Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 129 - Don't Let Lies Keep You From Living in the Fullness of Christ
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #129 – Don’t Let Lies Keep You From Living in the Fullness of Christ
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to seek, find, and follow Jesus together as we live with purposed eternal perspective.
After high school, most of the kids I studied with headed off to college. Although my parents and I never formulated a plan for my continued education, my father always told me he desired me to become a lawyer. Being an attorney was not a profession I would enjoy at all! I wanted to be the next big journalist and interviewer – like Barbara Walters. I could envision myself interviewing everyone – from famous to infamous, especially those no one knew publicly, but were greatly loved by family and friends and influential or impactful in the world. Everyone has a history with intimate stories to tell that inspire and bond most of us together. Despite backgrounds or history, I like to think most of us are more alike than different. I wanted to explore and share those stories.
During my senior year of high school, I did complete some advanced classes, which would have given me high school and college dual credit. Nowadays, families plan and prepare for university years in advance. Back then, my family and I didn’t know how to plan in advance, and we voiced no thoughts about where I would attend college or how I would pay to obtain a degree.
When I discovered I was pregnant that summer, the news changed the direction of my life. No longer did I daydream about ivy league schools or how I’d amaze every Language Arts professor there with my prolific prose that would surely bring rave reviews and awards. Instead, I was faced with telling my parents they would soon be grandparents and I was terrified to share the news I could barely comprehend. I was about to be a mother.
Before I told them, my steady boyfriend and I decided that since we were already planning to get married in the future, we would just do it sooner. Surprisingly, his parents were very supportive, which made it easier to gather the courage to tell my parents and begin to stand up for what I wanted.
In the end, my husband and I hurried to marry before I started showing. He had turned 18 just a month and a half before we were married. I was 17 years old. Although I did not yet know Christ as my Savior, and I was not raised with discussions about the reasons a girl should wait to have sex after marriage, I felt a tremendous amount of guilt. I praise God that my husband and I truly loved each other, although at the time I wasn’t really sure what true and lasting love between a man and a woman was.
Looking back on those early years of our marriage, I can now see ways I wish I would have been able to remove myself from the burden of guilt, but I didn’t know how without Christ.
It wasn’t that I thought about my sin every day. In fact, I was usually happy. I loved my husband and our baby girl when she arrived. Yet, I didn’t live a peace that passes understanding and only comes through relationship with Jesus. As I think back on those years, I can easily remember the emotions and guilt I carried, thinking I wasn’t as good as those who graduated from college or those who remained sexually pure until after marriage.
Happiness isn’t the same as deep and lasting joy. I wonder how much joy I cheated myself out of. What did I miss by allowing lingering thoughts far from what God would have me thinking? Are you missing out on a special life Christ has for you? After I found new life through submission to Jesus and a new life through relationship with Him, I was able to let go of guilt. Now I strive to walk with Him moment by moment. He is present to guide and guard and to protect and provide my every need. He is ready to do exactly the same for you as you are covered by His sacrifice and grace.
Philippians 4:6-8 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Through Jesus, we can live with freedom from sin and guilt.
Because of Christ, we can know and believe the truth, but how do we escape our past and stop living in the bondage of guilt from sin?
I believe there are several feelings that cause us to miss out on the life we could experience through God. Please remember that feelings are important. God allowed us the capacity to feel emotions and thoughts. However, we don’t have to stay stuck in them. It’s important to look at the definition of the word “feelings” to allow us to move past remaining in our emotions. The word “feelings” is described as sentiments, attitude, and opinion or an emotional perception. Keep that definition in mind when you allow words to flow through your mind or define you or your life, so you can process and destroy those feelings that keep you from living in the fullness Christ intends.
Let’s expose some of the “fears” feelings can craft within you:
1. Fear of inadequacy
2. Fear of failure
3. Fear of trust
4. Fear of disappointment
5. Fear of comparison
6. Fear of judgement
7. Fear of separation
8. Fear of hope
9. Fear of positivity
God’s holy Scripture reveals truth to us that is often contrary to what we feel.
2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
When we live by feelings, emotions, experiences, and comparisons, we rely on self. It’s similar to the Old Testament practice of keeping laws and traditions or relying on ceremonies. But those formalities pointed the way to Christ. They expose our need for Him. Because of Jesus and the Holy Spirit alive within believers, freedom from sin and guilt is provided freely. When we trust in Jesus, the burden of pleasing Him is removed. The inevitable guilt is gone. We will always fall short of perfection, but by trusting our lives to Jesus, we find that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Christ enables us to look to Him and be renewed each moment.
Ephesians 3:14-21 says, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Let’s examine the difference in our life before and after Christ.
In our life before Christ we are:
1. Against God
2. Dead in sin
3. World and flesh followers
4. Under bondage to Satan
5. Victims of our thoughts and feelings
In our life after Christ, He lives within us, and we are:
1. God’s child
2. Reborn through Christ
3. Following Jesus’s truths
4. Freed through Jesus
5. Living in fullness and freedom
The fullness of God can only be known through Christ. Through Jesus and the Holy Spirit alive within us, we are complete. God love reaches within every corner and crevice of our being. His love and forgiveness is deep and wide, immersing within where we think He won’t look or could love and extending far beyond us. It is high and low, reaching above and below what we deserve, expect, or imagine. As we live for Him daily, reliant on Him, we are transformed moment by moment. Scripture, faith, prayers, and obedience keep us connected to the Holy Spirit who fills every need we carry and allows us to experience freedom and fullness. Commit to believe, follow, and claim the Lord Jesus. Every single moment.
Galatians 5:1says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
1 Peter 2:16 says, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”
Dear Heavenly Father, Your steadfast love surrounds and abounds within us. We welcome You and the Holy Spirit to cover and complete us. According to Your promises, we have hope and peace in the fullness of life that comes from You. Help us keep Your laws and obey Your truths and purpose for us because we live fully within the freedom only found through You. Help us to delight in Your commands and meditate on Your statutes because we adore time in Your presence. Enable us to let go of bondage of sin or guilt and rely on You to pull us from the depth of self-reliance and into Your sacrificial love and presence. Help us to believe and build a life on Your truths. May Your word not be contrary to what we believe because our mind and heart are fixed on You. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
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Remember, if we are not purposed in knowing Jesus ourselves and showing Him to the next generation, the world will direct them away from Christ. Live With Eternal Perspective helps us to find, trust, and follow Christ more intimately. Purposed Parent/Connected Child shares biblical, practical truths for parents and grandparents to influence and mentor Christ over culture.
I pray that what you hear on this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.