October 2: Write 31 Days: Can't Have Life without the Way and the Truth

I'm not used to writing like this--just sitting at the computer, waiting for the words and inspiration to come. 

It's usually quite the opposite--I have an idea or get inspired, and as it begins to unravel like a ball of yarn, I sit down and type as fast as I can, hoping it doesn't get away from me before I get it all down.

I suppose that's discipline, though, and the ideas are sure to come like they always do.

This morning I was reminded of the self-esteem and identity struggles that permeated most of my adolescent and young adult life. The constant self-doubt, inability to measure up, dislike of my own reflection, and desperate craving to be someone else. Anyone else. The comparisons, the shame, the feelings of helplessness in the face of things that could not be changed. 

How I got into that pit I don't know, but I do remember very clearly the evidence I felt stacked up against me: 

Life experiences that proved I was unlovable, that I needed to be more or different.

A total lack of interested boys that communicated I wasn't beautiful.

Harsh opinions of peers that said I was strange and unlikeable, that I didn't fit in.

Very real teenage emotions that confirmed all these facts beyond a shadow of a doubt.

And life has a way of handing down a verdict in a trial you never wanted to be a part of. Fingers are pointed and judgement is cast, from the inside and out, and sometimes it feels as though you will carry it around forever.

These verdicts affect your relationships, dictate your thoughts, and cause you to pigeon-hole experiences and conversations and circumstances into a pre-determined formula regardless if they fit, because it's all you know. It's what you've come to believe and hold true.

And I realized, as I began to consider the concept that God loves me, that I'm beautiful and cherished in His sight, that He chose me, that I'm His masterpiece, it was almost too much. 

Because if you put all the evidence on a scale--the tangible things I've learned about myself from life experiences, personal interactions and very real feelings on one side, and this abstract concept that God loves me on the other--how does that balance out exactly? The evidence I have lived through, the things I have seen, felt and experienced feel much more real.

That's a very difficult scale to tip.

You have to be willing to consider, for a moment, that maybe the evidence is wrong. Maybe your feelings, although very real, are not very truthful. Perhaps, this view you've acquired of yourself is, in fact, skewed, and not in your favor. 

Maybe, just maybe, there are other words to describe you, and me. Words besides failure, unlovable and homely.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. {John 14:6}

And if you're going to walk along this road leading to Life that is Truly Life, Christ Himself, then Jesus can't just be your Way. Sure, once you accept Him as Lord and Savior, it changes your life for eternity, but it can't stop there. It's not supposed be enough this side of heaven--we would miss out on so much!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. {John 10:10 ESV}

There's a reason Jesus didn't just say He's "the Way" and leave it at that. In order to have Life and have it abundantly, we must also embrace the Truth. We can bring the lies we've believed our whole life about God, others, and ourselves into the light of His Truth. We can expose them for what they are and begin to finally taste and experience the abundant life He has for us.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. {Galatians 5:1}

True life cannot exist in bondage of any kind, including falsehoods we believe. Stand firm in freedom and truth today, friends. Allow Him to speak gently to your soul and tell you who you really are in Him.

My Identity in Jesus Christ {source}

John 1:12 – I am a child of God (Romans 8:16).

John 15:1,5 – I am a part of the true vine, a channel (branch) of His Life.

John 15:15 – I am Christ’s friend.

John 15:16 – I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit.

Acts 1:8 – I am a personal witness of Christ for Christ.

Romans 3:24 – I have been justified and redeemed.

Romans 5:1 – I have been justified (completely forgiven and made righteous) and am at peace with God.

Romans 6:1-6 – I died with Christ and died to the power of sin’s rule in my life.

Romans 6:7 – I have been freed from sin’s power over me.

Romans 6:18 – I am a slave of righteousness.

Romans 6:22 – I am enslaved to God.

Romans 8:1 – I am forever free from condemnation.

Romans 8:14,15 – I am a son of God (God is literally my “Papa”) (Galatians 3:26; 4:6).

Romans 8:17 – I am an heir of God and fellow heir with Christ.

