Do you feel stuck? Whether in sin, bad attitude, or thought pattern? Or even guilt, shame, or fear of past sins you have struggled with? I think most of us have been here. Today I want to talk about the freedom found in Jesus for our sin and shame. The real power the cross can have in our lives. Jesus didn’t die on the cross to make us feel bad about our sin and push us into secret shame – rather the opposite.
“You my brothers and sisters have been called to be free.”
– Galatians 5:13
He died on that cross that we may experience the truth of John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal kill and destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they (us) may have life and have it to the full.” He died for our freedom – not to cripple us in guilt and shame. In order for this freedom to take place we must bring it into the light.
Here is where the enemy often comes to kill, steal, and destroy. He wants us bound in whatever holds us at a distance from God, in fear of the power we will walk in when we know just how loved, known, and forgiven we truly are by our Heavenly Father. Different things in our life effect the way we look at the cross and the way we look at both Jesus and God the Father. This consequently effects our willingness to bring our darkness into the light (which is where our freedom happens). The enemy sees this as an opportunity to flood our minds with everything that could go wrong – and just how bad people will think we are.
I want to bring that lie into the light right now – you aren’t the only one struggling with this, you are not a bad person, this doesn’t change how God looks at you or how deeply He loves you. Whatever the thought in your mind that keeps your from bringing your darkness into the light isn’t true. It isn’t God’s heart for you. He came for your freedom! Not to lock you in shame and isolation.
Today I want us to begin unpacking this topic. Something that effects the way we see our Heavenly Father, is the way we see and feel towards our earthly fathers. This isn’t a dad-put-down, but more times than not, our dads directly influence the way we see God. Which is how God made it – so we may see and feel the immense love He has for us through the way our dads love, care for, and protect us. However, not all of us have had amazing dads in our lives. Even if we do – they are still human and have a sinful nature (we obviously still love them deeply though).
As I have become a parent in the last year and a half, my understanding of God’s love has grown! No matter what my sweet, crazy, busy little Elliot does – my love for him doesn’t change. I hurt when he hurts, I laugh when he laughs. I love to see him experience joy, love, life and I will protect him however I can. This is just a glimpse – a speck of how much God loves me and you! Wow – my deep love for my son is tainted because of our fallen sin nature but God’s love isn’t!
He knows and loves us perfectly.
I don’t know what kind of dad you have (or don’t) have here on earth but my guess is there is something that hinders you from fully feeling God’s love for you. How you have or haven’t been loved by your dad affects this. This is hard. Dad’s are supposed to love, care, sympathize, protect, and pursue our hearts the way God does – humanly of course but a lot of our dads haven’t. Maybe your parents are divorced and you don’t live with your dad, or maybe he’s angry, emotionally unavailable, distant, works a lot, doesn’t understand you, and the list could go on. Like I said – this isn’t to put our dads down, my guess is they are doing the best they know how. I feel it is important to allow God to show us what may be in the way of us experiencing God’s love and freedom. Here are some steps you can take today:
– Britt Andres
- Invite God into your time with Him. Get your Bible and Journal. Put away any distractions and open your heart and mind to hear from Him.
- Read the passages listed. Do you feel this to be true?
- Ask God to show you if there is anything that hinders you from receiving God’s freedom and love for you – maybe this is because of our earthly fathers. (i.e. Feel like God is angry with you, disappointed in you, doesn’t understand you, etc.) Is this because of your earthly dad? Write it down.
- Release these things to God, forgive your dad, and pray for him. If you need and feel the timing is right, share this with your dad (in love, for the purpose of healing your heart and perspective of God).
- What is the truth about God? Ask Him to speak to you about this. Either through thoughts or scripture or a picture.
- Sit with God either in silence or worship music on – and ask Him to wash over you with His love.
- This can often be a hard topic to work through on our own, if you need, please contact me or your small group leader to chat and pray.
- John 10:10
- Romans 8:1-4
- Ephesians 2:4-5
- Psalm 103:1-14