The snake of shame and its poisonous accusations are shaken off and trodden underfoot in the place of prayer.
Here, in the intimate, warm, embrace of God, the words are heard, “accepted,” worthy,” “whole,” and “holy”.
My creative process is a very simple one. I generally just lift up my voice to ask the Holy Ghost what I should write, and it’s not like there’s necessarily some incredibly massive download from Heaven every time I do that if only. But there’s always a prompt. There’s always something that he will give a nudge that he will offer that will kind of spark that creative fire on the inside to produce something that you can put out into the world. And this morning, my prompt came as I was praying.
I’m kind of reclaiming the early hours of the morning in my new property, carving out a space for prayer. It’s right here in my office, actually, in some ways, I don’t know. I was a little reluctant to kind of use my office for all things, but this may sound really kind of cheesy, but with the right bit of lighting and just creating the right ambience, it’s becoming as well as my work space during the day, in the night and early morning hours. It’s also becoming my prayer space.
And as I was praying this morning, I found myself just pressing in to know more of Jesus.
I’m aware of how distracted our lives can become or my life can become, how caught up in activity it can become.
In fact, I’ve spoken to this a little and written about this a little over the past few days. How kind of swept into wrong ways of measuring can just really kind of throw us off track and take us away from the foundational principles of being in the presence of God and allowing His peace to keep our heart and mind stayed and secure and anchored in him. And if you’ve not already signed up for my weekly newsletter, just jump over to davidleymartin. Com. Drop your first name and email in.
I promise you won’t be spammed forever. You will just receive great encouragement through that, and you can cancel anytime, of course. But last week I spoke very much in the correspondence that I sent out about these wonky metrics that we sometimes find ourselves being measured by or measuring ourselves by and attached to that, I think, and attached to so much of what gets spewed out on the Internet is an invitation to shame.
It’s so pervasive and so prevalent that sometimes we don’t even notice the hook that’s gone in our jaw when we watch the parade of humanity showing off before us as we go through our day and scroll through our feeds. There’s a big difference between blame and shame. I’m not saying that blame is any better than shame in some ways, and there’s a big blame game goes on so often where everyone wants to blame everyone else. It’s not me. It’s them.
That kind of blame really is very unproductive. Blame, on the other hand, when it’s understood correctly, can be very cleansing, blame says and accepts I did wrong. Rightly? Understood. It’s not a bad thing.
It just is accepting our part and confessing our sins. And in doing so, we keep the slate clean and it allows us to walk freely in love and truth and free from that kind of gnawing guilt that sometimes can attach itself to unconfessed sin. And by sin, I just mean anything that is not faith or not love. Just as simple as that sin doesn’t have to be some kind of glaring Commission or omission. It’s just plain flat out, man.
Oh, God, I am so sorry. I did not live and walk and speak by faith in that situation. Lord, I did not act or speak in love in that particular circumstance. But the shame side of things is so different. Whereas blame says I did wrong.
Shame says I am wrong. I am faulty substandard. I’m to be blamed because I’m bad. No amount of impassioned apology will shake shame. And this is it.
Sometimes we can just kind of strap ourselves into that shame vehicle and just spend our whole days just racking ourselves with this piled on guilt. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. And really, it doesn’t lead anywhere because we’re not actually making apology for what we did.
We’re not bringing a specific sin to the throne and saying, God forgive me for this particular action or lack of action, but we’re actually confessing, Lord, I’m bad I’m wrong. I’m sorry for being who I am, and that’s an entirely different thing because God is not looking at you in that way at all. He has taken care of things at the cross and he is looking at you with such incredible compassion. He is looking at you through the cross through the blood of his son Jesus. And he does not see things the way that you maybe see them.
And he certainly does not see things the same way that the world wants to see that the world sees and measures by and steams through. Shame is really it clings to the soul like a chain holding the one who feels shamed to their mistakes. It just attaches us to them and makes it very much as if we are part of them, and they are part of us, that we are one and the same with our failure. And it’s just not true before our eyes, it’ll strap you in like that, like a chain, and then it will pile up the perfections of others before our eyes, or certainly the supposed stock of success and ensure that the shadow of someone else’s magnificence casts its darkness over your already shaky sense of self esteem.
They could be whoever they may be, honestly, that they will change according to what the devil can kind of pull out of the bag. They are so much better than you or you’re just a failure. They whoever they may be, have it all sussed out now when we speak of a pandemic like hitting the nations. But boy, oh, boy, shame is pervasive. It is truly a pandemic.
It’s spread throughout humanity in a way that has so undermined the confidence and the image of God in our brothers and our sisters out there in the world, the humanity largely labours under a heavy blanket of shame. And it’s not meant to be that way. Jesus has come to remove our shame. It really is the stock of hell unleashed on the soul of humanity. And it will tell you, man, you are an underperforming embarrassment.