Romans 11:16 – I am holy.

Romans 15:7 – Christ has accepted me.

1 Corinthians 1:2 – I have been sanctified.

1 Corinthians 1:30 – I have been placed in Christ by God’s doing; Christ is now my wisdom from God, my righteousness, my sanctification, and my redemption.

1 Corinthians 2:12 – I have received the Spirit of God into my life that I might know the things freely given to me by God

1 Corinthians 2:16 – I have been given the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19 – I am a temple (home) of God; His Spirit (His life) dwells in me.

1 Corinthians 6:17 – I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him.

1 Corinthians 6:19,20 – I have been bought with a price; I am not my own; I belong to God.

1 Corinthians 12:27 – I am a member of Christ’s body (Ephesians 5:30).

2 Corinthians 1:21 – I have been established in Christ and anointed by God.

2 Corinthians 2:14 – He always leads me in His triumph in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:14,15 – Since I have died, I no longer live for myself, but for Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – I am a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:18,19 – I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:21 – I am the righteousness of God in Christ.

Galatians 2:4 – I have liberty in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I am now living is Christ’s life.

Galatians 3:26,28 – I am a child of God and one in Christ.

Galatians 4:6,7 – I am a child of God and an heir through God.

Ephesians 1:1 – I am a saint (1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2).

Ephesians 1:3 – I am blessed with every spiritual blessing.

Ephesians 1:4 – I was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him.

Ephesians 1:5 – I have been adopted as God’s Child.

Ephesians 1:7,8 – I have been redeemed and forgiven, and am a recipient of His lavish grace.

Ephesians 2:5 – I have been made alive together with Christ.

Ephesians 2:6 – I have been raised up and seated with Christ in heaven.

Ephesians 2:10 – I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ to do His work that He planned beforehand that I should do.

Ephesians 2:13 – I have been brought near to God.

Ephesians 2:18 – I have direct access to God through the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19 – I am a fellow citizen with the saints and a member of God’s household.

Ephesians 3:6 – I am a fellow heir, a fellow member of the body, and a fellow partaker of the promise in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 3:12 – I may approach God with boldness and confidence.

Ephesians 4:24 – I am righteous and holy.

Philippians 3:20 – I am a citizen of heaven.

Philippians 4:7 – His peace guards my heart and my mind.

Philippians 4:19 – God will supply all my needs.

Colossians 1:13 – I have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ.

Colossians 1:14 – I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. The debt against me has been canceled (Colossians 2:13,14).

Colossians 1:27 – Christ Himself is in me.

Colossians 2:7 – I have been firmly rooted in Christ and am now being built up and established in Him.

Colossians 2:10 – I have been made complete in Christ.

Colossians 2:12,13 – I have been buried, raised, and made alive with Christ, and totally forgiven.

Colossians 3:1 – I have been raised with Christ.

Colossians 3:3 – I have died, and my life is now hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:4 – Christ is now my life.

Colossians 3:12 – I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (1 Thessalonians 1:4).

1 Thessalonians 5:5 – I am a child of light and not of darkness.

2 Timothy 1:7 – I have been given a spirit of power, love, and discipline.

2 Timothy 1:9 – I have been saved and called (set apart) according to God’s purpose and grace (Titus 3:5).

Hebrews 2:11 – Because I am sanctified and am one with Christ, He is not ashamed to call me His.

Hebrews 3:1 – I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling.

Hebrews 3:14 – I am a partaker of Christ.

Hebrews 4:16 – I may come boldly before the throne of God to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need

1 Peter 2:5 – I am one of God’s living stones and am being built up as a spiritual house

1 Peter 2:9,10 – I am a part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God’s own possession.

1 Peter 2:11 – I am an alien and stranger to this world that I temporarily live in.

1 Peter 5:8 – I am an enemy of the devil. He is my adversary.

2 Peter 1:4 – I have been given God’s precious and magnificent promises by which I am a partaker of the divine nature.

1 John 3:1 – God has bestowed a great love on me and called me His child.

1 John 4:15 – God is in me and I am in God.

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