Monday, March 10, 2014

Grasping for Affirmation

I don't know if you believe God speaks through dreams.  He did it in the Bible so there is no reason in my mind to question if He would speak to His children in this day through dreams.  I cannot say it has happened to me often, but it has happened and I believe it happened again a couple weeks ago.

I thought I was fine.  I thought I had overcome a fear I had for 30 years of my life, the fear of rejection.  I felt secure...well, in certain situations and around certain people.  The truth was that my security was founded on shaky ground.  I had begun to find my security, not on the Rock of my Lord Jesus, but in leadership, position and works.  At church, I was respected and had influence.  However, what would happen if that position was stripped away and the influence I thought I had was unveiled as a shallow wispy foundation of security.

Jesus revealed the truth.  My position was gone and those who I thought loved me and respected me were vapors of affirmation who could not longer be grasped.  In fact, the more I reached out to obtain any kind of affirmation from these ghosts, the more futile the effort. It was like reaching for air that could not be held.   I had to come to terms with the fact that I had been rejected, perhaps not because of myself, but because of other reasons I am not able to understand.  However, the reason does not matter as much as the result.

For months I mourned the loss:  the loss of relationships;  the loss of influence;  the loss of position;  the loss of security; and the loss of affirmation.

The foundation of my flimsy security had been uncovered, and I was falling.

Fear gripped me.  Anxiety over the need for affirmation from others seemed unbearable at times.  I had done nothing wrong, yet I felt like a dog rejected, desperate for a friend, anxious to be affirmed and shown love and care.

In reality, I had friends who loved me.  I also had a wonderful husband who would hang the moon for me and three children who adore their Mommy.

But, the accuser highlights what is lacking and echoes our conscience with lies. When we are low, it is easy to forget all the good and become consumed with the negative if we are not wise to his tactics.  We are emotional beings, which is God ordained, but the enemy also uses those emotions against us.

After months of feeling rejected and living with fear, through much prayer, God intervened.  For all those months, He was always so sweet to me, but I couldn't get past what others had done or the rejection.

In the end of December/beginning of January, God reminded me of all I had.  He reminded me of the good friends I have and have had for quite a while.  He reminded me of all my blessings.  He spoke loud and precise through His actions. He hushed the negative voices of the enemy.

However, I still felt the need for affirmation from others.  There were times it would seem as if my breath was quenched and my chest would ache for the need of it.  Then God.

As I stated at the beginning of this post, I had a dream.  Friends, I cannot know for certain that this dream was from God, but I will let you read it and decided for yourselves what you think.

 In this dream,  I was sitting next to a man.  He was talking to me about the need for affirmation.  He wasn't speaking to me as if I needed to hear it, but rather in general terms.  He said that when we look to others for affirmation, that we are placing them as idols above God.  I sat there next to the man and what he said gripped me and I pondered it.  It was as if I knew I was in a dream and wondering if this was a message for me.  I knew to pay attention to what this man said.

I woke up remembering the dream and what the man had said and wondered what it all meant.

"When we look to others for affirmation, we are placing them as idols above God." 

Wow, what a statement!  Was it true?  Was it accurate?

Well, after some thought, I have come to conclude that it is truth.  When we based our security and worth on what others say or think about us rather than what God says about us, we are in some ways saying that what others think or even our perception of what they think outweighs what God says about us.  Isn't that placing them above God?  Please hear me, I am not condemning you if you struggle with fear of rejection or insecurity.  I am only pointing out what I think God has revealed to me because of my struggle with it.  I am right there with you and I need this as much as anyone!

Oh my sweet friends, God doesn't condemn us.  He reveals His truth to us to draw us closer to Him so we can live free in His power and grace.

Maybe it is just me, but if you struggle with this, I want to invite you to pray this prayer with me (and if you don't struggle with it...awesome!  Maybe you can just pray for those of us who do.) : )

Father, we first ask for forgiveness for the ways we have put what others think above Your Truth.  We ask for forgiveness for placing others in a position of idols. Help us overcome all fear.  We pray for the Truth of Your love and acceptance to outweigh any fear of rejection or need for affirmation.  May our affirmation and security rest solely on You, Your love, and Your Word.  We pray that You would grant us according to the riches of Your glory, that we would be strengthened with might by Your Spirit  in our inner man, that we would be rooted and grounded in love, that we may know the breadth, length, depth and height of the love of Christ which passes knowledge and fill us with the fullness of You.  In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

Power Verses:  

"For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ." Galations 1:10

"There was no end of all the people over whom he was made king;
Yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him.
Surely this also is vanity and grasping for the wind." Ecclesiastes 4:16

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:3-6 (emphasis added)

Related Posts:  Rejection {Part 1}

                           Rejection {Part 2}

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