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March 24, 2010

God Aware, Not Self Aware!

God on the water  

Greetings, Dear Friends!

Susie Larson here...

And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. Each month I give away a $10.00 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog. For the months of March AND April I will give away away a gift card and a couple of copies of my new book, "Growing Grateful Kids."  And it's time to announce the winners for March. Drum roll, please...

Alisha Hughes - A copy of Growing Grateful Kids

Lisa Nishimura - A copy of Growing Grateful Kids

Heather (don't know last name - posted March 16) - A $10.00 gift card to Starbucks.

Congratulations to you! Please send me an email with your mailing address and we'll get the books and gift card out within the next 7-10 days.

To the rest of you, leave a post, share an insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a fun treat next month!

A Quick Note:

I am thrilled to announce the release of my next book: Growing Grateful Kids: Teaching Them to Appreciate an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Places." Let me tell you, I am excited about the message in this book. If you have children at home (or grandchildren you want to influence spiritually), order a copy today. I do believe this book will equip you to parent from a spiritual perspective (but it's loaded with lots of practical application). You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll be inspired and encouraged (that was my goal, anyway). :) 

Now, on to my topic...

I am excited about what I have to share with you today!

If you've read my recent weekly posts, you know I am in a season of learning about a new gear in grace. Grace for salvation is one thing (and what a blessed thing it is), but grace to live and to do the extraordinary is something more altogether. 

This spring speaking season for me is one of intensity, demand, and constant work. In between events and even between sessions I have battled some major fatigue, but whenever it is time to step up, God surprises me with a fresh infilling of strength, clarity, and boldness. Over and over again comes the whisper across my heart, "My power is perfected in your weakness." This has been the song of my heart for the past several weeks. 

What happens when we get weary? We become self-aware. We look down. We notice gravity. The older I get, the more gravity bothers me. I am so not thrilled about what happens to your skin when you get older! But even on a more important level, when we are weary, it's easy to notice how far we fall short and how feeble our efforts can be. These kinds of perspectives keep us chained to an earthbound existence. 

The other day I read Romans 8:1-2 and though I've seen it a thousand times before, it about knocked me over. There is now therefore, NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has SET ME FREE from the law of sin and death. 

If we are in Christ Jesus, there IS NO condemnation in us! No root, no weed, no seed (unless we allow it to be there). We have a blood-bought right to be FREE of condemnation! Which means we are free to be God-aware and not self aware!

This morning I was getting ready to go work out and I looked in the mirror and frowned at a few of the things that have been bothering me about myself. Just like that the Holy Spirit whispered across my heart, "Stop looking at yourself!" And let me tell you, those were words straight from heaven!

We'll never get anywhere or do anything significant as long as our gaze remains fixed on ourselves! 

Are you more sin-aware than God aware? Are you still counting your sins and feeling the weight of their debt? Because Jesus has cleared the slate! They are GONE! You are FREE to skip and jump and run and celebrate a debt that is no more!

Read this wonderful poem by W.N. Tomkins:

Reach my blest Savior first, take Him from God's esteem; 

Prove Jesus bears one spot of sin, then tell me I'm unclean.

Love that. When the enemy holds up your account, you point to the cross! Shout out, "Look at Jesus, my risen Lord, and just try and tell me I'm unclean! He took my sin and now I am clean! I am the righteousness of God in Christ! I am an heir of God!" 

Are you more self-aware than God aware? Do your thoughts roam to the size of your thighs or your inability to organize, more than they do the majesty and the abilities of Almighty God? Lord, help us to lift our chin and look up.

Read this great excerpt from my 'Believer's Bible Commentary":

(Comparing the law of sin and death to life in Christ Jesus):

It's like the law of gravity. When you throw a ball into the air, it comes back down because it is heavier than the air it displaces. A living bird is also heavier than the air it displaces, but when you toss it up in the air, it flies away. The law of LIFE in the bird overcomes the law of gravity. So, the Holy Spirit supplies the risen life of the Lord Jesus, making the believer free from the law of sin and death." (p. 1708).

The law of LIFE in Christ Jesus overcomes the weight of our sins and our humanity!

