Pastor Gregory Dickow is holding his second fast from negative thinking. I didn't know about the first one, but I am participating in the second one. He sends an email each day with the thought we are fasting from. If you are interested, click here.
I really identified with today's fast. It is a thought I have struggled with from time to time. Here is what he says:
Today, we are fasting from the thought: “I feel like a fake; I feel like a hypocrite.”
For centuries, the devil has been weaving defeat and condemnation into people’s minds by getting them to feel like they’re not really saved, or they’re saved, but they’re not the person they pretend to be in public. Stop letting the devil rob you of your joy and peace through this lie.
We all at times have felt like hypocrites. We say we believe, then we sometimes doubt. We say we love God, but feel at times numb. We are supposed to “walk in love,” but we feel like hurting someone sometimes. Anybody been there besides me?
Paul the apostle knew this battle, and today we’re going to join him in victory.
He said, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.” (Romans 7:18)
Here is the secret to overcoming the feeling that you are a hypocrite or a fake:
1. Recognize the battle that you’re in. Your spirit (inner man) is holy and wants to do what’s right. Your flesh, however, doesn’t. One translation said, “I have the desire to do what’s right, but I cannot carry it out.” Jesus also said, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) Before we’re done, your spirit is going to win this battle!
2. Realize that you’re not alone in the battle. EVERYONE deals with this. The fact that you realize you want to obey God, but are honest enough to admit you often fail, is NOT hypocrisy. It’s “truth in your innermost being.” (Psalm 51:6) The part of you that doesn’t want to obey God is not the real you – it’s your flesh.
3. Don’t worry about what other people think of you. Only the “self-righteous” think they have it all together. They think they are better than you. They think that you’re weak and they’re strong. But truly honest and humble people realize the battle and understand your struggle. Look to Jesus as your High Priest. That means, He goes to God with His blood, and says, “Father, this one has been cleansed by My blood. This is your child, and they are holy NOW because they are washed.” He goes to the Father on our behalf and paves the way for us to be forgiven, accepted and righteous—IN HIM. Also, Hebrews 4:15 says, “We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things, AS WE ARE, yet without sin.”
4. Take off the mask. You don’t have to be “Miss Perfect” or “Miss Never-look-flustered” or “Mr. Always has it together.” There’s something liberating to just be able to be transparent, and not have to pretend you have it all together. That doesn’t mean, you go out and sin deliberately. It doesn’t mean you throw all caution to the wind. It means, you humbly admit, like Paul the apostle in Romans 7:19, “For the good which I have a mind to do, I do not: but the evil which I have no mind to do, that I end up doing.” He’s not making a bad confession here. He’s making an honest one. THEN...
5. Declare your victory in Christ! Romans 7:22-23 Message Translation says, “I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.”
6. It’s ok to need a Savior! Paul asked: Who can deliver me from this condition? Romans 7:25 says, “The answer, thank God, is that JESUS CHIRST CAN AND DOES...”
7. We walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says you can serve God, now, even when you feel like a fake. Believe what God says about you, and don’t bow down to what your flesh and the devil try to tell you about your weaknesses, contradictions and mistakes.
THINK IT & SAY IT:
I recognize that I am in a battle between my spirit and my flesh. I will no longer give into the lie that I’m a fake or a hypocrite. I have a flesh trying to control me; but my spirit truly wants to obey God. I yield today, to my spirit, by yielding to GOD’S WORD.
Jesus Christ has delivered me from the wickedness of my past and my flesh. I am forgiven. Everything in me that doesn’t want to obey God IS NOT THE REAL ME. The real me is made in the image of God, and is more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ my Lord!
Let’s talk more tomorrow!