Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sister to Sister: His Lessons


Dear sisters,

The very morning I was planning on beginning this letter, the first verse of my Bible reading jumped out at me.  II Samuel 22:1 corresponded perfectly with the reason I was writing on this topic! The Lord had delivered me from “enemies” of untruth, and now I wanted to praise Him!  I hope that as you read of the mighty, loving ways he has acted for me that you can praise Him, and recognize His work in your life, as well.  This letter is a collection of lessons the Lord has been teaching me during my first semester of college.  One thing I have realized is that while I am studying long and hard, learning academically, the lessons that the Lord is teaching me are the ones that are most affecting my life.  So, read on and marvel at the wonderful things my Jesus has done!  

A sense of oppression hovered over me.  A thought that I was not worthy, not worth loving.  The thought that if it were not for Jesus in my life, I would be worthless.  This is true, of course, in the sense that our lives are nothing without Jesus, but there is no oppression in the truth.  Something else was wrong. 

Around the time that I experienced this oppression, I had been considering the importance of humility before Jesus and had also been convicted by the enormity of my sin.  However, this oppression was a new feeling.  I did not want to live the Christian life in constant awareness of my shortcomings!  I wove my way through most of the day, unaware of the root problem.  Then an idea came to me.  Could this be spiritual warfare?

Not every attack against the believing Christian appears in an obvious form when life is sailing along.  The enemy presents discouragement when we are unsuspecting of the danger and unaware of a reason for it.  In my case, something good (humility in God's sight) was used to drag me into discouragement by dwelling on my sin and overlooking one very important fact.  In Jesus' sight, I am cleansed, pure and seen as His precious child!  He doesn't see my sin when He looks at me, but He sees His righteousness.  

Romans 8:1 alludes to this fact as it states “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  

There is a difference between humility and self-condemnation, and if Jesus is not looking at me with condemnation, I should not view my self as condemned.  The truth of my sinfulness mixed with the lie that I was empty of any goodness created a prison.  I learned that lies from the enemy often possess enough truth to confuse us desperately. 

Another stronghold the enemy had in my life was one of fear.  Specifically, this fear involved relationships.  I was afraid of the hurt I could experience from others by being placed in a vulnerable position. Through realizing this, Jesus taught me that I cannot fear tomorrow!  If He does bring a friendship or relationship which causes me pain, it will be for a great purpose and hold a lesson in the experience for me.  I am not perfect.  No human is perfect, and hiding behind a wall of fear will keep me from experiencing all that Jesus has for me. 

Another partial lie I was believing was that I did not need any human's friendship in order to be happy.  Jesus was enough for me!  I say this carefully, because I want you to understand that Jesus IS enough, more than enough, all will ever need, but God filled the world with people for each other.  So, while we must look to Jesus to fill all of our needs, and cherish His friendship most of  all, He did create people for fellowship, and our greatest effectiveness for Him will not be experienced if we constantly isolate ourselves.

A verse the Lord used in a new way to counteract this fear was II Timothy 1:7.  “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  New insights popped out at me as I meditated on it.   

“The spirit of fear” does not come from God; that is obvious.  This emotion we feel that is so contrary to His nature is from the enemy!  When I realized where this feeling was coming from, I experienced a renewed desire to get rid of it!  God goes on to promise that He bestows power on us.  

But consider the source!  It is not just any power, but God's power!  Ponder His might!  He wants you to experience His power and claim it as your own.  The same is true of His love.  Our love is shakeable and ever-changing, but His love never changes.  It is perfect, boundless, unselfish love!  God wants us to experience sound minds, as well.  Confusion is not from Him.  Worry is not from Him.  A sound mind is one characterized by peace and joy, resting in the promise of His care.  There is nothing worse for your mind than worry, and nothing better for it than peace.  

In His love,
Abbey

About the letter writer...

Abbey is nineteen years old and is enjoying her first semester at Verity Institute as she works towards a degree in Communications.  She enjoys traveling, SCUBA diving, trying new things, and missions.  Her desire is to work with orphaned children.  Abbey loves the adventures and lessons in her relationship with Jesus.  Her free moments are occupied with corresponding with family and friends, enjoying times of fellowship with believers, reading, and spending time with Jesus.

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