There are some things you’ll never forget.
For me, a lot of those times are at church and at the altar.
I can remember a few years ago when we had an altar call at my church back home when one of my Church Moms began praying for me. When she was done speaking, she lifted my chin and told me “You don’t have to look down, Child. He wants you to lift your head.”
Last night at Heart Church, the preach was given by Thando and in the message he talked about how we view God can be answered in the question of “How do I think God views me?”
Immediately, this memory came back to mind. My amazement at how far God had brought me was renewed and my spirit refreshed.
You see, my head wasn’t bent low at the altar because of humility, it was because of shame.
Like a dog with his tail between his legs and head stooped mere inches from the ground, I approached the throne of God dressed in fear and uncertainty. I may not have blatantly committed an act against God, but I constantly felt I was a disappointment to Him. That I wasn’t enough.
Many of those negative feelings were an accumulation of years of subtly being told by peers and elders alike that in some way, shape, or form I wasn’t worth it. And each time I went to the altar, I took that burden of insecurity and self-doubt with me.
Can I say how thankful I am for those whose hearts are in tune with the very heartbeat of God? When my Church Mom spoke these words to me, I never returned to the altar the same. I could feel the Holy Spirit releasing me from the chains I had unknowingly put myself in.
He was telling me to look up.
The enemy will come in with his skillfully worded deceit, telling you that keeping your head down in defeat is a sign of humility, something that honors the Lord. But I am here to tell you that shame is NOT the same thing as humility.
Shame is condemnation from the slippery tongue of Satan himself. Shame reminds you of your faults and says they will keep you from ever being of any use to God, that when He sees you He sees you as the world does. Broken, scared, unworthy.
Humility is knowing your imperfect but trusting God’s love doesn’t waver. Humility is seeing yourself through the eyes of the Father, through the eyes of grace. It’s knowing you may not measure up in the sight of the world but that the Lord’s ways are higher.
Our Scripture of the day, Psalm 34:5, reads,
They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed.
When I read the word ‘radiant,’ I can’t help but think of a bride on her wedding day. She knows the man at the end of the aisle is waiting for her with love and joy at the prospect of her arrival. She feels assured of who she is.
When we look to God, we too will be radiant.
Keeping our eyes focused on the ground declares to the world they have the say in our life, that the lies of the enemy hold more value than the truths of our Savior.
Today I pray that you would look to Him and let His love and peace wash over you like a tidal wave. When we look to Him, shame has no room to remain. At the name of Jesus, all fear must flee.
Where are you looking?