Even now my head is held high above my enemies on every side!
Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy. One of the ways we can be our own enemy is to put ourselves down by thinking we may not be pretty or smart. We might say to ourselves that what we do in our job or ministry doesn’t matter. We think that we aren’t helping anyone. We become jealous of others or angry when we are hurt, and we may want to get even in some way. There are many ways in which we can be our own worst enemy.
One of the other enemies we have is our culture. Our society says we have to be beautiful, stay young, get ahead in life, have many material things and get as much money as possible. Having fame and the approval of others is considered important, and this sometimes leads to violence, which is touted as routine on television and in the movies. Compassion is rarely seen; instead, promiscuous sex takes its place. I am not saying there are no positive aspects to our culture, but these weaknesses are also certainly present. We are bombarded by commercials and advertisements to buy more and more things.
How do we hold our head high and follow Jesus when faced with these “enemies?” We simply look at who we are through God’s eyes. We see ourselves in the way God sees us. Our lives will take a whole new perspective, if we do this. God see our hearts. Deep in our hearts, we yearn for love. That yearning for love is a yearning for a close relationship with God. We have a deep longing to be with our Creator. I encourage you to take this issue to prayer today, and see if you have this deep longing within you. I believe one of the reasons we feel this way is because God is the true home of our soul and of our whole being. Since God is our Creator, He is home to us. Only in God can we see our true calling and realize how many of the things our culture actually mean nothing, but only cause much misery, self hate and doubt. As we pray more often, our relationship with God grows, and we realize something awesome. We become conscious that we are God’s beloved daughter or son.
Think of what it means to be God’s beloved child. It is an intimate and loving relationship we have with him. No matter how loving our parents can be, God’s love is much deeper, because He knows everything about us. I say this because, as humans, our own parents are not perfect, whereas God is faultless.
When I say God knows everything about us, we may become afraid and think, I don’t know if I am comfortable having God know my deepest secrets and weaknesses. How could God really know me, and still call me His beloved child? God knows we are human. After all, He made us! We don’t have to hide or be afraid of bringing any concern to Him. We don’t even have to speak, yet He knows how we feel and what is going on in our life. That alone should comfort us. When we talk to another person, we search for words to explain our situation, how we are handling it and how it makes us feel. With God, none of that is necessary.
Before I go to sleep each night, I spread my arms as a gesture of opening everything to God, and surrendering my life to Him. I give my all to God'”even my very private self.
How does this insight of giving ourselves to God help us hold our head up high, above our enemies? If we surrender to God and devote everything we are, do, and have to Him, the expectations and lure of possessions, fame, and money mean nothing to us. Our only focus is the realization that we are God’s beloved child. Then, we can share the love we have received to others. We can’t help but share it! God’s love is meant to be given away.
If we are loved that deeply by God, we can then love ourselves in a healthy way. After all, the Bible says to love God, our neighbor and ourselves. We are able to look at our weaknesses and change the things we can change and accept the things we need to accept, just like the Serenity Prayer recommends. We can be honest with ourselves, and we don’t have to hide from our challenges, like pride, self-importance, being unforgiving, and so on. I believe that, when we are open with ourselves, God smiles at us and says, “It’s okay. I know you are human.”