Lord, help us to comprehend what You've offered us here. You've set us free from condemnation, from self-awareness, and from the law of sin and death. Though this is true, it will never affect and impact our lives when we embrace unbelief and when we insist on looking more at ourselves than we look at You. It doesn't matter if we are weak or small or human - You made us this way - and You've purposed to show Yourself strong and mighty on our behalf! You desire to do the extraordinary in and through us! Have Your way, oh Lord! Break through our affinity for gravity and lift us up by Your grace. Help us to rise up with wings like eagles that we might live from an other-worldly perspective. Help us to draw from Your resources that we may look for and be expectant of supernatural results. In Your Name, we pray, Amen. 

What a gift God has given us! Our slate is clean, we have supernatural assistance every moment of the day, and we have an engaged, intimate Father who is with us every step of the way. This is the stuff of miracles.

You give ME Your shield of victory. Your right hand sustains ME. You stoop down to make ME great (Psalm 18:35). 

Amazing love.

Until next week~

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Comments

Laura,

You nailed it perfectly when you wrote, " I find the moment I stop the condemnation and meditate on Christ's love for me, a smile just mysteriously appears on my face! :)" Love that, love that! Focusing on our badness only makes us self-aware; focusing on His goodness and the finished work of Christ makes us grateful, hopeful, and free. Yes, Lord.

I appreciate your sharing this. I have been working on being more Christ-focused in my life as a mom to 3 young kids and feeling like I am never enough for them or my husband. keeping my focus on Christ has been helping me deconstruct idols that have taken my focus off of him and left me empty. Your words were encouraging to me today. Thank you. I find the moment I stop the condemnation and meditate on Christ's love for me, a smile just mysteriously appears on my face! : )

Dear Anonymous Friend,

You are SO right, continuous inward introspection, or outward comparison will only drain us of our strength, joy, and perspective. May we continue to identify ourselves with His love. Oh, to be linked with Him is the greatest gift of all. Bless you~

Oh, dear Holly,

You paint the exact picture I was trying to convey; when we over-look at our flaws and faults, they bury us. But when we embrace the finished work on the Cross, we are give the gift of an upward glance; of fresh mercies; of a clean slate; and of His precious presence and promises. I do pray as you continue to affirm God's love for you that His love becomes tangible and real to you! The Word says that we must 'know this love' because THEN 'we will be filled to fullness of God.' May we know His love more and more. Bless you.

Rebecca,

All I can say is this: Preach it, sister!

What is God preparing you for??? I think He is readying you for something significant. Thanks for so faithfully sharing the things God is giving you. Bless you, sister!

Dear Anna,

So glad you enjoyed the 'Growing Grateful Kids' message! That was a sweet night. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Many blessings to you!

Jessica,

Thanks for your post. Yes, we are blessed the moment we recognize our need, but if I stay focused there too long, I start to sink. In our weakness He truly is strong; in our need, He is our provision. Bless you!

"Christ in me, the hope of Glory" should not be paraphrased by us to say, "How good I am is my hope of glory!"

And if we have died with Christ, and are raised with Him how much more should we focus our time, devotional life, and worship life on pursuing with passion what God calls us to do each day.

Yet, if we hate ourselves, and mull over mistakes, and compare ourselves to others; where will the energy come to do God's calling?

How joyful can we make the heart of God by trusting His Word in every way? By truly forgiving, truly loving, truly caring for those who have no defender?

Let's all try our best to find the grace God gives us, and when we all meet in Heaven we can share our answers!

;)

Your post was just what I needed this morning! I used to think becoming self-aware was something to strive for, but somewhere along the line I went over the edge and my self awareness is crushing me like waves over and over again, beating me to death! I so appreciated listening to you at Hearts at Home when you said that you had to tell yourself that God loves you. Last night was a particularly crushing time of self-awareness for me (fed by the enemy of my soul) and I just went to bed repeating "You love me, You love me" over and over agian. I've been so consumed with my faults, it's time to look somewhere else! Thanks for the reminder and encouragement. How awesome that God knew I would read this today and it was what I needed! He does love me!

Revelations 12:11
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

Lets hang onto our testimonies, what Jesus has done in our lives.
I love that you mention looking in the mirror and hearing the spirit say stop looking at yourself- a word for all of us. I thought about the verse in Revelation 22:4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
Do we realize that if we are in Christ God has put His name on our forehead? That was powerful to me! Now I can boldly say there is now no condemnation because He has covered me with His blood!

Praise God that He gave you the verse in 2 Corinthians 12:9- and you are experiencing that power! We serve a God that will never leave us nor forsake us!

