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Kick Up Your Heels And Rejoice!
Discovering the ecstasy of a squeaky clean conscience
By Grantley Morris
Adapted with permission by Talmid Ben

The following assumes you have undergone a spiritual transformation so radical that it is appropriately called being born again. This, the most thrilling and significant experience known to humanity, is so misunderstood that millions walk past it, never imagining the wonders they are missing. If you are unsure about this, it is important to bookmark this page and go straight to You Can Find Love.
 I once enjoyed over a year in high spirits. I had never been so joyful in all my life. Then I crashed into depression. Why? I had previously been focusing solely on Yeshua and delighting in his perfection (which is ours through our union with him). Then I began examining myself and seeing all my failings. Depression snuck in. Upon discovering my mistake, I changed my focus and joy returned.

The transformation worked because it is scriptural. In Messiah is a huge and exciting treasure-trove of delights fitting the category of Philippians 4:8 (whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable Ė if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.) This makes the Scripture four verses earlier (Rejoice in the Lord always) easy. When we look at Yeshua we see beauty, goodness, perfection, love, and every good thing. What a smorgasbord of things to delight in! When we look at ourselves, however, itís a different story. God asks us to focus on him because the benefits are astounding. Notice the instruction is to rejoice in the Lord. There is little in ourselves to rejoice about, but in Yeshua there is an endless array of wondrous things in which to rejoice. Focusing on Yeshua is the secret of endless joy.

What we focus on determines what we become. The more we feast our eyes on Messiah, the more weíll become like him. As we gaze upon the glory of God, says Scripture, we are progressively transformed from one degree of glory to another. (Comment) No wonder Hebrews 12:1-2 urges us to put sin aside and run the race of life, Ďlooking unto Yeshuaí.

It takes effort Ė huge effort Ė to keep our eyes on Yeshua when weíve become so used to examining ourselves all the time. But I assure you, itís worth every bit of effort it takes!

Remember Kefa (Peter) walking on the water. While he was looking at Yeshua and thinking of what Yeshua was doing (Yeshua was walking on water) the impossible was easy. But when Kefa got his eyes off the Lord, he began looking at circumstances and remembered his frailty. Itís hardly surprising that he began to sink. The result wasnít serious, however, because Yeshua was right there. And Yeshua is with you.

Give God a break!

Although it is so easy to become preoccupied with ourselves and our past, it is really a form of selfishness. The union God has with you is deeper than marriage. Who would you rather be married to? Someone who is always withdrawn and miserable, or someone who sparkles with joy? Give God a break! Yeshua is indeed your better half. Focus on him. Every time the shame of your former life flashes into you consciousness, turn it into an opportunity to fall more in love with the God who loved you in your degradation. You were so special to him that his dear Son went through agony to make you pure and undefiled. If he loved you when you were in your filth, how much more certain is it that he delights in you now that he has beautified you, scrubbing you spotlessly clean? When haunted by your guilt-ridden past, donít slink off to a corner and mope. Itís your cue to throw a party, rejoicing in Godís unfathomable love. Rush up to the God who has purified you and fling your arms around him in sheer joy and gratitude. Shower him with love and thanks and awe.

Not Earned, Just Enjoyed!

And donít for one moment imagine you can earn Godís forgiveness by being miserable or by being hard on yourself. Thatís like saying, ĎIf I give you $1,000 will you love me?í You are forgiven because of the immensity of Godís love, not because you could ever do anything to deserve it. You canít earn Godís approval, you can only delight in it.

The Value of Guilt Feelings

When it comes to lizards and spiders my mother is brave, but with birds she crumbles. In a walk-in aviary sheíd be petrified. It would be an awful experience for her, but, of course, sheíd be perfectly safe. Thatís like the worst the Deceiver could do to you. He could give you an unpleasant experience, but nothing more. Whether you are conscious of it or not, you are in the arms of God. Safe.

Moreover those horrible thoughts and feelings are spiritually beneficial. Of immense value, in fact.

Your faith, says Scripture, is infinitely more precious than gold (1 Peter 1:7). Its rewards last for all eternity. It is the most critical factor in the whole Believer's walk. Every gift of God, whether it be salvation, victory over temptation, answered prayer, love, miracles, or whatever, can only be appropriated by this means. Everything hinges on it. The greater your faith, the more heavenís riches are at your disposal. And how can you grow in faith? The same way you grow muscle Ė by using it. You expand your faith by holding on to Godís truth when everything within you seems to scream the opposite. For each moment you hold on, youíre building spiritual muscle Ė growing in faith Ė accumulating spiritual wealth. Itís in the painful times that you develop spiritually, just like itís in the pain of physical exercise that you develop physically.

By putting guilt feelings on you, Satan is falling right into Godís trap, giving you the perfect opportunity to develop the most valuable spiritual asset. Each moment you choose to believe Godís truth rather than the guilt feelings and accusations, you are building your faith, which can be used over and over for the rest of your life to buy spiritual treasures.

So when those guilt feelings come, rejoice!

The two mirrors

The Word of God is like a mirror, says Ya'akov (James) 1:23. As you look into Godís Word you come face to face with reality, and so you begin to see your true beauty. But the devil also has a mirror. In his hand is a horribly cracked and distorted mirror that makes the most beautiful things of God look hideous. He keeps beckoning you to look in his direction, and whenever you do, he flashes his mirror, revealing a grotesque reflection of yourself that makes you cringe. You feel ugly and unlovable. The only solution is to keep looking into the pure mirror of God to see yourself as you really are, resplendent with the beauty of Messiah. Keep looking into that mirror, dear one. The Evil One tries with all the malicious deceit he can muster to fool you into thinking that the way you look in his cracked mirror is the way you look in Godís eyes. And if you really looked like that to God, youíd have every reason to want to shrink from God and the mirror of his Word. You wouldnít want to be reminded of how repulsive you are. But itís all lies! You are beautiful to God. And if you dare gaze into Godís mirror long enough, youíll see how beautiful he has make you. Then youíll rejoice!

These webpages (see below) are designed to entice you to look at Godís word and be amazed at your beauty in Messiah. The Deceiver wonít ease up in flashing his cracked mirror in your direction, so you need to keep coming back to these pages, and to the Scriptures on which they are based, to keep fresh the memory of how beautiful you really look to God.

Hereís some of ways Almighty God sees you:

Precious child.
Holy one.
Enveloped in divine love.
Sparkling clean.
Crystal pure.
Made perfect in Christ Jesus.
Complete and whole.
Filled with glory.
Destined for greatness.

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Not to be sold. © Copyright, 1997, Grantley Morris. Not to be copied in whole or in part without citing this entire paragraph. Many more compassionate, inspiring, sometimes hilarious writings by Grantley Morris available free at the following internet site [Website no longer exists - MAC] Freely you have received, freely give.

Scripture quotations are from the New International Version © Copyright, 1978 by New York International Bible Society

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