Barrier Breaker

Who constructed that barrier that's holding you back? There's a good chance you face a barrier that is not constructed by God. Yes, God will block us at times, but more often we face barriers that are not of God at all.

Barriers of fear, shame, blame, and deception are more often the cause of us getting spiritually stalled out. There is one barrier breaker and he left behind a document that crushes half truths and lies. We need to tear down everything "raised up against the knowledge of God". Taking thoughts captive that have frozen us in our tracks will crush barriers and allow us to walk forward in Christ's confidence.

II Corinthians 10:4-5

(Check out this little video...it proves how much potential God has placed in us)

Don't Let Shame Steal Another Minute Of Your Life

Nothing much seems to crush our spirit like shame. While shame is universally experienced it is rarely discussed. And then it slowly eats away at our very life. Shame steals our vision, clouds our perspective, and turns out the lights on our fellowship with God. And the goal of shame is to stay hidden.

But shame has a voice and it uses that voice to manipulate us. The voice of shame says, "don't talk about me, because the pain will get stronger and the weight will just get heavier". Shame talks us into doing anything and everything, as long as we don't do the most important thing. Shame compels us to rationalize or project, explain or blame but never does shame want us to get near to the most important thing. 

There is only one thing to do...period. Confess! Confession is the action that most renders shame powerless. Shame wants us to shut it up, God invites us to speak it out. But confession must be done thoroughly-biblically. Touch all the needed bases and soon we'll walk free. 

Confess to:

GOD - When we confess to God we're off-loading all our sin. Our sin is the host from which shame grows. Confession of sin results in forgiveness and forgiveness starves shame. The greatest gift of confession is that it's cleansing. Confession is like a shower for our soul. Please see I John 1:9. 

RIGHTEOUS FRIENDS - One of the greatest break-throughs we can gain, happens when we confess our failings to righteous friends. These aren't self-righteous people, but rather friends who have tasted God's grace, are unwilling to gossip, are quick to pray, and eager to watch us taste freedom ourselves. We need to take God at his word...confession promotes healing! Please see James 5:16.

Don't let shame steal another minute of your life...confess!

Death To Shame

Nothing is so widely experienced and so universally hidden as Shame. Shame stings from the shadows, it's like arsenic to our soul! The Committee (Satan and demons) has mastered the process of collecting and storing up our personal sins, feelings of always doing or saying the wrong things, painful labels pinned on us and unbearable events from our past. Then at the very moment that our soul flickers with sense of hope, The Committee opens that vial with our name on it and dispenses a small dose of shame. One strategically placed drop can dampen the beginnings of joy. Shame clouds God's vision for a richer future and hope is swallowed up by a sense of our failure or inadequacy. Here's some great news, all of this has God more than a little ticked off. God grieves over your shame...and He hates what it's doing to you. Hang on, how God deals with it is nothing less than wild and amazing!

Secrecy is shames strength and isolation is the cousin of secrecy. Shame may be impacting your entire life or just a particular area of your life but shame needs to be forced from the shadows. Get this in your hands: Shame can't hide if you refuse to participate! The greatest invitation of God is to "draw near", step out from the dark, drag shame with you, and give it to God. Now watch God work! He grabs a bucket of true Holy water. God "washes our body" and even does a deep cleanse or our "evil conscience". But he's not done. God ceremonially takes all that is impure and "treads it under His foot". There's more. He gathers up the crushed sin puts it in a sack, ties the sack to a large rock, and pitches it "into the depths of the sea". God then asks us "do you see that"...we say "NO, I can't see anything". Just then we look back over our shoulder to catch a glimpse of God–He's just smiling and nodding. What a mind blowing, soul liberating and deeply loving Father!

Take a risk. The moments of trembling with your first step into the light will be drowned out by waves of God's peace. Now your life is germinating in the soil of grace. Joy begins to grow and just when you see another threat coming your way, raise this shout at enemy armies, "I have set my face like a flint, and I know I will not be put to shame". Never underestimate two important things about God: How much he loves you and how much he grieves over your shame. There will be plenty of times when shame tries to return but God hoses us down with His cleansing yet again. Funny thing, God keeps repeating that sin stomp and sack toss into the deepest seas. If it seems like God gets a kick out of striking a death blow to shame it's because He really does. Step forward right now, "hold fast the confession of our hope", God's shower of grace is overwhelming!

Heb. 10:19-23, Micah 7:19, Is. 50:7

God Can Handle Our Shame

Shame is a killer. It paralyzes us spiritually, haunts us emotionally, and can even wreck havoc with us physically. But God! The movement of God into our life is no half-measure or band-aid. While shame is a killer, God sent Jesus to deal a fatal blow to the shame we carry. If you listen closely to the voice of God, you can detect God's contempt for the shame that has weighed us down. Yes, shame is a killer, but Jesus came, died, and rose again to liberate his children from the taunting/debilitating voices of shame. 

When drowning in shame we just need to start sipping on this truth:

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

That's it! The most profound, and often most under leveraged truth, is that God not only forgives us, he cleanses us. Let's take God as his word. The sticky residue of sin is shame, and God takes up a holy fire hose to wash it away. So listen to God closely and you'll hear him say: "I flushed it. All the shame of sin has been taken care of. Don't even let memories shame you another day. I flushed it all." So start sipping and then gulping. Shame is no match for the fire hose of God.

So we have to deal with another little matter. Some shame isn't a result of our sin, but we can get seared and branded with shame from something or someone else. Shame can be burned into us from a sharp tongue. Shame can can even brand us from an unsafe home, foolish "friends" or any memory that has etched a place in our inner man. Shame tries to deny us our birthright. Shame longs for us to never really understand who we are in Christ and how God sees us. But God wants to clean that up as well and he even re-branded us. How clear is this? "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." That's it. You've been branded as God's kid. It's settled so settle into your new identity, today. 

I John 1:9

Deep And Wide...God's Love Is Mind Blowing

God's love is so comprehensive, it's just plain tough to comprehend! Jesus is so unlike us, that without faith it's impossible to please God or even get our minds around God. It's easy to believe that God's love is extended to others, but we question whether it can truly touch us. The song many of us learned as little kids is right - God's love is "deep and wide". But many still stand of the shores of this river of love - it's a concept but not a living reality.

People stand in a couple different camps when is comes to missing out on God's love: 1. Some stand shaking a fist and rejecting the love of God. Some of us can't stop loving ourselves and the life we're building (no matter how pitiful it may be). BTW, we can be both active religiously and actively rebellious at the same time. 2. Some of us stand shaking in our pain and rejecting God's love because of shame. We just don't believe. Getting our mind around the fact that God really wants to wrap his love around us is almost unbelievable. 

But the thing that made Jesus legit to his earliest followers was the depth and width of his love! Imagine how thrilled John the Baptist was to learn (just before his beheading) that this Jesus was for real. Jesus had street cred. His reputation then, lives on today. Here's just a sliver God's mind blowing love...and it's for you:

  • Don't know where you're really going? God's love pries open eyes.
  • Feel like you can't keep up with life? God's love helps you to walk strong.
  • Is your past sin making you feel untouchable? God's love can clean everything.
  • Having a hard time hearing anything but condemnation? God's love is a voice of hope.
  • Believe you're lifeless and a totally lost cause? God's love blows life into dead things.
  • Do you think you're too low to touch the best? Gods love reaches with riches to the poor.

Right now! Ask God to give you courage to believe him for ALL of his mind blowing love...it's deep and wide.

Matt. 11:2-6