You...are not worthy.
You...are not enough.
You.. are not beautiful.
You...are too far gone for Christ's grace.
Do these haunting words sound all too familiar to anyone else but me? At some point in every one of our lives, we are plagued by these perpetual lies, sometimes in just a nagging, annoying manner, other times incessantly. Somehow, someway, these lies enter our minds, flood down to our hearts, and infect our spirit.
Baking is one of my outlets for creativity, and this past December I got crafty by starting to decorate cupcakes in a more...professional way than just slopping it on there like I usually do. I was trying to make the perfect red buttercream frosting for these candy cane cookies, but it involved adding red food coloring. Loads of it. As clumsy as I am, I just had this tiny feeling that red food coloring was going to end up everywhere BUT the frosting, and goodness was I right. Without fail, I got distracted (shocker) and spilled the bottle all over my hands and apron. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed, but that dye wasn't going anywhere. My hands were stained, my apron permanently emblazoned with my mistake. Now, this may not sound like a big deal to some of you, but for the bakers out there, getting dye off your hands can be a pain in the neck. Oh, and you wasted half a bottle of food coloring, throwing money down the drain. Good one.
I think we all have to handle some form of "red food dye" in our lives. For me, the red food dye is the lies that Satan relishes whispering to me. I cannot avoid the lies, they're going to come...but I can handle them carefully, by handing them over to Christ. His hands are steady, where mine are shaky. His eyes are set, where mine wander. His focus is centered, where mine is scattered. We are perfectly inadequate without Christ, yet time and time again we think we can handle the ingredients of our lives on our own.
"We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort...For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." Philippians 3:3, 4:12Part of giving Christ the power to handle our lives involves trust, which stems from faith in who He is. How often we forget not just how powerful He is, but how much He wants to fight for us. Ephesians 6 talks about how we can tap into His power-
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
I don't know about you, but I'm so sick of giving Satan false victory over my heart, soul, and life. "Anyone that belongs to Christ has become a new person- the old life has gone, the new has begun." (2 Cor. 5:17). The battle has already been WON for you by Christ dying on the cross, and being raised to life just three days later. If He can have victory over death, He will have victory over your struggles. It starts with us giving Him the chance to have victory though. It starts with prayer, just talking to Him and learning more about who He is, His power, His grace, and His perfect love. And it starts with handing Him the bottle of red dye and saying, "Lord, I trust you to handle this."
It's a continual work in progress, but I'm learning to appreciate that moving forward is better than staying still.
"Don't worry about anything, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."