I mentioned in my post yesterday that my fear has been replaced with confidence. Not confidence in myself, but confidence in God.
With the loss of fear comes the loss of worrying about what others might think of me. God has been teaching me that the only opinion that matters is His and I KNOW his opinion of me. He thinks I’m awesome, and beautiful, and talented…
… and HIS!
Not so long ago, I worried about fully divulging my testimony. I worried that the ‘sordid details’ of my past might influence how others view me. I’ve suffered greatly in the past from that incessant malady known as ‘people-pleasing’. I wanted everyone to like me, and the fear that someone would find out too much about me was debilitating.
But, I’ve come to realize it’s not debilitating to me, but debilitating to God. And I’m becoming less concerned about whether people will like me and more concerned about whether they love God!
Satan has been telling me over the years to shut my mouth! The last thing he wants is for God’s Glory to be revealed in my life. He’d much rather keep me in the dark, mouth closed, muddling through a life enslaved to him in chains of shame, regret, fear and guilt.
I spent years revealing only parts of my testimony… the parts I felt safe to share. I taught in a Christian high school and I would share my testimony, but always with the caveat to keep it quiet. I was afraid that they’d tell others about my alcoholism without the part about what God did in my life. I was afraid I could lose my job, or worse, be judged. So, I hesitated and balked at sharing just how powerfully God has moved in my life. I stifled God.
I shut my mouth.
There is nothing worse than keeping secrets. The stress of trying to keep details about your life from coming out is the worst kind of bondage. And Satan knows it. He’s well aware that fear will keep us from bringing things into the light, so he whispers those things we dread…
… you’re a loser!
… you have no right to say anything to anyone!
… what will people think?
… If anyone ever knew the truth about you…
I’ve been thinking about my situation right now and all the losses I’ve incurred. I know they are not of God, but I also know that God will allow circumstances to happen… He allows Satan to mess with me if it’s for my good and for God’s plan. And I have to chuckle because Satan’s tricks have worked on me before. Many times, he’s gotten me to a place where I was completely ineffective for God… shut down, shut out, with my mouth SHUT! That’s his greatest desire and tool: preventing the power, and glory, and love of God to shine in this world through the testimony and lives of God’s children. Satan works day and night to make sure we are quiet… through shame, through guilt, through regret.
It didn’t work this time with me! I will not shut up. I will not hide. I will not keep my life secret. Because if I do… I’m turning my back on God!
‘If God is for me, who can be against me?’ (Romans 8:31)
So too bad for you, Satan… your little scheme backfired. And I can hear God chuckling right along with me, and the angels are singing and high-fiving each other… because their girl, Pam, will not shut her mouth!
Instead, I say to Satan, and all his little friends…
… you Shut YOUR mouth!!