I was surprised when God revealed to me a partial eclipse in my relationship with him. Partial eclipses are harder to recognize because the light is still shining, it is just dimmer. I was surprised because I thought I had come so far in my faith, I had been walking with God a long time. I believed in who he said he was and what he said he could do. Yet, I knew it was true; something was missing.
God began digging up the truth by giving me an image of myself. I pictured myself trudging up a hill carrying a big sack on my back. That sack was full of guilt, shame, self-doubt, and insecurity. I wasn’t living in the freedom that the New Testament claims for believers in Christ. “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” (Galatians 5:1 NLT)
When God gave me that image of myself, I asked him to show me why I was so burdened. He began to unpack all the lies I was believing about myself. I had bought into the lie that my relationship with Christ was based on my performance. “Doing” for Jesus became my law. But because of my health issues, I could no longer perform like I thought I should. I felt guilty about even having fibromyalgia, assuming it was my fault because I lived under such stress for so long. I listened to the voices in my head that said I wasn’t measuring up. I wasn’t doing enough for God. I wasn’t doing enough for my family.
I could bury the guilt and the voices for a while. It wasn’t like I walked around depressed all the time. Most of the time, I wasn’t even aware of the sack on my back. I thought the Son was shining brightly in my life. But a heavy sack eventually causes the carrier to get tired, especially when trials cause the climb to get even steeper. I needed to put my burden down. But how?
God began to show me how to unload that heavy sack off my back. I had to view myself as he does. He showed me what the gospel has done for me and who I truly am in Christ. God illuminated Romans 8:1, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (NLT) I had heard so many condemning voices in my head for so long. God challenged me to believe that, because of Jesus, I am truly free from condemnation of any kind.
Now, I rehearse in the mirror who I am because of my new birth. I am a child of God, a beloved disciple of Christ, free from condemnation, holy and blameless in his sight. It isn’t always easy to convince myself. I slip into my old thinking, listening to those condemning voices again. It is still a spiritual battle. The Holy Spirit keeps helping me grasp the truth of who I am and it sets me free! I am filled with his fruit, experiencing more peace, love, and joy than ever before.
So, is the Son shining brightly in your life? Are you producing the fruit of the Spirit? Are you experiencing freedom in Christ? Ask God to show you if there are any areas of unbelief that are partially or totally eclipsing your relationship with him. Let’s walk in freedom and let the Son shine fully in our lives!