Thank you for sharing your heart Susie. I pray that everyone will walk in freedom from guilt and condemnation after reading this. To God be the glory!! You're in my daily prayer journal~

I heard you speak tonight at Wooddale. I just wanted to say thank you! Your message was so simple, yet so inspiring. Much of what you said rings true with me. I really want to be a parent that grows grateful kids. I know God wanted me to be there tonight to hear your message. I will be striving to implement the key points you spoke about. Keep up the great work!

Becoming self aware of our weaknesses can also be a delight - I'm drawn to 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Christ's power rests upon us in our weaknesses.

Okay, Jessica,
I think I have to print out your post and put in on my mirror (and read it every day). :)
Wow, what an encouragement and a boldly-stated blessing! I receive it, in Jesus' Name! Thank you so very much for taking the time to encourage me. I am truly humbled and grateful!
Thank you~

Alisha,

Everyone needs an encourager in their corner like you! Bless your heart and thank you so much. As the external shell continues to age, I will embrace the inner beauty that God is cultivating in me. Thanks so much for the reminder. I needed that today. :)

Dear Sweet Stephanie,

I am so glad you stopped by today! Keep reminding yourself that there is NO condemnation in you because Christ is in you! You have a clean slate, a white robe, and a debt paid. You don't have to keep paying it. You don't have to walk on eggshells. You are free, forgiven, loved, and treasured. Embrace it with everything in you and live from that place. He will be your perfect peace. Besides, even though the enemy would love to convince you that he can take old fears and make them new threats, God IS doing a NEW THING in your midst. Look for Him and turn a deaf ear to that wretched enemy. Love you.

Dear Pam,

It sounds like you are walking through a season of awakening. God is calling you out of what you've always known and into a land of healing and God-awareness. Sometimes it's a little uncomfortable for our souls to wake up (kind of like when your foot falls asleep and then blood starts flowing again). But ultimately, if you want to move to the places He has for you, we have to look up and trust Him. You are beautiful and treasured to Him. That was hard for me to embrace about myself so many years ago, but I was desperate enough to have to take the leap of faith to believe it. Since then, everything has changed. May you be bold enough to take that same leap of faith.
Bless you, sister~

Melanie,

You are right! Heaven will be glorious and we'll see Jesus face to face! May we live now in such a way that we are daily expectant of His return; daily looking up.
Bless you~

Woman...You ARE BEAUTIFUL in SO many ways; dripping with Grace, filled with the Spirit, Glowing in Wisdom! Your style is current, your build is strong, your smile is infectious; your message and sharing bold and inspiring. Focus on these things that are TRUE! Be blessed for the blessings you are building and sharing with others for the spirit brings beauty in ways beyond the world! ;)

The goal is to be God-aware, not self-aware. I do understand that, and my intention is not to continually point the attention to you, Susie, but I must say, "You're the most beautiful person I have ever met". While I am sure that taking care of your physical body as well as you do plays a big part in that, I truly think it is your God-enriched soul that radiates. So, having said that, when you are wrinkled and gray, it is my calculation that you will be even more beautiful than you are now.

Well, I just have to say that this is exactly what I needed to hear today. God is doing amazing things in my life, but I constantly battle perfectionism. I get so afraid that if I mess up in some way those who love me will choose not to love me anymore. But there is NO condemnation! God, MY Savior, loves me unconditionally and has made me quirks and all. My security must rest in Him and not what people think. Jesus lived the perfect life so that I would not have to! Praise the Lord for a clean slate! Rejoicing in this truth makes my heart sing with joy!
Thank you for this gift of the Word today!

I like this entry. I started reading your book The Uncommon Woman, its very good, and very challenging. Am I up to the challenge of becoming uncommon? It would be life changing, for sure. But am i happiest in my "known" world, or do I throw off the blanket of the familiar and expose myself to the endless (and scary) world that God wants to work with me in?? Even as walking in shame and guilt is sad, its familiar. Like an old pair of pants that dont fit anymore, but still, they are familiar and comforting, and I have had them FOREVER. I dont know how to behave if I am not wearing them. Who am I?
I just don't know yet if I am ready for the challenge. I guess I will keep reading.

Wow, that's good. Self-awareness is indeed DEATH. My favorite thing about looking forward to heaven is knowing that there will be no more self-awareness. What could be better than THAT? That's true freedom indeed. Thanks for helping to lift my eyes up today, Susie!

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