You’re no good. You’re worthless. All of these things are lies now. Shame seeks to hide the wonder of God’s image behind fig leaves of performance. It shows up in all manner of pretence and dancing for the crowds like a shackled beast, robbed of dignity.
The picture I saw here was some, like great bear, but like on a short chain dancing, beaten and abused.
That’s not the way God wants us to live and not the way God wants us to think or see ourselves or certainly see anyone else. It drives us to hide our light under a bushel, afraid of what others will say. It this short leash that I’m talking about. It just wants to keep you on that firmly tied to your sense of failure or to your mistakes or to your mishaps. And that is something that Jesus has given us an Avenue away from.
Because however short the chain or the leash may be, the devil himself. Not even the devil himself can keep you from the prayer closet.
In the place of prayer, we shake the shame and this morning, as I was in my developing sanctuary here in my office, my early morning refuge, as I seek the face of God, I found myself, honestly, my preclausite is quite an amusing place to be. I’m glad that God told us to pray in secret.
It’s best behind closed doors, honestly, but I found myself shaking myself, shaking my body, shaking my head, stamping my feet quietly because it was like 435 o’clock in the morning. But just saying and praying, I shake it off, I shake it off, I shake it off, I shake it off and it wasn’t just shame. In fact, I can’t lie. There are elements of shame that still try and cling to me, but it’s like all of the things that seek to cling to us. For me.
This morning, as I was shaking it up in the prayer closet, it was really about just focus and concentration on so many other things, prompted by a fear of what’s to come, prompted by a fear of the future, chasing after things, thinking, oh, well, if this doesn’t work and I don’t get this in place and if this doesn’t happen and that doesn’t happen and I’m not able to do this and I don’t make this and I don’t do that, then something awful is going to take place, and I’m not going to be able to or whatever else.
It may be just this kind of locomotive of thoughts that the devil wants to Ram down our throat. So we have no capacity to rest and recover and refresh and revive in the presence of God, where our whole heart is centred upon Him, our whole being is anchored in him. And we find a piece that passes understanding. We come to a place where we’re no longer trying to be someone or go somewhere because we realise we already are someone and we’ve actually already arrived.
This is the place of prayer in a stepping across that threshold into the heavenly sanctuary, coming through the door of the cross, washing in the word, shaves shame fully from the soul. It removes it, it renders it powerless. And as gruesome as this sounds, it is actually very beautiful being bathed in the blood of Jesus. More refreshing than summer rain. Our soul is purged and the Prince of this world, Satan and all of his schemes, whatever they may be, whoever they may be, whatever embodiment they may take, whatever tactic he may use to keep you chained, he is rendered powerless in the presence of God, so pure, so completely Holy, worthy.
We are invited into the Holy place because of the name, because of the blood, because of the word, because of the cross there to fellowship with Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and that snake of shame that wanted to attach its poisonous teeth to us. All of its accusations are shaken off and trodden underfoot. Just as the Scripture said right there at the outset, he might bite your heel. But, boy, oh, boy, there’s one coming. He’s going to tread on his head.
And the devil has been well and truly trodden upon no uncertain terms. And here, like in the intimate, warm embrace of God inside the Holy place, in the sanctuary itself, deep behind the curtain, away from the world and all its wild imaginings and all of its craziness, there is peace and there is quiet and there is rest. And there is refreshing and in the embrace of God, the words that he speaks, accepted, worthy, whole and Holy.
I want to encourage you today to reclaim that place of prayer if it needs to be reclaimed. I want to encourage you today that there is more to discover. And part of my shaking in the sanctuary today was to shake off my thought that this is just the way it is. I can tell you this is not just the way it is. There is so much more to discover in God, so much more that he wants to reveal to your heart so much more.
He wants to give that you will never fear another day in your life. You will never carry that burden for one more second, Jesus is Lord, and he is faithful, and he is wonderful and beautiful and precious and real and wants to meet with you in that place. The Scriptures tell us that he is the Holy high priest of the Heavenly Tabernacle. The sanctuary in the heavenly that you have been invited into. Boy.
Oh, boy. This is such a wonderful day to live in, and God is very much at work among his people. Now, I’ve got a guide to something that I practise called Tabernacle prayer. If you go to Davidleemartin.net/tabernacle-pray-guide, you can pick up a copy of that for free. I promise you, man, it will be a blessing to you.
If you actually practise it, it will blow your spiritual socks off in the best possible way. Hey, God. Bless. You have a great day. And yeah.
See you soon. Well, thanks for listening. Hopefully, it’s been an encouragement to you today. If you want to connect any further, you can do so through my website. Davidleemartin.com
have a great day.