There are two emotional trips the enemy delights in for the children of God: the guilt trip and the power trip. We call them trips because satan’s plan is to take us away from the path we are on by leading us astray. At times, others may be on trips and they try to pull us into theirs. We must remain on our own course. Boundaries are important when we are following the directions of the Lord.
Self-condemnation leads us into a guilt trip. We take responsibility for some situations where we had no control. We keep thinking on the what if and the if only. Regrets bring sorrow and grief. Self-glorification leads to a power trip; we are too proud of what we have done and are prideful. It’s legalistic, self-righteous and glorifies self instead of God. Whether it’s the bad or the good things we focus on, it’s a stumbling block in the midst of our path.
The Lord knows how to bring us back onto the right path, His. With love and care He picks us up from the middle of the wrong road and removes us from our own ways. He leads us on a glory trip, guiding us from glory to glory!
Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.”
As the Spirit of God leads us to move together in unity, competition is eliminated. We are called to complete one another; not compete against each other. Competition can hinder every member of the body from flourishing in the place God has them positioned. In the world, competition is celebrated, but this is not the way of the Kingdom.
We are of one mind, and one accord. We are all one in Christ. We are one body, one family. When one is blessed, we all rejoice. We do not compare our achievements with others because they are not separated; they complete each other. At the pool of Bethesda, Jesus showed us how to handle competition. At that pool, whenever the water was stirred the first one who got in the water would be healed. Jesus went to a lame man who was in the very back, not fighting to get ahead, and he wasn’t helped by others. Jesus told him, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk.’ Jesus didn’t help the lame man be the first one in the pool; He took him out of the competition altogether. What the Lord calls you to do, He will enable you to do, regardless of any opposition expressed through competition.
The Lord tells us to rise up and walk in what He tells us to do, looking unto His spiritual ways. In the natural it may appear as though another person has a position better than ours, but there is always more we don’t know regarding someone’s life. The best position is the one we all have–in Christ. Our desire is to be who He calls us to be, to do what He calls us to do and to rest in knowing how much He loves and values us, from glory to glory!
John 5:7-8 “The sick man answered Him, ‘Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk.’ ”
As we submit to the authority of God, any control that has been exercised in a wrong manner is healed layer by layer. By His Spirit, He reveals these areas to us and helps us recognize and minister to others, as He leads. The safety we find in the Lord helps us trust His ruling in our hearts.
Control is exercised in a wrong way when people put themselves in a place of authority that has not been given to them. They too quickly take over a situation without considering the timing, or other’s input, and assume their directives are the best. They try to get things to go their way, trusting it is the best way and the only way things should be done. Controlling others gives them a sense of value and helps them deal with their own insecurities and fear of failure. In their hearts they reason that if they order the sequences of an event or any happenings, including relationships, they will keep the upper hand and have no unpleasant surprises. Some unexpected hurts have happened in their past, and they feel if they are in control they can insure the hurts won’t happen again.
Only in Christ can we have safety, regain trust and learn to love and be loved in a healthy way. The more we surrender to the Lord, the more we relinquish all control to Him, and the more we are free from the control of others. The freedom we have in the spirit to move forward is no longer restricted. We can let go and let God be and do the impossible, from glory to glory!
1 Peter 5:5 “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ ”
In reaching out to the Lord, we find we have to reach into our hearts and surrender all to Him. As we reach for His hand, He responds with love. He knows our whole being and leads us into the deeper places with Him. He helps us reach places we have closed off because of hurts and pains. When He takes us there, He heals us and fills us with His glory.
God honors our hunger. He gives grace to the humble. With a heart surrendered to Him, we are able to face every area where we need healing. Some of the things we go through lead us to this self-effacing place; face-to-face with our weaknesses where shame, guilt and condemnation may try to harass our souls. In that moment…we know God knows and we receive His forgiveness as a mighty wave of love and glory.
As we yield to the Holy Spirit, we are resisting the devil who has to flee from us. The closer we are to oneness with the Lord, the farther away we are from our enemy. The key is to remain submitted to God. We draw near to God. We take authority over our flesh, the devil and the world. We rejoice knowing He draws near to us, from glory to glory!
James 4:7-8 “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
Comparing ourselves to others is one of the many harmful attitudes of the carnal nature. This can steal our trust, destroy our hope and bring fear. As a child of the most High God we always measure up. We praise God for whom and where we are, and trust Him for everything He is doing in our lives.
We might compare today with our yesterdays, when we thought we had more success and happiness. We might compare our today with our tomorrows, when we believe we will have many more accomplishments. We might compare ourselves with others, with who they are or what they do. Their looks, words and actions might appear more valuable than ours; or we might think ours is more valuable than theirs. We are not to look at the outward appearance. We do not compete with others but complete one another. Our worth is in Christ. We are His. We glory in the Lord!
Our measuring of our spiritual growth will always come short of what it really is. Let’s throw down any carnal measuring tape and trust His spiritual tape! We are called to appreciate and celebrate each moment in the now, leaving the past behind and taking no thought for tomorrow. We measure up, from glory to glory!
2 Corinthians 10:12 “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
As we discover the new creation we have in Christ, we find the Lord giving new life to us so we can walk in who He created us to be. Parts of our self may be hidden under scars we received from various woundings. If we express who we are now, others make fun of us and we end up feeling rejected. This rejection will cause us to reject that part of us as well, and we may keep it hidden.
The Holy Spirit revives individual talents and attributes we were given when we were created as He leads us into our purpose. For example, a man may enjoy cooking, a woman may like to work on cars or any talent that is uncommon and unaccepted by peers. They grew up trying to be somebody else. This man will therefore learn to fix cars and this woman will take care of the cooking, laying aside their God given talents. We might have become what we were not trying to be, allowing others to define us by their expectations. This can result in years of therapy as we learn to identify this stranger, how we got here and who we really are. Only in Christ do we receive total freedom as we hear His truth about ourselves. Areas that were hidden open up in our process of transformation.
Another area of liberty comes in the expression of our hearts. Our sense of humor, joy and dance in our steps come forth as we learn we are not only accepted in the Lord but uniquely and wonderfully made. No one is alike; each one so special and free to be, from glory to glory!
John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”