An amazing turning point in my life occurred when I learned I had spent 25 years of my life building and hiding behind defenses. These defenses gave me an illusion of control, but in reality, I was just getting farther and farther out of control.
When we hide behind self-built defenses, we may have a sense that we are in control. We tell ourselves that we’re holding our feelings under control. But in reality we are not in control at all … our problems are at the wheel. We’ve pushed away the people who really care about us, the ones who could help us. And we’ve allowed our problem, our situation, to take control. It’s the proverbial “slippery slope.”
This is exactly where Satan wants us. His lie is that these “self-protective” defenses are really self-destructive, both now and down the road. In this spiritual battle, when we try to defend ourselves from our own strength, our defenses become allies of the enemy. Only when we allow our defensive walls to crumble and start living can we begin to practice true self-control … choosing and acting on the basis of who we are in Christ and relying on all the strength, guidance, and wisdom God has promised and will provide.
Because of Christ…
You are redeemed; paid for at a great price. (Ephesians 1:7) You are forgiven; your sin as far as condemnation, has been forgotten. (Psalm 103:12) You are strong and capable; and can do everything through Christ. (Philippians 4:13) You are a conqueror: an overcomer. (Romans 8:37)
Today, examine your areas of stress. Do you let your circumstances or your feelings control you? Do your defenses, that is, your coping mechanisms, help you or do they just act as knee-jerk bridges to the next stressor? Build your defenses on Biblical principles not just to escape your stressor, but to shine and be strengthened by it. Know yourself and be seen as God sees you … the Bible makes it clear who you are as a Christian. Why, when under pressure, do you have trouble believing it and turn to worldly answers for your spiritual yearnings? Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father God, Help me to stop hiding behind my self-built, self-destructive defenses. Help me to see myself as You do because of Christ: redeemed, forgiven, strong, capable, and an overcomer. Help me remember always what a great price was paid at the cross so that I could have this new identity. I pray this and all prayers through the One whom You sent to pay for my new identity, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Stepping Stones: Time to Take Down the Walls!
Stepping Stones: What Does Your T-Shirt Say?
Amen to this lesson!
thanks for the encouragement! karl