Reindeer Games | Refuse to Disqualify Yourself

I. To disqualify yourself means to give into shame.

Shame is: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.
•    Shame can keep you from being close to God.
•    Shame convinces you to give up.
•    Shame destroys our hope for a better future!
•    Guilt is something you did. Shame is about who you are. 

Our enemy loves to shame us. Accuse us.

Revelation 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth the one who accuses them before our God day and night.

•    He is not so much about temptation, even though he is good at it. He is all about shame. Not temptation but accusation. The idea you are something because you did something.
•    Shame can’t change you, only grace can. We can’t shame people into holiness.
•    Refuse to give into shame. Refuse to disqualify yourself.

That’s why God gives us the gift of conviction!

•    Conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit where a person is able to see himself as God sees him.
•    Conviction in the believer brings an awareness of sin and results in repentance, confession, and cleansing.
•    The Holy Spirit brings conviction not shame.

John 14:26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

•    The Holy Spirit will teach you and remind you of who you are. The advocate is a defender. The opposite of the accuser.
•    Conviction is a gift that says I want to change this together.
•    How can I tell the difference?  Shame makes you hide from God. Conviction draws you to him.

Is your shame causing you to disqualify yourself? Is it keeping you on the sidelines? One of the things we say around here is your past is not your past if it’s still impacting your present. But who we were yesterday doesn’t have to limit who we can be today!” It is true that the best predictor of our future is, in fact, our past. What we have done in the past is probably what we will do in the future unless there have been some big changes, some monumental transformation. But the good news of the Gospel is: who we were yesterday doesn’t have to limit who we can be today! Listen that is what Jesus is about. Making you a new creature.

II. A King's Shame

In the lineage of Jesus laid out in Matthew is a King named David

•    If you know the life of David, you know David had accomplished great things. 
•    Killed goliath. Fought with great success against the enemies of Israel
•    He was so good, so full of integrity the people loved him. They trusted him.

He becomes King and fell hard.

•    His resume included great success, but his resume also included great failure, devastating mistakes. 
•    He committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband Uriah to cover it up. 
•    God convicted David, and David discovered the power, the purpose and the process of this thing called confession.
He wrote about this journey from conviction to confession to forgiveness in Psalm 32.  

Psalm 32:1-7 Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! 2 Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! 3 When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. 4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. 5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. 6 Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. 7 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.

David understood our most fundamental problem is a spiritual one.  

 •    "The way to find blessing is by being forgiven."
•    We dare not miss the fact that David ends this prayer of confession, not with despair, not with discouragement, not with depression, not with self-doubt and shame. He ends with joy.  Vs. 7 - For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.

The problem is the moments you need to pray the most are the moments you feel unworthy to pray. Those are the moments when you need to respond to conviction with confession. God, I agree with you. I was wrong. There is no story in the world like the story of redemption, and it can be your story. From the very moment humanity fell into sin, God’s plan, God’s passion has been to redeem us and restore us to the life for which we are made.

III. Three P’s of shame that can reveal to us that we have been sidelined.

1. Personal
•    Shame takes what you did and tells you that’s who you are. It does not tell you did wrong, but that you are wrong.

2. Permanent
•    I will always do this thing because that’s who I am. I cannot change. I will always be what I am right now.

3. Pervasive
•    I mess up everything. There is no part of me that will not eventually fail.

IV. Throw off the lies of the accuser.

The redemption story always begins with… But God

•    There are literally hundreds of verses that have “but God” in both the Old and New Testaments:

Here’s the one I love.

Ephesians 2:2-6 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. 4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.

•    Once we were dead in sin, BUT GOD made us alive! Once we were captive to our past, BUT GOD made us free! Once we were unworthy, BUT GOD has promised to spend eternity unwrapping the riches of his grace and kindness toward us!

Jesus didn’t just die for your guilt he died for your shame too.

•    God says I have a reason for you. You are here for a purpose. 

Ephesians 2:8-10 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

 God has a P word too, It’s perfect!

Hebrews 10:14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.