Isaiah 61:6-7 (NLT)
You will be called priests of the Lord, ministers of our God. You will feed on the treasures of the nations and boast in their riches. Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
Faith is our ticket to freedom. It is the call to a limitless life of constantly investing our life into the Lord and His Plan yielding a high return rate from righteousness. The seeds of righteousness planted by people grow into prosperity. Many times we have no idea what will come of the good things that we offer by faith into His Kingdom, but the Lord knows exactly what to do with our tiny faith growing it into confident hope. The devil hates the freedom given to those who call on the Name of the Lord. He is powerless to stop you from receiving it, taking it and using it to open ever door that he has locked us away in. Fear is the biggest barrier in our life. What are you afraid of? What keeps you from committing more and more of your life to God’s Kingdom? What is keeping you from living above shame and dishonor? Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. The beginning of this chapter boasts of the Spirit of the Lord. He promises that we are set free by His Love and given all the benefits forfeited with our birthright to sin. We need do nothing but accept it and learn to walk in it. That’s it. But to do so we must learn to live shamelessly.
Isaiah 61:10-11 (NLT)
I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.
I am overwhelmed. Stop right there and you have probably summed up the problem with most Christians. God’s Love is overwhelming. It just seems too good to be true. How could anyone love us when they know EVERYTHING we do and think in the course of a day? How many times have we fallen? The enemy whispers as he points out every misdeed and mistake. He compiles his case against us. When we entertain his lies, we begin to draw a line in the sand of our life. As our foot drags slowly alone, it becomes a barrier to our blessing called disbelief. Jesus clothed us in salvation covering every mistake we have and every will make. Sin has been cast into the sea of forgetfulness never again to be called forth against us unless we fish it back out. The Lord drapes His Righteousness over our life and calls us Sons and Daughters of God. Shame rejects such garments as too good for us refusing to accept the Grace and Glory of God it places a limitation on our faith called fear and doubt. It stops the process of prosperity immediately and indefinitely.
God has been planting seeds of prosperity in our life long ago. Even though we were not living for Him, His Promise to provide continued to cultivate in every good gesture and feeble attempt to discover God and His Love. Our journey to the Cross was not in vain. Our sin did not keep His Goodness from reaching us. When we decide to accept His Righteousness shamelessly, prosperity begins. You were well on your way to cultivation before you ever took a step in the right direction. I know this because His Word says “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28) Not a moment of our life is wasted when give them to the Lord even those that were a disgrace. He makes beauty from the ashes of such sacrifices when we decide that His Blood is enough to cover every sin, His Righteousness adequate to release us from shame, and His Prosperity overwhelms as His Glory and Grace become fully operational setting us free from shame and dishonor.
Shame is a painful emotion resulting from the awareness of having done something dishonorable. Dishonor is to be disgraced or failing or refusing to pay a debt. When we decide that the Blood of Jesus is not enough to cover our sin, we fall into disgrace and dishonor separating us from Christ by doubt and fear. We must learn to live shameless and honorable lives to have all the God has promised. Such a lifestyle promotes willingness to “pay” or “apply” the Blood of Jesus and all its power to our life.
I Peter 2:9-10 (NLT)
“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”
The most difficult transition for most Christians is to truly believe the potential and power of His Love and its availability in our life. We are our own worst critics. As the Lord begins to prosper our life, one might think that we change our mind. But as we discover just how good God is and that these are His Primary Intentions in our life to restore honor, glory and distinction filling us with all of His Faith, Hope and Love – it is overwhelming. Truly unimaginable that in my current state that God would still love me like He does despite my constant trips, falls and failures in my Christian walk. We are God’s Chosen people. Royal priests who are God’s Favorite Possession. He wants others to see His Goodness overflowing in our life. We have an identity now. We are sinners, saved by grace turned into the Sons and Daughters of God living a brand new life. What is keeping you from the blessings of God today? Shame is quickly dealt with at the Cross as long as pride does not keep us from getting there.
Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Because of the joy waiting for Him, Jesus endured the Cross disregarding its shame. Jesus did not have to go to the Cross. He had done nothing to send Him there. He chose to go to the Cross so that we could be saved. The other day I was leaving the grocery store. It was after work so the parking lot abuzz with people in a hurry to grab a few items and head home. As I was pushing my overloaded cart, a woman in an obvious hurry almost hit me. I grumbled under my breath but made my way around her car and her obvious anger that I was in her way. As she reached the end of the aisle, she did not stop just glanced back and forth before coasting through. A large SUV who had the right of way was turning in and the woman almost hit her. She laid on the horn and both ladies opened the window. As I continued to load the groceries into the car, their heated argument had now stopped all traffic. The woman in the wrong yells “You saw that I was turning, why didn’t you stop?” The other replied, “I had the right of way why did you continue to turn?” Neither could move unless someone gave in, and everyone else was at an impasse until the smaller car finally backed up to allow the SUV to come through. As the SUV passed, her little fish clearly evident in her back window. I wonder how many times in the course of the day that we limit our potential to experience the Goodness of God in our life due to pride. Jesus did not have to go to the Cross and be shamed like that for any other reason than He loves us. Sometimes we must swallow our pride and make our way to the Cross. It means that we may have to endure things in this world the way Jesus would so that we can make it to the joy on the other side. We are to live shamelessly. This is not a prideful position but a humble act of carrying our life to the Cross not only when we mess up but when we are right and still must endure injustice.
Psalm 34:4-6 (NLT)
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.
As we abandon shame in our life surrendering it fully to the Cross, Jesus repays us with His Glory and Grace. Now we do not need the world to meet our needs, satisfy our soul, or do a single thing – we just need Jesus. To give up shame means that we believe that His Journey to the Cross allows us to live in freedom from fear and doubt. All we have to do is ask the Lord to take our shame and He will – if we are willing to let go of it. In our walk with Christ there will be times when we must swallow our pride to release our shame. God already knows the whole story – He is just waiting to see who you entrust the details to. It is without shame that we are able to fully accept and process faith in our life. The kind of faith that produces righteousness making us friends with God. (Romans 1:16-17) It is the Power of God at work in me that makes me unashamed of the Gospel because I know that it is for me and works for me and in me. Faith makes us right with God no matter what we do or do not do. It changes our position in life so that His Righteousness prospers every seed of faith planted into a beautiful harvest even those that were ugly going into the ground.
Psalm 119:37-40 (NLT)
Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you. Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good. I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness.
Our past sins and failures cannot limit our Promises and Potential in the Lord. Your life can and will prosper again by faith and faith alone. You can do nothing to add or subtract from God’s Plan for your life. What He is asking is will you participate? We must learn to turn our eyes from the worthless things that cause us to fear that the Lord cannot or will not do what He promised. Those things that the enemy keeps handing us to produce shame. We must see ourselves through the reflection of the Love of God demonstrated by Jesus on the Cross. He loved us then and He loves us now. It doesn’t really matter what we did. What matters is that we put it in the Blood of Christ and release it. As we begin to wash our life in the Water of His Word, we will change our mind about a Sovereign Unseen God and see Him as a Doting and Loving Father intent on giving His Children only the best. We will step into that role and learn to live in the everlasting joy that it will produce. Live shamelessly. Nothing is wasted for those who do!
I John 2:27-29 (NLT)
But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame. Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.