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Who I am and the confidence it brings.

Over the last few weeks I've been sat in Ephesians. I have read the verses of the whole book several times and now I'm taking my time through them, making sure that I am truly absorbing the words and core messages. As a result of my study, I am seeing a difference in myself and it's been a real pleasure to reflect on the differences, humbling really.

In Ephesians 1, Paul walks us through the spiritual blessings that we have in Christ. Spending time in Ephesians understanding the character of God and the spiritual blessings I have has given me immense courage to push myself out of my comfort zone. Before I get into how the messages have propelled me, let's talk about how the author of the book, Paul was the least qualified to be preaching the gospel he was so fervently preaching about. This man not long before was doing the same for Judaism and killing Christians as a result. So who am I to feel unqualified for what God has called me to or the opportunities he brings my way? Through out the Bible, God has used unqualified and imperfect people and they have succeeded. Why? They believed in him and were sealed with the Holy Spirit. I am them and they are me. I already know that God didn't abandon them, he instructured them, they communed with them, as long as I do that, I will be fine. There is nothing to fear. I can release myself from the bondage of perfectionism and follow where he calls.

Paul also didn't let the shame of his past hold him back. He focused on the instructions Christ gave him and never looked back. We can all learn a lot from that. How many times have I allowed my mistakes to cripple me when I should have been focused on solutions?

Ephesians 1 tells me whose I am and what I am entitled to as a result. Walking through the spiritual blessings humbled me, reminding me of the cost of the freedom I enjoy, but also how intentional God was about the life of his children. I was chosen by God, as were you before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love (Eph1:4). Every time I read that, my eyes water because of how much is packed into one simple sentence. Our freedom through salvation was always his plan. Paul for emphasis refers to God's intentionality again in the next chapter, in verse 9. Who are we that God should be so mindful of us? We that he described as children of wrath (2:3)? We that we are often disobedient and regularly choose the world over him. Speaking for myself, regualrly. How much do I really sacrifice for him? Yet, before he set the foundation of the world, he predestined us to be his sons (1:5) on par with his son, who he sent to sacrifice himself for us. That knowledge gave me confidence. This week, I walked and approached things with peace and confidence. The reminder of the knoweldge of the Holy Spirit within me, the seal and guarantee of my inheritance as a son reminded me of my power and acted like it. I am accepted - if I have been accepted, who can reject me? Certainly not the creation of the creator who has accepted me. Certainly not! That released me from the fear of rejection, not doing a good job and it opened up so many great experiences and opportunties and I am so so grateful.

I am so loved. So so loved. A reminder of the depth of God's love, the richness of his mercy (2:4) kindness, grace and mercifcul nature (2:7)... thinking of all the times he has come through for me, God is realiable. He is trustworthy. I can be confident of where he leads and confident I was. I spoke to new people, I had some great experiences and looking forward to more. I will learn and grow on the way but I pray that on this journey Abba is taking me on, I never lose sight of him - I keep my eyes on him always for guidance and assurance and I use him as a well from where I get my strenght and confidence.

Until next time, keep us a secret x

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