Kick Up Your Heels And Rejoice!
Discovering the Ecstasy
Of a Squeaky Clean Conscience
The following assumes you have undergone a spiritual transformation so
radical that it is appropriately called being born again. This, the most thrilling
and significant experience known to humanity, is so misunderstood that millions
walk past it, never imagining the wonders they are missing. If you are unsure about
this, it is important to bookmark this page and go straight to
You Can Find Love.
I once enjoyed over a year in high spirits. I had never been so
joyful in all my life. Then I crashed into depression. Why? I had previously
been focusing solely on Jesus and delighting in his perfection
(which is ours through our union with him). Then I began
examining myself and seeing all my failings. Depression snuck in.
Upon discovering my mistake, I changed my focus and joy returned.
The transformation worked because it is scriptural. In Christ is a
huge and exciting treasure-trove of delights fitting the category
of Philippians 4:8 (whatever is true, noble, right, pure,
lovely, admirable Ė if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
Ė think about such things.) This makes the Scripture four verses earlier
(Rejoice in the Lord always) easy. When we look at Jesus we see
beauty, goodness, perfection, love, and every good thing. What a
smorgasbord of things to delight in! When we look at ourselves, however,
itís a different story. God asks us to focus on him because the benefits
are astounding. Notice the instruction is to rejoice in the Lord.
There is little in ourselves to rejoice about, but in Jesus there
is an endless array of wondrous things in which to rejoice.
Focusing on Jesus is the secret of endless joy.
What we focus on determines what we become.
The more we feast our eyes on Christ, the more weíll become like him.
As we gaze upon the glory of God, says Scripture, we
are progressively transformed from one degree of glory to another.
No wonder Hebrews 12:1-2 urges us to put sin aside and run the race
of life, Ďlooking unto Jesusí.
It takes effort Ė huge effort Ė to keep our eyes on Jesus when weíve
become so used to examining ourselves all the time. But I assure
you, itís worth every bit of effort it takes!
Remember Peter walking on the water. While he was looking at Jesus
and thinking of what Jesus was doing (Jesus was walking on water)
the impossible was easy. But when Peter got his eyes off the Lord, he
began looking at circumstances and remembered his frailty. Itís
hardly surprising that he began to sink. The result wasnít serious,
however, because Jesus was right there. And Jesus is with you.
Give God a break!
Although it is so easy to become preoccupied with ourselves and our
past, it is really a form of selfishness.
The union God has with you is deeper than marriage. Who would
you rather be married to? Someone who is always withdrawn and
miserable, or someone who sparkles with joy? Give God a break!
Jesus is indeed your better half. Focus on him. Every time the
shame of your former life flashes into you consciousness,
turn it into an opportunity to fall more in love with the God
who loved you in your degradation. You were so special to him
that his dear Son went through agony to make you pure and undefiled.
If he loved you when you were in your filth, how much more certain
is it that he delights in you now that he has beautified you,
scrubbing you spotlessly clean? When haunted by your guilt-ridden
past, donít slink off to a corner and mope. Itís your cue to throw
a party, rejoicing in Godís unfathomable love. Rush up to the God
who has purified you and fling your arms around him in sheer joy
and gratitude. Shower him with love and thanks and awe.
Not Earned, Just Enjoyed!
And donít for one moment imagine you can earn Godís forgiveness
by being miserable or by being hard on yourself. Thatís like saying,
ĎIf I give you $1,000 will you love me?í
You are forgiven because of the immensity of Godís love,
not because you could ever do anything to deserve it. You canít
earn Godís approval, you can only delight in it.
The Value of Guilt Feelings
When it comes to lizards and spiders my mother is brave, but with
birds she crumbles. In a walk-in aviary sheíd be petrified.
It would be an awful experience for her, but, of course, sheíd
be perfectly safe. Thatís like the worst the Deceiver could do
to you. He could give you an unpleasant experience, but nothing
more. Whether you are conscious of it or not, you are in the arms
of God. Safe.
Moreover those horrible thoughts and feelings are spiritually
beneficial. Of immense value, in fact.
Your faith, says Scripture, is infinitely more precious than gold
(1 Peter 1:7). Its rewards last for all eternity. It is the most
critical factor the whole Christian walk. Every gift of God, whether
it be salvation, victory over temptation, answered prayer, love,
miracles, or whatever, can only be appropriated by this means.
Everything hinges on it. The greater your faith, the more heavenís
riches are at your disposal. And how can you grow in faith? The
same way you grow muscle Ė by using it. You expand your faith
by holding on to Godís truth when everything within you seems
to scream the opposite. For each moment you hold on, youíre building
spiritual muscle Ė growing in faith Ė accumulating spiritual wealth.
Itís in the painful times that you develop spiritually, just like
itís in the pain of physical exercise that you develop physically.
By putting guilt feelings on you, Satan is falling right into
Godís trap, giving you the perfect opportunity to develop the
most valuable spiritual asset. Each moment you choose to believe
Godís truth rather than the guilt feelings and accusations, you
are building your faith, which can be used over and over for the rest
of your life to buy spiritual treasures.
So when those guilt feelings come, rejoice!
The two mirrors
The Word of God is like a mirror, says James 1:23. As you look into Godís Word you come face to face with reality, and so you begin to see your true beauty. But the devil also has a mirror. In his hand is a horribly cracked and distorted mirror that makes the most beautiful things of God look hideous. He keeps beckoning you to look in his direction, and whenever you do, he flashes his mirror, revealing a grotesque reflection of yourself that makes you cringe. You feel ugly and unlovable. The only solution is to keep looking into the pure mirror of God to see yourself as you really are, resplendent with the beauty of Christ. Keep looking into that mirror, dear one.
The Evil One tries with all the malicious deceit he can muster to fool you into thinking that the way you look in his cracked mirror is the way you look in Godís eyes. And if you really looked like that to God, youíd have every reason to want to shrink from God and the mirror of his Word. You wouldnít want to be reminded of how repulsive you are. But itís all lies! You are beautiful to God. And if you dare gaze into Godís mirror long enough, youíll see how beautiful he has made you. Then youíll rejoice!
These webpages (see below) are designed to entice you to look at Godís word and be amazed at your beauty in Christ. The Deceiver wonít ease up in flashing his cracked mirror in your direction, so you need to keep coming back to these pages, and to the Scriptures on which they are based, to keep fresh the memory of how beautiful you really look to God.
Hereís some of ways Almighty God sees you:
Warning: These Pages Wonít Help Everyone
Enveloped in divine love.
Made perfect in Christ Jesus.
Complete and whole.
Filled with glory.
Destined for greatness.
Some people terrified about being unforgivable just need Bible-based reassurance or an explanation of a disturbing Scripture. If vast amounts of rational support and biblical exposition are the answer, keep following the links. Many Christians, however, presume this is what they need but it turns out that no amount of biblical proof or sound, theological argument or even spectacular spiritual experience can put their minds to rest. If you have already sought much help but worries keep resurfacing, you most likely need a totally different approach. You should skip these pages (you can return later if you wish) and go straight to Scrupulosity.
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Not to be sold. © Copyright, 1997, Grantley Morris. Not
to be copied in whole or in part without citing this entire paragraph.
Many more compassionate, inspiring, sometimes hilarious writings
by Grantley Morris available free at the following internet site
www.net-burst.net Freely you have received,
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Scripture quotations are from the New International Version © Copyright, 1978 by New York International Bible Society
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