by Tad Lindley
It is extremely important that you read Part 1 of this series in order to get the full impact. If you missed it and you cannot locate a copy of last week’s Delta Discovery, Part 1 can be found on the paper’s website at DeltaDiscovery.com
How about you?
Oftentimes our vision of ourselves is diminished by our past. Many of us were physically, emotionally, or sexually abused. The memories replay, and shame haunts our pillow almost nightly. Perhaps we have tried to push it away with alcohol or “medical” marijuana, but it won’t go away no matter how much we drink or smoke. We sober up, and there it is again. We try to move forward in life, but perhaps an ex-husband or ex-wife reaches out to remind us what a worthless piece of humanity we are (can I be real for a moment? Maybe it’s your current husband or wife doing it to you). Reminders of the sins of younger years rise up and we see ourselves as little people. We tell ourselves, “I could never do anything great for God”, “I could never teach Sunday school or preach a sermon”, “Everyone knows about the time I…” and so on.
All the time, they were the giants
What the 10 spies did not know is that while they were seeing themselves through the Ircinrraq Filter, the people living in the promised land were seeing them as giants. Forty years later Joshua sent 2 spies into the land. This time they interviewed a woman in the city of Jericho. She described in vivid detail how the people of the land viewed the Israelites: Fear of you has fallen on us; everyone in the land is terrified at the thought of you. We’ve heard how Adonai dried up the water in the Sea of Suf for you, when you left Egypt…as soon as we heard it, our hearts failed us. Because of you, everyone is in a state of depression. (Joshua 2:9-11 CJB) It turns out that victory had been there all along for the Israelites, but the spirit of fear and the self-condemnation of the Ircinrraq Filter had literally crippled them.
God sees beyond the filter
You see yourself as small, but God sees you as so much more. For while we were still helpless, at the right time, the Messiah died on behalf of ungodly people…but God demonstrates his own love for us in that the Messiah died for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:6,8 CJB) You say, “But Bro. Lindley, I committed (circle one) adultery, murder, witchcraft, gossip, dishonesty, fear, rage, cursing, laziness, fornication, cross-dressing, homosexual acts etc.” So did a whole bunch of people, but now it’s time to move on from that.
Taking off the filter
True, if you are living with a man you are not married to and you go up and sing a special at church or take communion, you are shaming Jesus. True, if you were stumbling around town last week drunk, and this week you’re on social media telling people if they aren’t using the King James Version of the English Bible then they’re going straight to hell. People will judge you. God will judge you. Taking off the filter starts with repentance. That means we walk away from sinful behavior (with his help). John the Baptist described it like this: Bring forth fruits meet for repentance (Matthew 3:8).
Wash it all away
Then we get baptized in the name of Jesus. In the beginning, Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38) Why did Jesus pick repentance, water baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost? I cannot pretend to understand God. What I do know is that I am obedient to his word, then his promises will follow. That though I once hated who I was, perceiving myself as a worthless piece of humanity, I now am completely comfortable in my own skin. God has created a new creature in me. If you have not experienced the liberation of Acts 2:38 salvation, don’t hold back. Chuck your Ircinrraq Filter in the trash and wash away your sins calling upon his name!
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.