Recently I was led to listen to a specific worship session and at the end, Paul Manwaring – a pastor affiliated with Bethel Church, California- came on to close off the service. He began to minister into this dreaded five-letter word called: SHAME. As he ministered, something stirred in my own spirit, that I too am struggling with shame. A fresh realization hit me that the enemy has been and is still currently using shame to hold me back and prevent me from walking in the full and abundant life that Papa God has ordained for me.
Some background information
Before this revelation, if you had asked me if I thought that I am struggling with shame, I would have probably answered with confident assurance… Me? … No, I don’t think shame is one of my struggles!! I am fully aware of many other areas that require work in my life but I would not have considered shame to be one of those areas.
Let us look at what SHAME is according to the Merriam -Webster Dictionary:
“A painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.
A condition of humiliating disgrace or that brings censure or reproach.
Something to be regretted”
The definition of SHAME according to Paul Manwaring (This is one I really like):
“Shame tells you, who and what you are not and it keeps you from the ONE voice who can tell you who you really are.
Shame also makes us believe that we are less than…”
This specific definition of shame is what brought me to a revelation that there is a shame issue in my own heart and life. It made me realize that the enemy is keeping me in a place of bondage, as I am believing the lies that he is throwing at me. This, in turn, is holding me back from all that God has ordained for me and it is definitely preventing me from stepping into fullness. You see shame holds us back and hinders our ability to move forward. Shame is so subtle so we are not always able to recognize it but we need to know that it is definitely NOT of God!
Here are a few lies that the enemy has used in my own life:
- You are not good enough at XYZ
- You are not deserving enough
- You are not thin enough
- You are not worthy enough
- You are not a good enough writer and there are others that write so much better, so why bother to write at all?
- You are not creative enough
- You are not talented enough
This list above only consists of a few of the lies that the enemy uses but there are many others that can be added to the list. This list may look a bit different for each one but as long as the enemy can use these lies and accusations against us, it will hinder our progress. I am reminded of all the times I have looked around and weighed my value against somebody else’s standard or opinion. Many of us may look to the world, to find our worth and value but this leaves us feeling ashamed or unworthy. It often leaves us in a place of feeling as if we do not measure up!
Jesus is able to shatter our shame
Here is something to ponder as it is truly amazing… Where others have cast us out of their stories, JESUS, the King of the universe has cast us into HIS STORY and that alone is ENOUGH! As we begin to fix our eyes on the one who is worthy, who is Jesus, we begin to be transformed into His image and likeness. This scripture sums it up so well, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18). We then begin to see from the Lord’s perspective and the lies that we have believed and partnered with will begin to melt away. Yes, we might not have all the answers but we know the one who does. Jesus is the only one who can pour out His truth over us and this shatters and covers the nakedness of our shame.
Here are some of God’s truths that He pours out upon our lives:
- I am worthy because He calls me worthy (Colossians 1:12)
- I am His beloved (Song of Songs 6:3)
- I am a child of God (John 1:12)
- I am loved (Romans 8:38-39)
- I am beautiful (Song of Songs 4:7)
- I have been redeemed (Isaiah 43:1)
- I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)
A kingdom story
As children of God, we have been cast into a “kingdom story”. It looks very different to the world’s way of doing things and often may even look upside down but know that each of us has a lead role to play in this “kingdom story”. The Lord himself writes each of our stories and it is perfect in every way. I can assure you that each of our stories will look very different as we are created uniquely and therefore our journeys will be a demonstration of the Father’s authenticity. You do not have to act like or be like anyone else! God really wants you to be the best “YOU” that you can be as He is all about “original” design. Jesus wants to set us free from shame, so release it to Him today and watch as you begin to live your best life yet.
P.S. Be assured that nothing that you have done, is too big or too bad for God. He wants to come and redeem those areas in our lives as well.
If you are struggling with shame, here is a prayer that you can pray:
Lord Jesus, I acknowledge today that I am struggling with shame. Please forgive me for partnering with a spirit of shame and the lie that I am not enough. Today, I choose to partner with your truth that I am worthy and that you have an amazing plan and purpose for my life. Holy Spirit, please begin to show me how you see me so that I can replace these lies that I partnered with, with your truths. In Jesus Name I pray this, Amen!