I was visiting a friend’s church where I was blessed to hear an amazing testimony. The guest speaker was speaking on behalf of a recovery program she attended. She began her testimony as most recovery programs begin,
“Hi I’m Kat, and I am an addict and survivor of abuse.”
“Hi Kat!” the crowd replied.
(In case you’re wondering Kat is not her real name and I’ve left out some major details for privacy.)
Kat had such a way with words; through her words she was able to give you an in-depth peek into her world. I laughed when she joked about her highs and I cried with her when she shared the intimate details of her lows. It would seem that she went from the pit to the palace and then back to the pit again. By the time she shared her triumph in the Lord and how He elevated her to a place above the palace. A place where she was seated with Christ on the right hand of the Father, everyone was standing and giving a wild praise and thanks to God. I remember saying to myself, “Yep, that’s my Father, all things work out to His glory!”
She gave thanks to God and thanked her friends and the program that helped her through the rough patches. Then she did something that saddened me, she ended her testimony just as she began, “I’m Kat and I am an addict and a survivor of abuse!” Even more alarming to me was the audience who clapped and said, “Hi Kat!”
My spirit was grieved, I remember thinking, “No, no, no, that’s not who you are, did anyone hear her testimony. She ‘s not an addict or a victim, she’s victorious! She’s no longer her past or her pain, she’s a child of God.”
I pray that no one is taking this as me bashing recovery programs, because I’m not. These programs are mighty ministries that have blessed and helped millions worldwide. I praise God for these programs, but her identifying herself as who she was and not who she is, grieved me. I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Wouldn’t it be great if there were a Believers Anonymous?” When I heard this I thought out loud, “Now that is a revelation that needs to take root in every believer’s heart including mine.
I believe we do a disservice to a person when we force them to hold on to who they were and not embrace who they are in Christ. When Christ ministered in the gospels He didn’t highlight our problems, He revealed who He was and what He could do and He continues to do that today. I thank God for the Angels on earth that God raised up to minister to me when I was overwhelmed by my brokenness. They reminded me that I am God’s beloved, not broken but whole in Him.
I Am Who Christ Says I Am
None of us need to be reminded of our past and faults. We know those old ghosts well; they still haunt us from time to time. The slightest thing will trigger it and when it comes back its like that cloak of despair the bible talks about in Isaiah 61. It just drapes over you and overwhelms you with a heaviness that takes you right back to that broken place.A person doesn’t need a reminder of who they were but they do need to be reminded of who they are in Christ.
Here’s a question for you: If God isn’t holding my sins and past against me then why am I wearing it like it’s the latest design on a Fashion Runway?
“This is the covenant I will make with them…
I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.
Then He adds: Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” –Heb 10:16-17
In other words God is saying this is my promise to you, I care about the things on your heart and mind, which is why I am going to be intimately involved in your life. As for your past and your mistakes, I don’t hold it against you, consider it forgotten.
Imagine if we could embrace this. I did a word search and this is what I found. The word love is mentioned in the bible 686 times, see NIV. The word judgment is mentioned 158 times and wrath 181. God’s love for us outweighs His wrath and judgment. It was His love for us that came down in the flesh, died for us and restored us to who He called us to be. My question to Believers is when are we going to embrace God’s love and shake off the cloak of our past.
In this life I may feel pressed on all sides, but because I am the righteousness of God in Christ I am never crushed. The things around me may perplex me but He’ll never let me fall in despair. Despair suggests that there’s an absence of hope and as long as I am in Christ I have hope for Christ is my hope. Christ keeps me anchored in Him as He enters into the inner sanctuary of God’s heart to intercede on my behalf. I believe God wants our hearts and minds to embrace that we are Sons of God and we are not defeated. We are not our past, we are not our pain and even in those moments of pain we know that it’s going to work out for our good. Why, because the God of all Creation has claimed us and loves us with an unfailing Love.
Let’s not allow the voice of accusation to ring louder than the Love God deposited in our hearts. Allow His Word to play like an epic love story in your thoughts.
My prayer is for “Kat”, myself and for every believer out there. It’s Spring-cleaning time! Let’s throw away that coat of shame and wear our Robe of Righteousness that was hand-woven by God. Let’s boldly declare, “Hello world, I am a Believer, I am saved, the light of the world and the salt of the earth. I am an Ambassador of the Kingdom of God, I am Loved…. and I don’t have to be anonymous!” 🙂
Lend a hand in the Spring-cleaning; remind your brothers and sisters in Christ that they are God’s Beloved.