Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0245
This message is a challenge to us to face our weaknesses, and to know that we can trust Jesus with every area of our life. He knows us through and through and came to give us life and life more abundantly (John 10:10) so that we can live in the victory that He has purchased for us through His death, burial and resurrection. He is alive right now to help us to overcome those things that hinder us from being the people He desires us to be. He wants to be Lord of our life so we can have the benefits of all that He has provided for us. Do we know Jesus right now better than ever before? Is He indeed “Number One,” or do we fit Him in with other priorities we may have in our lives? May the following message help you to press in closer to Him, to live daily with the knowledge and assurance that Jesus does all things well, and has provided the way for you and me to have the best life of all with Him. But it only happens through a total commitment to Him and His purposes for us. We must run to win the race! Do not put-off until tomorrow what God has called us to do today!
BEING VULNERABLE FOR CHRIST
By Tania Francis (Paraparaumu, New Zealand).
What does the word vulnerable mean? According to Collins English Dictionary it means ‘someone who is weak and without protection’. The Cambridge English Dictionary says vulnerable is ‘able to be easily physically, emotionally, or mentally hurt, influenced, or attacked’. The last thing any of us want to be is vulnerable. We want to be strong and do all we can to protect ourselves. Any time we have been vulnerable in our lives and been hurt, we may make an inner vow consciously (or unconsciously) to never allow ourselves to be vulnerable again.
The Lord showed me recently that I had made this vow as a child. I did all I could to protect myself. I wanted to be in control always. If I was out of control it was a scary place. We may build ‘walls of protection’ around ourselves and not allow anyone in ~ including Jesus. We need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable for Christ. Being vulnerable for Christ means giving Him those areas of vulnerability, trusting Him to protect them. It is about letting Him in and fully trusting in His ability to take care of us ~ better than our own ability. We need to allow ourselves to be weak in Him ~ without protection ~ so He can become our strength and protection.
This is what the Lord spoke to me one day:
- What is it that you hold on to more than Jesus?
- What is the thing you have that causes you to depend on it, rather than having full trust, confidence and dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ?
- Yourself! You depend on yourself and your own ability more than you depend on Jesus.
- You have to let go of self.
We need to relinquish those walls of protection ~ and our means of self-protection ~ to Christ so we can ‘let go and let God’. This was one of the biggest blockages to my walk in God. I could not let go. I would hand over control to God and then take it back again when I got too scared, or felt vulnerable.
HANDING OVER CONTROL TO GOD
What does handing over control to God look like? When we pray as Jesus did – “Not my will be done, but Yours”. Our whole purpose in God is to glorify Jesus and to save souls. The decisions we make for ourselves should first and foremost be about the Kingdom of God. We need to be making decisions that will give Jesus the ultimate glory. Most of the time the decisions we make are about us and our well-being. Jesus once told me that when we put Him first, He will then put us first. The problem with not handing over control is that when we are putting ourselves in control it ties the hands of God in regard to many situations in our life. We may end up taking paths that ultimately don’t fully glorify Jesus as He ought to be glorified. At the end of the day He is in control of all things – but by taking it off Him we are ultimately blocking His will and entering into our own will.
A true disciple is one who chooses God over self and self-needs. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything else will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). When we do this, God will supply our needs and, ultimately we end up with our needs met, His needs met and many souls saved. The problem is we sometimes are in such a state wanting our needs met that we become so focussed on how to find freedom, that we take control, do not wait on God and end up ‘running around in circles’ trying to find our answers.
Bible Readings: Romans 12:1-2 1 Corinthians 10:13 Proverbs 3:5-6
Prayer: “Father God, in Jesus’ name I repent for any inner vows, consciously or unconsciously, in which I declared I would not allow myself to ever be vulnerable again. I let go and allow myself to be vulnerable to You, Lord Jesus Christ. I allow You to take me to that place where I am no longer in control of the outcome, and have no choice but to hand it over to You. In the handing over I ask that I would see Your unfailing love and protection. You promise to never give us more than we can handle. You know the areas in my life that, if they were breached, would seriously compromise the relationship between You and me.
If there are any areas in my life that are open to being vulnerable to the enemy, I ask that You would reveal them to me so I can hand them over to You, and You can put Your strength and protection over them. I want to live and breathe Psalm 91 where I am under the shelter of Your wings, and in that place where nothing can harm me. Once every area of vulnerability in my life is handed over to You, Lord Jesus, there will be no area of access left that is available to the enemy. I ask that You would continue to show me Your heart so I can ‘see’ You and see that there is nothing in Your heart but love for me. Thank You for showing me Your heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen”.