Saturday, November 2, 2013

Why I (and Many Others) Fail to Speak Up

"It's not Christian to get angry!"

You should never raise your voice.

Don't get angry.

Seek peace with all men.

"I feel guilty when I say "No!"

"Good People Feel Bad When They Hold People Accountable!"

Where does this reticence come from, to assert ourselves, to stand up to bullies, to take on difficult people?

We fear that God is not with us, that we may be doing something wrong, or that we will get in trouble for standing up for ourselves.

This issue of reproach must be put away once and for all:

"11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6: 11)

Any sense of sin, shame, lack, difficult, frustration -- all of this speaks of sin, of the old Adam nature which we no longer identify with. Too many Christians, however, do not understand that they are new creatures in Christ, delivered from death to life and made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5: 17-21)

For this reason, God spoke through the prophet Hosea:

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:" (Hosea 4: 6)

Do not despair, child of God. Instead, grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus (2 Peter 3: 18)

We need to remember what David remembered. Because we have a covenant with the most High God, we need never fear anything hurting us.

We need to stop looking at ourselves, to see whether we measure up or not before God, and then afterwards stand up to other people.

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8: 1; NASB)

We need to see ourselves seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, because when Jesus died on the Cross, he took all our shame, all our death, our sin, our frustration, our emptiness.

When we see ourselves in Christ, that "As He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4: 17), then we reject any sentiments of reproach from within, but instead we allow His grace and truth to minister to us and through  us:

"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (1 Corinthians 15: 10)

Most people struggle with asserting themselves because they are trying to be good, they are trying to make themselves OK.

Jesus became sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ.

He is our God, a God to us in every way, because of the New Covenant which He has cut through the blood of His Son Jesus:

"10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

"11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
"12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 10-12)
God is all about blessing us, He is that Good:
"And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2: 6-7)
Exceeding riches come from God, through His Son. For this reason (which will take us eternity and then some to understand), Paul would write:
"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." (Romans 8: 31-34)
We have a standing of never-ending victory in Christ, and any sense of reproach has been crucified forever in the body of Jesus (Galatians 2: 20-21)
We can speak up, because when we rest in the knowledge that Jesus Christ has paid for everything, and continues to provide all things, we then can let His Spirit lead us to say what needs to be said, to enter boldly into the throne of grace (Hebrews 4: 16), to declare:
"So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." (Hebrews 13: 6)
And above all:
"37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. " (Romans 8: 37)
Know where you are seated, Beloved, and trust that because you receive all things through Him, and know that any shame, fear, or regret no longer belongs to you.
And you can be like Paul and withstand anyone!

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