternal fruit we so desire for them!

Years ago as I shared these words at a retreat, the teaching leader reminded us that God’s feet are swift. He can pursue like no other. I am reminded that not only are God’s feet swift but His arm is longer and His reach is farther. The prayers for our wayward children are part of the long arm of the LORD.

Our prayers have the ability to reach heaven’s ear,  move Our Father’s heart and produce eternal fruit that will last!

I don’t know about you, but that breathes courage into my weary heart. When we submit and pray, our God pursues. So, take heart prayer warrior Mommas. Learn to let go and trust that one day our prodigals will return to the Father. He will welcome them home with open arms, a kiss on the neck, a righteous robe around their shoulders, sandals on their feet and a ring on their finger!
(Luke 15:11-32)

prodigal-son

We PRAY… God PURSUES

Posted in parenting | Leave a comment

My response to the Madness

Just my thoughts…. God is Holy. God is sovereign. God is Love. God is good. God is kind. God is merciful. God is forgiving. God is Just. God is Great! God reaches for the broken, the outcast,…

Source: My response to the Madness

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My response to the Madness

Just my thoughts….

God is Holy. God is sovereign. God is Love. God is good. God is kind. God is merciful. God is forgiving. God is Just. God is Great!

God reaches for the broken, the outcast, the ones crying out in pain. He loves the Hagar’s of this world. He doesn’t throw stones. He doesn’t condemn. He sent His One and Only Begotten Son to Die on the Cross to break the power of sin, to save us, to reconcile us to God the Father. He is not willing that anyone perish, but that ALL come to repentance.

He loves that “sea of pink” both the women and men that marched on DC this weekend. He loves women. He made us. He gave us power from the beginning. He gave us position from the beginning. He made us equal to man in the beginning. Jesus honored women. Women were among His followers, His disciples, they walked with Him, served with Him, were the first at the tomb to see Him on the third day! Women matter to Jesus!

How we choose to respond to those who are LOST and undone says alot more about our hearts than theirs. Lost people are not going to live morally righteous lives. I sure didn’t before I was born again! I lived for this kingdom – my kingdom. Lost people will always fight for their “rights”, they will never see things any different until The Holy Spirit draws them to Himself. So we must love in truth, grace, mercy and pray for the souls of the lost women and men in this nation. Not throw stones.

I am praying and believing for a great revival to come to our nation. It always starts in one or two hearts. I DO NOT have to lay down my convictions in order to love those whose thinking is completely opposite from my own. I think we can disagree but love others like Christ loves them. I don’t know? My heart hurts for this nation and this world. This world is becoming more and more backwards. We are truly living in times that the Word of God describes as when “evil is called good and good is called evil” so upside down. I personally feel like there is a “Jezebel Spirit” alive and well in our churches, in our homes, in our society as a whole.

We are not to cower down but we are to conduct ourselves in wisdom. I have been a fool believe me so many times I can’t count them. I do not want to get caught up and get my eyes fixed on the wrong things and miss what God is doing in our midst. We serve the God of ALL Hope. He redeems the unredeemable, restores the broken, rescues the lost & dying, He resurrects dead things! I know this because He did it in my life and He is still doing it today!

The answer to this madness is the Message & Power of the Gospel!

So, let’s choose to love like Jesus. Live like Jesus. Speak like Jesus. Pray like Jesus.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Don’t be M.I.A. this Christmas…

Stumbled upon this devo from Christmas 2014, thought it was worth sharing….enjoy!
Merry Christmas!  

 nativity-1898535__340

From Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-20

 

Another Christmas is right around the corner.  Soon we will come together with our family and friends to celebrate our Savior’s birth. When God through His one and only begotten Son took on flesh and lived among us.  God – fully God and yet fully man!

Immanuel God with us!  

Our only response should be WORSHIP!  

Hearts fully surrendered and hands fully submitted...

 

As I was praying about what to share this Christmas Eve God reminded me about an incident that happened at our house a few weeks back.  My grandson Camden was playing with the little manger scene on my kitchen table and accidentally broke off Joseph’s hand.  Later that week I noticed Joseph’s head was missing!  So, my manger scene had a handless and headless Joseph.  I couldn’t have that and because it was a cheap set I threw Joseph in the trash and went about my business.  A few days passed and as I sat down to write a devotional to share tonight,  The Holy Spirit used the headless and handless Joseph to teach me a spiritual truth.  Joseph was M.I.A!  

 

My manger scene is missing a key player in this very important event.  Joseph is MIA!  We know according to the biblical account that Joseph could have responded to God’s call on his life by “putting Mary away”; he could have run away.  He could have said no and God would have used another “vessel” to fulfill His plan. Thankfully, unlike my headless and handless Joseph that is now MIA; the real Joseph was fully surrendered and fully submitted to God’s plan and purpose.  His head was “on straight” (with the help of an angel) his heart was fully engaged and his hands were completely yielded and open to receive the Christ child as his earthly son.  Joseph was all in to fulfill his role as the King of King’s earthly father.  Joseph was definitely not MIA! 

 

Mary was just a young girl yet her response to God’s will, word and way was worship.  She could have said no.  She could have gone MIA but her response was complete surrender and full submission.

So, how about you?  How about me?  Are we “all in” head, heart and hands fully surrendered and submitted to our part in His story?  Or are we MIA?  Is Christ Adonai’ (Master) of your whole life?  Who or what takes up residence in the manger of your heart?  Let our response to God’s call on our lives be authentic worship each and every day!  Hearts fully surrendered Hands fully submitted!

Don’t let it be said of us that we were M.I.A. this Christmas! 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment