“It’s all your fault,” gloated Guilt, dancing cruelly around me while the accusations continued. “It’s your own fault that you got such a bad grade while others in your class got A’s. It’s your own fault that your friends are talking behind your back. It’s your own fault that you missed that shot. You know you didn’t read your Bible today. And you gossiped again today. You’re a terrible person! You have to work harder! You have to do better!”
“Take His hand,” urged Innocence, gently pleading with me to follow. “Let Him show you the way. Only walk with Him and let Him show you how to be successful.”
“Who are you to think anyone will like you, let alone love you,” whispered Shame scornfully, slithering around, its words piercing into the places I was so careful to guard. “You know as well as I do that if people could see who you really are, they would leave you in an instant. If they could see your secret thoughts, your secret dreams and fears, they would run away as fast as they could. Don’t let them see. It’s better if you pretend to be someone else.”
“Look at what He has for you!” exalted Honor with contagious enthusiasm, flying with me to places beyond my imagination. “Look at these beautiful things – a perfect fit for the beautiful personality God has given you – for the wonderful, amazing person He has created you to be! Look at the admiration He has for you and wants others to have for you as well! Oh, how He’s waiting to show you to the world!”
“Don’t go!” screamed Fear in panic, grasping onto my arms and roughly pulling me back down to earth with its iron grip. “What if He doesn’t really like you? What if He does like you and then decides later that He doesn’t? What if He leaves you somewhere and you get so lost you can’t find your way back? What if He yells at you and punishes you because you’re not who He thought you were? What if others see you and hurt you? What if you fall again? Don’t take the risk!”
“Do not be afraid!” rejoiced Freedom, easily scaring Fear into submission and then laughing with joy as I looked in wonder at my liberated hands. “Let His perfect love get rid of all that fear! Walk confident in His love! Enjoy the freedom to dance and be ridiculous and be whoever you want to be because of His love within you!”
“You’re mine!” shrieked Death, suddenly and desperately reaching up to capture me with a sharp clawed hand. “I win! I always win!”
Then Jesus came and casually trod down Death with His Life.
There is a battle raging, both sides seeking to influence our hearts, souls, and minds. One side seeks to bring us down; the other seeks to give us wings.
Think about each of the characters: guilt, innocence, shame, honor, fear, freedom, death, life.
When have you experienced each of those in your life? Which ones do you find yourself believing more often? Is one easier to believe than the other? Why do you think that is?
Even the Lord’s greatest prophets struggled in this battle. One of them described his experience in this way:
You have moved my soul far from peace; I have forgotten prosperity. And I said, “My strength and my hope have perished from the Lord.” Remember my affliction and roaming, the bitterness and the gall. My soul still remembers and sinks within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:17-24 (NKJV)
Spend the rest of this time reading, thinking, and praying about the following verses:
Psalms 103:2-4, 12, 139:14; Isaiah 61:1-3; Jeremiah 29:11, 31:3; Matthew 5:3-11, John 10:10; Acts 2:27; Romans 3:23, 5:1, 8:1, 15, 38-29; I Corinthians 2:9; II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 3:14-21, Titus 2:14; James 4:7; I John 1:9