31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
In the Garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve had sinned and eaten the forbidden fruit, God came to walk with them in the cool of the day and found them hiding. Sin wasn't the only thing that had entered into and blemished the perfect world He had created that day. Shame had come, too and, with it, the fear of facing their Father.
After calling to them by name, God asks, "Who told you that you were naked?"
These words have always broke my heart.
"Who told you...?"
Adam and Eve had chosen to listen to the wrong voice - to allow the serpent to define their view of themselves and their view of their Father. As a result, they made choices that would hold incredible consequences - ones difficult to endure.
As a young girl, I - like Adam and Eve - too often allowed the wrong voices to shape my identity. I listened to the words of my peers, the lies of Satan whispered within my own heart, and the societal imagery plastered on magazine covers, celebrated on the television screen, and reported by the media. It was a picture of beauty I never thought I could reach. My body would never look that way. My hair would never be that straight. That dress would never fit on me.
I struggled to look in the mirror. I hated what I saw.
Every failure or mistake, every pimple, every hair out of place felt like undeniable evidence stacking up against my worth.
I would never be good enough.
God broke in.
I heard His voice so clearly..."Niki, who told you?"
"Who told you that you were...worthless? Ugly? Stupid? Incapable? Less than?"
In John 8:31, Jesus encourages His disciples to abide (remain in, stay steadfast in) His Word and then promises that if they will do this, they will know the truth and that truth will set them free.
Where will I find the truth of who I really am?
In His Word and His Word alone.
The word "truth" in this portion of scripture means "reality."
So, the reality of who I am - the only real and accurate picture of Nicole - is in God's Word.
His voice is to be the voice that defines us.
His voice is to be the voice that shapes our identity.
His voice is to be the voice that tells us who we are.
Sister, who has been telling YOU?
What voice have you been listening to?
I encourage you today - go to God's Word. Allow His Word to define who you are and wherever you have accepted a lie - allow God's truth to reshape your view of yourself.
You are loved, valuable, beautiful, smart, capable, chosen, called, fully known, invited, wanted, sought-after...and made with purpose.
It's time for you - and for me - to know the truth and walk in our freedom.