“He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” -Eph. 1.5-6
Self-consciousness, paranoia and fear have no abiding authority in the life of a believer. Once we have come to realize that in the Gospel, the “kind intention” of God Himself has been disclosed to the world, we begin to see that His transcendent mercy is vast enough to swallow up every worldly disposition that we have harbored. The Spirit of God intentionally pursues and diminishes every disposition that has kept us from a true knowledge of His nature.
The powers of darkness relish in spreading the disease of self-consciousness in the Church, particularly because it binds men in pride, intimidation and a fear of others. It takes the very love of God being “shed abroad in our hearts” for that power to be broken, for whether we are shy individuals or social butterflies, if we have not been established in the inmost parts by the “kind intention” of God, we will invariably be impaired by self-consciousness in one way or another.
The revelation of His “kind intention” in the Gospel- namely, that God Himself has predestined us for communion with Him- makes us to realize that if we have been born from above, we have access to a mode of being that marks our consciousness with that glorious Pauline phrase: “…. accepted in the Beloved….”
This is not a syrupy, lightweight subject. This is not merely the message for those saints who are smiling all the time, or who seem to have all of their personality traits in tact. This realization is the power of God’s own Personality, pressing into our frame, and driving out every earthbound, would-be wisdom.
The redemption that has come to us through the cross of Jesus Christ is a total deliverance from the spirit of the world. Where once we knew bitterness, we now know a holy love; where once we knew paranoia, we now know Godly confidence; where once we knew the fear of man, we now know the presence of God; where once we knew timidity, we now know a heavenly boldness; where once we knew falsity and performance, we now know trueness; where once we were self-absorbed and arrogant, we now know humility and value; where once we knew anxiety and nervousness, we now know the priestly quietness of acceptance before God. He has not only made us new creations externally, but opened up access to the formation of Himself in all our ways of thinking and living.
“And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” -Eph. 1.22-23
When we surrender our self-reliance to the fire of God, He torches that which was binding and unheavenly, and deposits in its place an inward awareness of His “kind intention” toward us. Dear saint, you’ve been accepted by the King of creation, and “all things” are in subjection to Him. Do not be bound by self-consciousness, fear, or the desire to please men. Glorify the Lamb of God, for His shed blood has torn the veil of separation on your behalf!