Mental Health & Renewing your Mind (Part 4)
In Ephesians chapter 6 where it talks about the armour of God, it says, “Put on the breastplate of righteousness.” But the translation in the Living Bible says, “Put on the breastplate of God’s approval.” Part of your armour that God gave you to withstand the attacks of the enemy is to walk around knowing that God – your heavenly Father approves of you!
If God accepts and approves you – then you can accept and approve yourself!
It’s only when we discover our identity in Christ that we are able to untie ourselves from worldly standards and seeking for worldly acceptance.
You also need to believe in the same words that God spoke over Jesus – “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3 v 17). You are His beloved son in whom He is well pleased! You are His beloved daughter in whom He is well pleased! God wants you to realize that you are pleasing to Him just as you are. The devil tries to keep telling you that you are not good enough, but God is telling you that you have always been more than enough! You are His beloved child who is well pleasing to Him. The devil tries to tell you that you cannot possibly be acceptable to God because you are not perfect, but God tells you that you are accepted and loved. Not because of what you have done or will do – but because of what He has already done for you.
You see… The world operates on performance. You need to do certain things, achieve certain things, look a certain way, act a certain way – to be accepted.
But God says, no My child. I accept of you. I approve you. Despite all of your faults, despite your past, despite of the standards of the world. I chose you and I approve you! God’s acceptance is not performance based! Neither is His love. God Himself is Love and He has already accepted you. We don’t get accepted or rejected by God as a result of our works. Luckily not – we get accepted by God because of what He has already done for us through Jesus Christ on the cross. We can never make our way to heaven by doing good things. Works without faith is dead and so is faith without works.
When you accept Christ as your Savior, not when your parents took you to church for the first time. When you accept God, is when you make the conscious choice to follow God – then, He clothes you in righteousness. Through God you get to a place of being morally right / justifiable / righteous. You get to a place of being in right standing with God.
The world is driven by performance. But God says in His Word (John 17:14-19) that although we are living in this world, we are not of this world. The world may be performance driven orientated. But we are called to be set apart. We are called to be different. We are called to find our identity in Christ instead of searching for an identity in the world.
It’s only through our faith in Jesus Christ (not through our works) that we can come into right standing with God. Unless we get to the point where we realise that we can never earn God’s acceptance, love and approval other than through faith – we will continue to live in the carnal minded performance-based lifestyle. You already have God’s approval, acceptance and love. You simply need to accept it!
The world has the trend of self-love in order to gain self-acceptance. But God says love Me. Don’t love yourself. God asks of us to lay ourselves down. To die to oneself in order that we can take up the everlasting life through Him! The worldly performance driven lifestyle is the lifestyle of self-love. Telling yourself that you are good enough, you are accepted because you do this this and this. Or you are practicing self-love because you are coping with all the things your facing. When God clearly ask of us to come to His feet! To cast down all of our burdens, lay it down at His feet. Trusting Him for an outcome, because we can rest in knowing that He already knows what lies ahead.
Self-love is teaching us to accept ourselves as flawed individuals. Accepting the fact that we are running a race that might kill us but we’ll endure it.
Self-acceptance on the other hand, is reaching a point where you come to know your identity in Christ. Where you realise that the worldly rush, the performance driveness will leave you empty and void. That God already accepts of you – just the way you are. Without any titles, without any performance. He chose you then and He still chooses you today.
You are the only one standing in your way. Not the world. Not a friend or family member. YOU! No one else but you can make the decision to finally give up the desires of the flesh. It doesn’t mean that you won’t make mistakes in the future and that you will live a perfect life from here on forward. But your mind will be renewed. You will come to know that God loves you for who you are in Christ, and not for what you do. And realising that will set you free!