DOZ Issue 30 April 2018 - Page 7

Daughter of the King S Angela Steele ome of my earliest memories are pleasant. Some are not so pleasant. I had an overall feeling that I was somehow in the way or not worthy of attention. As a young girl, I felt worthless. As I grew into womanhood, I believed lies about God and myself. Anxiety weighed my heart, and uneasiness edged into my mind. Fear cast consuming lies, which attempted to coil me and choke life. Some lies included: “I’m not qualified, and I’ve no idea what I am doing. I sounded stupid. People are better off if I didn’t help. I can’t think on my own. I have to make everyone happy. I’d better make everyone else’s issues the priority, even at my own detriment. No one cares. I’m abandoned.” These thoughts continued for most of my life. I believed lies, bowing to them and accepting them as my identity. Although this low-grade anxiety still tries to grip me, I am on the other side of it. It’s as if, with righteous indignation, I’ve drawn a line in the sand, and although I can see from afar the lies that once crossed my boundary, they cannot touch me, because of Jesus. Recently, in the last few years, Jesus’ true love flooded my heart. I know better now. My focus shifted. Rather than being self-focused, I have become Jesus- focused. Rather than identifying with lies, I am identifying with Jesus’ love. The Bible and the Holy Spirit remind me that God’s acceptance isn’t based on my performance. It’s based on what Christ already promised, provided, and accomplished on the Cross. Even as I write these words, I shake my head in awe and wonder at the simplicity of the Gospel of Good News, which is the story of the Cross of Christ and His Resurrection. My faulty foundation led me to think God’s love fluctuated with my performance. I viewed God as a rule keeper, as if He were more concerned about a list of rules and regulations, rather than a relationship. Fortunately, I realized my performance didn’t dictate His pursuit of my heart. More than anything, He pursues my heart. He wants connection, and true relationship connects. In this divine relationship, Jesus opened my eyes to believe His Truth. “Long before He laid down earth’s foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love.” Ephesians 1:4 MSG “Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.” Ephesians 3:17, 18 Father, what do you say about me? What you say about me is the truest thing about me. Who Christ is in me is the truest thing about me. Help me to see myself the way You see me, through Your eyes of love and acceptance. Help me to see others the way You see them, through Your eyes of love and acceptance. Jesus, I rest in Your love this day, as I turn my focus toward Your kindness and goodness. Thank You for Your love. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen. DOZ Magazine April 2018 7 «