Right before falling asleep I said, “Lord, show me the ultimate life you have for me.” Well, how many of you know that God speaks to us in many different ways and that night, I believe He responded by showing me something that was actually keeping me from experiencing that “ultimate, abundant life.”
I dreamed that night that I was working on a business activity or some sort of presentation and it just didn’t seem to meet the standards of the person I was working with or presenting to. I was critiqued and continually corrected until the person actually attacked me! She leaned right over top of me, grabbed both of my arms and started shaking me back and forth violently, with such anger and annoyance that I just wasn’t getting it right.
As I woke up, I began to have my own thoughts as to the meaning of this dream and the attack on me, and so I immediately went into “fight back with scripture mode” because Uh-Uh… “NO weapon formed against me will prosper!” But after a day or so of pondering and asking the Lord to reveal more, I got the sense that the person so annoyed to the point of shaking me in the dream was actually me…. that I was the one beating myself up for not meeting my own expectations.
So, why do we do this? Why do we continually attack ourselves and beat ourselves up for “not measuring up?” Why do we set such high expectations for ourselves, many times beyond the expectations of the only One that actually matters? Why do we do to ourselves what God doesn’t?
Oh, I thank you God that when you look at me, you don’t throw your hands up and say, “Welp, there she goes again! She’s just not getting it. Will you take a look at her?! She just keeps falling short. She’s just not measuring up. When the heck is she going to get it together?! How long is it going to take her to get it right?!”
No God, that’s not You talking. Those are lies talking. All LIES.
Here’s the real TRUTH:
My God is merciful, gracious, kind and abounding in love towards me. He is long-suffering, very patient and slow to anger. He actually sees me the way He created me, which is good. He knows where I’m going. He knows where He’s taking me. He knows how it’s all going to end up. He’s pleased with my progress. In fact, He actually sees me as His finished product, certainly not by my past, and not even by my present.
He’s not mad at me. He’s not annoyed with me. He’s not disappointed in me. He hasn’t written me off. He’s not waiting for me to screw up. He’s not shaking his head, rolling His eyes or looking at me with disgust or frustration. He’s not wondering why I keep making mistakes, why I can’t get it all right, why I don’t have it all together yet. He doesn’t just tolerate me or barely approve of me. No… far from it.
He actually looks upon me with delight and in fact, all of those things about myself I consider to be so dark, He says, “Oh, but you are so lovely to me. You are altogether beautiful, my darling. I can find no flaw in you.”
He sees me learning and doesn’t condemn me for it. Rather, He encourages me and nudges me along like any loving parent would do their precious child learning to walk. What a good and loving Father He is, looking at me with pride in His eyes. He’s actually so proud of me! Proud of every effort I make and every step I take toward Him and with Him.
Not only that, but He’s so proud to call me His! He’s proud that I carry His name. He’s proud to call me His daughter, His darling one. He actually beams with joy over me and says, “That’s my girl right there. Would you just look at her!? That one right there. I love that girl beyond words! Look at her! Oh, she just steals my heart every single time. ”
“… if God has determined to stand with us, tell me,
who then could ever stand against us?
Who then would dare to accuse those whom
God has chosen in love to be his?…”
(Romans 8:31, 33 TPT)
This includes us “standing against us.” This includes us “accusing” and condemning us. If God is so for us, why are we against ourselves? We are ultimately fighting against what He fights for… US!
You know, of all of the things I wrote earlier about how He sees us and how He joyfully beams over us… well I believe if there’s anything that He wishes we would just get ahold of… if He’s ever looking at us thinking, “Oh man, I wish she would get it!!”… it’s that we would actually see ourselves the way He does… that we would love ourselves the way He does… and certainly that we would not beat ourselves up when He’s not!
The truth is that if our thoughts, our minds, our hearts and our eyes were calibrated with His and if we really believed in ourselves the way He does…. oh man, wouldn’t we would be unstoppable? I mean, that’s what we all want for our kids, right? For them to know that they are truly u-n-s-t-o-p-p-a-b-l-e?
Oh God, help us to see ourselves the way you do. Align our hearts and our minds with yours. Align the thoughts we have about ourselves with yours, God.
Let’s give ourselves a break once and for all. Let’s, please, stop beating ourselves up. And let’s look to Him, our loving, doting Father, as if He’s the only audience that matters, because He really is, and I can tell you that He is so well-pleased with what He sees in us right now.
Isaiah 54:17; Psalm 103:8; Exodus 34:6; Ephesians 1:4; Jeremiah 29:11; Song of Songs 1:5; Song of Songs 4:7; Romans 8:38-39; Song of Songs 4:9; Proverbs 31:10, 11, 29; Zephaniah 3:17; Psalm 18:19; Ephesians 2:8; Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 2:17-19; Romans 8:31-34.