Saturday, January 17, 2009

Shame On You

Nothing sucks the life out of a person like shame. Shame is like a huge accusing cloud that hangs over a person, dripping guilt, condemnation and remorse. The subject of shame is found through out the Scriptures. King David speaks of shame in most of the Psalms. As a Biblical Counselor I was stunned by the number of believers who suffered from emotionally crippling shame. One Pastor spoke with tears flowing down his face about a life time of shame that came from childhood molestation by an uncle. Together we read Isaiah 54:4 and he turned this verse into a prayer "Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth..." He said in that moment the Lord took his shame away. A life time of deep suffering vanished. The stronghold of feeling dirty, defiled and worthlessness disappeared. He took God at his word and surrendered his shame, and all that happened to bring it about, to the Lord. When God created Adam in the Garden He created him perfect. Adam was holy, but his holiness was untested. When Adam fell he experienced fear, he began to shift blame to his wife and to God who created him. He ran and hid, he cover himself. He began to feel guilt and shame. He lost his relationship with God. God's answer to Adams delima was to kill a lamb and cover Adam with the lamb skin. The Lord also promised a coming Savior who would "Crush" the head of Satan. Genesis 3:15. Adams faith in the Lord secured his salvation and restored his fellowship with his heavenly Father. We to need to be cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. The cleansing came in salvation and continues in confession of sin. "Since we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness." I John 1:9. The song writer of old penned these words "What can make me whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus" I have observed in my life that shame makes me ashamed. Paul said "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes..." Romans 1:16. This should cause us to ask several questions. Am I ashamed of the Gospel? Do I shrink away from sharing Christ with others? What am I ashamed of in my life, in my past? How am I going to make it right? Who do I need to forgive or ask forgiveness of? What's causing feelings of shame in my heart right now? Am I willing to turn these events, abuses, bad decisions, missed opportunities, acts of sin, done to me or by me, over to the Lord? Is He calling you to a new level of trust? Do you sense His presence in your life? What is He speaking to you about right now? He and He alone has the power to help you "Forget the shame of your youth..."

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