I was reading Luke 4 in my quiet time this morning, and I had an interesting thought while reading this section about the temptation of Jesus in the desert that’s sort of revolutionary. Revolutionary enough that I felt it was worthy of a blog post, even though it has been such a horrendously long time.
Are we people who know who we are? With humility? Are we secure in our identities and in who God made us to be, not feeling the need to prove it to anyone?
“The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Luke 4:3
It is true what Jesus said, that man does not live on bread alone, but I think that part of His ability to resist this temptation was his security in who He was. He didn’t feel the need to prove it to Satan that He was the Son of God: He knew who He was and with an incredible humility, used the words of His Father to rebuke the devil.
How would we live differently, if we knew and accepted who we really are? I know that acceptance like this has been almost impossible for me most of the time. I am dissatisfied. I think if I can just push on and ‘do better next time’, that somehow I can prove myself to be a tree that bears good fruit. And while that desire in itself is not a bad thing, the false belief that I will somehow “arrive” at a place of eternal blossoming success–and the guilt that follows when, of course, I fail–all this comes from an inability to accept myself as Jesus has already accepted me. I am a sinner, who needs a Savior, and Jesus Christ came because of His great love for me, to give me everything I needed.
Sometimes Satan gets under my skin with the pretense of driving me “to do good like the Bible says”, but really, he is just waiting for an opportunity to eat me up alive. The guilt and self-loathing that I experience when I fail is only from this father of lies, not from the God who already knows every sin I have committed, and every sin I will commit, and who loves me anyway. I am not living in the freedom that Christ has purchased for me; I am flying back into the cage.
I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who feels this way. Sometimes, it feels much more convenient to believe that someday I will finally “get it right”, but I am starting to realize that it is not this pressure I lay on myself that will ultimately mold me into a woman of God. Only the freedom that Christ brings can do that. I long to be a woman with the kind of humility Jesus had. I want to accept who I am, a child of God who is beloved in His sight, despite her constant stumbling. If I can’t be perfect, I want to live freely in my imperfection. I want to live with the freedom to admit mistakes, and then–with humility and love–try to make it right again as much as it is up to me.
I just hope I can make this my daily prayer. The liar is very good at luring us believers into this cage of idealistic self-expectations that allows grace for others, but never for ourselves. Today, I am deciding to own who I am–all of it–and to live in the freedom that Jesus so desperately desires to give to me.
Do you know who you are today? I want to encourage you, that if you know who you are and accept what Jesus has already done for you, for me, for all of us–that despite what the liar says about your faults and failures–you will finally begin to live in that freedom, and to truly become the person that God always intended for you to be. As we are rooted in the nutritious soil of scripture and of truth, it is the freedom of the warm sun rays of God’s love, the rain of His instructive spirit, and His necessary pruning, that will make us into trees that produce good fruit.