Your cravings indicate what you’re lacking. Dig beyond the shame and self-loathing, I’m not in that. What part of you is so void that you’re wanting for something so base? That’s the emptiness I want to fill.
The Holy Spirit laid this on my heart on a day that I was struggling with impure thoughts. We don’t like to talk about it because it makes us uncomfortable, but sinful thoughts are a very real part of any believer’s faith walk. The renewing of the mind is a life-long process, and while we cannot control the thoughts that pop into our heads, we can control what we choose to mull over and meditate on.
On this day, I was meditating on all the wrong things. I desired things that aren’t wholesome or uplifting. I was not thinking about whatsoever was lovely, pure, and of good report. My thoughts were selfish, lustful, prideful, and satisfying in the most carnal of ways. My head was wild, and I wasn’t really taking the thoughts captive either. I gave in, no fight, no argument.
Whenever I surrender to sin that way, shame is my automatic response. I feel consumed by it, filled with it, I can’t get away from it. I hate being ashamed, and the problem with shame is rather than driving me toward Yahweh, it causes me to hide from Him.
This is why shame is so dangerous and why Yahweh seeks to break the hold it has on His children. Anything that seeks to pull you away from Yahweh when you need Him most is an evil thing – shame is an evil thing. It makes you feel the complete opposite of who Yahweh says you are. Shame calls the King of Creation a liar and says you are too filthy and have made too many mistakes to stand in His presence. Shame silences that which should be proclaimed and kills redemption with haunting memories of past failure. Shame will turn you into the least version of yourself, it will make you small, it will smother your flame and corrupt your soul. Shame will steal your hope and fill your head with lies. Shame is an evil thing.
And Yahweh is not in it.
As I was sulking in my cesspit thoughts and stewing in shame, the Holy Spirit firmly dropped the sentences above in my head. It interrupted my dark reverie and shook me awake. In that moment, I was reminded of how loved I truly am. In the presence of Yahshua’s love, anything is possible. When He reigns down His love on us, He whispers our identity over us, and He calls us back to relationship with Him. No matter our mental, physical, or emotional state, Yahshua will never turn us away or deem us irreparable. We serve a High Priest who understands the struggle and is willing to help us win each battle we face – internally and externally.
Shame is a distraction technique that the enemy uses to keep us out of relationship with Yahweh. Outside of relationship with Him, we are open to the enemy’s attacks. When we don’t take time to foster intimacy with Yahweh, we can’t hear His voice, and we can’t receive His instruction. When we live lives independent from His grace, we take on the full weight of our human experiences, and to be honest, some things are just too much for us.
While we’re focused on hating ourselves and feeling unbelievably sorry for our mistakes, we can’t accept the forgiveness that Yahshua paid the incredibly high price of His life to give us. While we’re fixated on the past and how stupid we are, the enemy is masking the real brokenness that is fueling the dysfunctional thoughts and behavior we’re so ashamed of.
If you can look past the shame, if you can take Yahshua’s hand and let Him lead you straight into the darkness in yourself that you’re so intimidated by, you will eventually get to the root of your illness.
Dysfunctional behavior is the symptom of a perpetual heart condition called sin that the entire human race will be terminally infected with until Yahshua returns. Specific sinful acts, destructive habits, and damning cycles have specific, often complex and painful roots. The sin that knocks you off your feet again and again, the one that wrestles you down more often than the others – that is more than likely a result of your specific sin condition. What I’m saying is actions have motivators. It’s worth taking time to evaluate why you do the things you do, remember when you first started, and determine why it’s so hard to stop.
We all have one – a specific sin condition. We all have something that knows our name, number, and address. We all have a brokenness that has, at some point or another, manifested itself in a specific and destructive way that invokes shame and defeat.
I want you to know that you will never be able to stave off the symptoms indefinitely if you do not address the root of the sickness. You will continue to sin in that specific, destructive way if you do not get treatment for what’s really ailing you.
Today I want you to boldly ask Yahweh for the courage and wisdom to assess your most deplorable cravings, tendencies, and habits accurately and completely. Becoming a better person is not an easy process, and I assure you, you will not get anywhere tip-toeing around your sin. When Yahshua voluntarily hung on that tree for you and me, He gave us the authority to strip away the shrouds of shame thrown over the dark places in our lives. I’ve spoken about what relationship with Yahshua truly entails and what it costs. True freedom, while found in Him, is not absolutely free. In order for your bonds to be broken, in order for destructive cycles of addiction to be interrupted, you have to pay the price that surrender demands. You have to trust Yahweh with your reputation, with your insight, with the state of your soul. And you will not trust Him to make you whole if you do not believe that He loves you, I assure you.
No shame can stand in the presence of pure love. Know that when you choose to surrender your self-loathing and hatred to Yahweh, He will not be fazed by or stand in agreement with it. Yahweh is not in the business of making His children feel like worthless failures. Anything that makes you feel like less than a loved child of creation’s King is lying to you, even if it’s your own thoughts. When we repent and receive forgiveness, He gives us the power to turn away from sin and REturn to Him. Make no mistake, you will have to work at not sinning in that way again, but we are afforded supernatural ability when we are in relationship with Yahweh. In situations where you feel too weak to fight, too tired to overcome, and too stuck to turn, you’re not.
The Holy Spirit helps us do hard things.
I encourage you to pay attention to your cravings today, and get to the bottom of why you so desperately desire something that is so horrible for you. If you’re continuously craving things that are harmful for you and induce shame every time you indulge in them, there is a void somewhere that Yahshua wants nothing more than to fill with Himself. I’ve learned that the human propensity to plug the holes in our soul with everything but the only thing that will truly satisfy us is incredible. If your capacity for the bad is high, imagine what your capacity for pure good actually is.
Don’t let shame stand between you and pure love. Face the darkness with the light we’ve been given. He wants to help, let Him.