English: He led them by a pillar of cloud, illustration from a Bible card published between 1896 and 1913 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the book of Exodus the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire was God letting the Hebrews know day and night he was with them on their journey to the Promised Land (13:21, 21). “The cloud and the fire were not merely natural phenomena, they were the vehicle of God’s presence and the visible evidence of his moving and directing his people” (Numbers 9:15-22). This was his assurance to them.
For us, as believers, the Bible is God’s assurance. Something the Israelites did not have. God gives us the Holy Spirit to remind us of what his Word says and to guide us each day (John 14:26). In creation of this message, this is what I needed to remind myself of today.
God has an unusual way of sending confirmation, affirmation, and answers to the things he needs us to see in order that we may see Him when dealing with life challenges. His desire is we not look at our circumstances but look to him when faced with challenges. No matter what you’re facing, be steadfast in your faithfulness to him. Depend solely on Him. Look to God’s Word day and night to know he is with you. Assured his presence in the journey will carry you through.
I’m not perfect. I may be strong, but from time to time I need inspiration and encouragement too to help me grow stronger. I feel like I’m loved even if it’s not by you. I’ve been through a lot but I’m stronger, wiser, better. I survived not because of you. It was because of God’s grace I made it through. Because of his unmerited favor, mercy, and grace I can now witness to others and you.
As soon as I opened my eyes today, tears began to roll from my eyes. And I didn’t even know why. I went to God open, naked, unashamed, and found myself talking to Him revealing my vulnerability. Afterwards taking a deep self-examination and self-reflection of what it is I seem to be missing. Time and time again he has been dealing with me these past few weeks trying to show me the problem I failed to see. I wasn’t ignoring him but instead didn’t understand what he was trying to show me. I didn’t understand the answers he sent to the problem I knew I was having.
Much of my behavior was out of fear of my only wanting to be like everybody else when feeling as though I failed in my attempt to be or act like everyone else. I confessed to him how throughout my life I have always longed to be accepted by others, how I felt the need to feel loved, and how I looked for validation from others in order to feel like I belonged. I often looked for someone to tell me I was pretty even when I felt ugly, to be complimented, patted on the back, or acknowledged for things I would do even when I felt I was inadequate and had not accomplished a thing.
I’ve had low self-esteem and felt I didn’t fit in. Being a twin I seemed to have had second-oldest child syndrome and felt I never had a place or fit in. There was my twin who was the oldest, my brother who was the middle, and my younger sister who was the baby. I was the second oldest who really didn’t have a label. This all tells me something about me. Revealing the very things God needed me to see about me. Glory!
It was not until I listened to the words that came out of my mouth today on my voice recorder, I realized who the problem was; it was me. Failing to see before my talk with God I didn’t need others to validate me. From time to time, looking for compliments I didn’t get. I couldn’t look towards the future because it seemed gloomy, filled with darkness, fear of the unknown, and sadness.
Like a cloud looming over me every day. Yet in my quiet time I heard God’s Word say, “By the day, the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people” (Exodus 13:21, 22). God was in front, on side, and behind me regardless of what I didn’t get or felt I needed from people. Assured God was with me. My confession today freed me.
I thought, even when I’m so broken inside I still try. I try to encourage, motivate, and inspire. I try to inspire others and at times fail to encourage myself. My days feel like nights and my nights feel like days, in search of help. Where I get no sleep at night as if it were day and I sleep during the day as if it were night most of the days. I felt like I was losing my sanity. The past few weeks I had no energy. I was confused at times. I needed a moment like this to clear my mind.
As I poured out my heart to you, I recognized how the enemy was working in my head as I’m talking to you. Making me feel as though my body is dead and my outer shell is a tomb my body exists in. I’m being held captive, bound by my own insecurities, indiscretions, sins. I never felt by some I was genuinely loved, growing up I had difficulty showing love. My sister helped and showed me how to love. People may never appreciate, celebrate, or even like me. I now realize this is something I must let go and release. God loves me. After talking to you today I realize I am loved and really am in a better place. Your love is unconditional. You love me with all my flaws. I am more than a conqueror. I survived the storm.
This is my declaration. This is what I’m going to do. I will let go of past hurts, disappointments, insecurities, and those who I expect too much from too. I will keep my mind stayed on you God. I will make it through as I learn to love and forgive myself as does the Lord. I will stop looking for people to say, “I love you” or “I’m so proud of you.” I will build up my self-esteem and my confidence too. I am a strong person by God’s strength. I am beautiful inside and out. I will make it. I will release all doubts. I will work to change some things about myself that you’ve revealed to me. I have taken a deep self-examination and now see the problem with things about me you have revealed to me. I will be the best I can be and do what pleases you. Every day I will work to bring glory to you.
God, I feel so much better now that I’ve gotten these things off my chest…Until next time, thank you for listening. I know I’m blessed. I need to stop playing with my emotions and not be an emotional wreck. I know you are not through with me yet. The enemy cannot take from me what you’ve already promised me. I know you are always there with me. I may not have pillars of clouds or pillars of fire as the Israelites did, but I have your Word that will lead and guide me from darkness into the light just as they were led.
Lord, I confess. I was a wretch. I have joy! I’m free. I’m blessed!
Be blessed! –JD
John 8:32 “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
- Perfectionist? (auniversallove.com)