For His unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.” – Psalm 103:11-13
A broken life that had truly been redeemed is free. I have often talked about how my shame is planted by guilt, nourished by memories, and watered by secrecy. My heart has many times needed full healing, plain and simple. As you deal with the brokenness of your life you often find the roots of your pain are much deeper than you thought. The Master Gardener was the only One who could truly tend to the roots you dig up. Although I have experienced a lot of victory and breakthrough, certain triggers still occur, and shame seems to always try to rear its ugly head in my life.
I came to know Christ at an early age, but life…well, life happened. I rebelled in my 20’s that while I loved God and wanted to serve God, I didn’t. I was tired, my heart felt heavy…I was exhausted. When I had returned to God’s will around age 28 or so; the Lord’s mercy had once again went before me and as a good Father does, He wanted to deal with an area of my life that was full of guilt and shame. I was carrying a heavy suitcase and didn’t feel I was fully cultivating a good relationship with God, like He had intended. The bag was weighing me down because it contained past regrets, old memories, and fears about my future.
Carrying this around had almost become a habit to me, and I couldn’t even remember the exact time or spot I chose to pick it up. I was moving, but just creeping forward. All this baggage kept me from running the race. To every fruit in our lives, good or bad, there is always a root and I knew this was a deep root God needed to tend to. It was time to drop the bag and run. I sat with God and wept. I told Him I wanted to hand over the shame, every part of it and walk in the life-giving freedom Jesus had died for me to have. I knew God sent His son, a gift, and He was enough. What He did was big enough for me, and brokenness and shame were no longer calling the shots.
This battle I was facing in my mind could only be fought and overcome through applying His Word to every single moment as they came.
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
John 8:10-11 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you? 11 “No, Lord,” she said,…And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
John 8 is one of my favorite New Testament stories. When I read I visualize what I am reading. If we’re honest, we all in a sense can relate to the woman in John 8. While we don’t deal with physical accusers necessarily, many people deal with mental accusations. In this passage, she is caught and exposed in the act of sin by many accusers and brought to center stage for the punishment the law states she deserves. She must have felt so hopeless, embarrassed, so alone.
This exposure was actually her gateway to Grace as she was thrown at the very feet of the One who could not only save her life but save her soul. As the people gathered to stone her, Jesus takes the way of compassion by coming down to her level and writing in the dirt. Here, he quiets her accusers and tells her she is fully forgiven and to go and sin no more. As thoughts of condemnation from your accusers come into your mind come to taunt you, follow the model of Jesus. Answer them with the Word, know you’re forgiven and move forward to live your life with Christ.
The antidote to shame is TRUTH. A formula for shame breaking is found in Psalm 103. David sets the stage and opens up the Psalm acknowledging truth and proclaiming it. He says “Bless the Lord, Oh My Soul, and all the deepest parts of me, BLESS HIS NAME!” And forget not all His benefits. He, who FORGIVES all of your sins and who heals ALL of your diseases. He, who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.”
Psalm 103:11 “For His unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”
This scripture proclaims the LIMITLESS love of God toward us. I once heard a pastor say, “How do you describe a rose to a blind person? How do you describe Handle’s Hallelujah Chorus to a deaf person? How do you describe the thrill of down hill skiing to one who has never walked? How do you describe the impeccable, infinite love of God to impure, finite humans?”
Psalm 103 speaks of this Love. David attempts to portray it with a visual, stating that its higher than the Heavens. He says your sins have been completely removed as far as the East is from the West, meaning they’re untraceable, gone, forgiven. Life changes when instead of running for forgiveness, you run from a place of forgiveness. His Love is unfailing and will chase us all the days of our lives. I’m so grateful for this Love that doesn’t give up! May we accept and receive this free gift today and truly walk in it’s benefits.
Psalm 103:13 “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” Knowing the nature of God is so vital in our walk with Him. We live in the overflow of who we really believe God to be.
This is why it is so important we walk in the Word and believe the Truth. In Matthew Henry’s commentary, he says, “The Scripture says a great deal of the mercy of God, and we all have experienced it. The father pities his children that are weak in knowledge, and teaches them; pities them when they are froward, and bears with them; pities them when they are sick, and comforts them; pities them when they are fallen, and helps them to rise; pities them when they have offended, and, upon their submission, forgives them; pities them when wronged, and rights them: thus the Lord pities those that fear him. See why he pities. He considers the frailty of our bodies, and the folly of our souls, how little we can do, how little we can bear; in all which his compassion appears.”
His mercy and compassion toward us is great, like a father to a child. I want to say, walking without the suitcase has been so much greater. A beautiful exchange took place and I not only put the suitcase down but traded it for better things, like joy, hope, peace, and forgiveness. I pray you receive this Love today, and walk in the fruit that comes from it…true identity, rest and acceptance in Christ. He is for you, He loves you with a love that cannot be measured, and He says to you today, too, BE FREE + GO + RUN and sin no more.” He is for you!