Philippians 3:12 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
When I think of an elephant, I think of a mammal that carries with it a quiet confidence. It wanders through forests and savannas searching for food and water without much urgency. If a lion happens to come upon an elephant, the real only concern is for its young, its own personal safety just doesn’t seem to be a concern.
What is it that allows an elephant to carry with it such confidence?
Now, you may ask, what does any of this have to do with perfection?
The elephant isn’t the most graceful of all creatures, it doesn’t have the most beautiful skin, it has no lovely fur, or incredible foliage; it is large, grey, and frumpy. The elephant doesn’t need any of the aforementioned qualities to get by, what it relies on is it’s strength and size.
Philippians 3:3 “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh–“
The outlook we maintain in life can determine our level of confidence. If we think of ourselves as broken, imperfect, unuseable, or even unforgiven, we will limit our perspective as to how God sees us.
The ability to perceive ourselves appropriately is critical because this world continually says otherwise.
What is appropriate you may ask?
Romans 9:20 “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”
If we continually sell ourselves short in regards to what God wants to do through us, we will consistently lack the faith to step out and be obedient. The Lord is building you up into a holy tabernacle, a place that the Lord regards as sacred. Those who have accepted the call of salvation have been filled with the Spirit of God…..He is now your Strength!
If you are still living with the guilt of your past or have listened to and accepted the condemnation of this world, you will live in defeat.
*The position of disregard for who you are in Christ, is based on the false assumption that <God requires perfection>.
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”
What forms of perfection are good to dwell on?
- The peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11)
- The perfection of God’s love. (1 John 4:18)
- The perfect law of liberty. (James 1:25)
- The sanctifying work of the Spirit of God in your life. (Matt. 5:48)
- The perfection of God’s beauty in you. (Hebrews 6:1)
When we walk in obedience, we walk in the perfect path that God has laid before us. When we allow the instruction of the Lord to transform us from pride to reliance on Him, we see the process of sanctification resulting in others seeing Christ in us.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
The Word of God contains all you need to know regarding who you are in Christ. Poor self-image can be a restraining device the enemy uses to limit your ability to be free. Whether it is your physical appearance or spiritual status, you must have a balanced perspective to move forward in strength.
Not everyone wrestles with image issues, for some, the idea is a concern that has never been a point of difficulty. You may have always been affirmed as a child for your looks, you may have been the smartest in class, or had the most success in sports. The troubles arise when all those attributes just aren’t enough. The moment you realize that the variables of success aren’t dependent on any physical trait, anxiety is there to fill the void.
As self-doubt creeps in, so does a reluctance toward obedience. The Lord may show you an area He is asking you to submit in but the fear of what lies ahead is just too much to overcome.
Isaiah 32:17-19 “The work of righteousness will be peace,
And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation,
In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,
Though hail comes down on the forest,
And the city is brought low in humiliation.”
On the other side of self-doubt is peace, freedom, and quiet assurance—-forever!
I hope you can gain confidence in who you are in Christ. It is never you doing the work, it is always the power of God in you completing the process that He began in you. You may not have been considered beautiful, or athletic and you listened to those who put you down throughout your life.
Regardless of what you have done in the past or who you were known as, your identity is no longer in you, but Christ in You. When people rejoice, they rejoice in God’s work and you are simply a conduit for His grace.
You have the ability—that ability is in He who dwells in you and He is waiting for you to trust.