I found myself squeezed between two towers of never-ending cardboard packages in the back of a UPS truck. I suppose I shouldn’t have been too surprised that my REM sleep would take me there after a night of online shopping!
In this dream an angel appeared beside me. His spectacular wings were tall and neatly folded onto his back, and in the odd way of dreams, his considerable frame wasn’t the least bit cramped. As if he were a friend, I asked him, “What am I doing here?”
The angel pointed to all the address labels on the boxes. My eyes scanned the labels on either side of me. Even in the dim light I could see they were all addressed to me. With a mix of confusion and curiosity, I watched as the angel pulled a box from the center. “What is that?” I asked.
In a deep, gentle tone the angel held the box and replied. “In each of these packages is something that God wanted to give you, but you never received.”
The timbre of his voice should have soothed me, but an uneasiness settled in instead. He extended the package toward me, and I took it with a good measure of caution. I opened the box and inside of it was courage. Tears welled up in my eyes as I recalled the times in my life I was stuck in fear, unable to take steps of faith, because I didn’t know the outcomes. As I held the box, it infused a confidence of God in me that seemed to make all the uncertainty in my life okay.
As if he knew, the angel gave assent to my desire to open more boxes. Pulling from my left and my right I went through many more boxes, each holding something that would have blessed me at certain points in my life. My eye was drawn to one of the largest packages in this sprawling cardboard grid. I ran to it and unwrapped the simple, yet powerful message that read: More of Me. Inside was the presence of Yahweh, the great I AM. I knew at that moment I wouldn’t have to open any more boxes because this one package included them all. Overcome by love, rather than any kind of conviction, I crumpled to the ground and wept at the riches of God’s grace, truth, and gifts.
The angel sweetly offered, “Christ came to give you a rich and satisfying life.” (John 10:10) He sat beside me and wrapped a comforting arm around my shoulder. He continued with Scripture, “If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to you.” (Matthew 7:11)
“I had no idea,” I muttered through happy tears. Just then the engine of the truck (sounding much like my alarm clock) turned over with a jolt, pulling me from my experience. I soon felt the pull of its momentum as it set in motion to deliver what I was ready to receive. The angel disappeared, but his comfort remained and I awoke with an overflowing sense of hope!
The after-effects of this dream have me evaluating what interferes with my blessings. I know God to be a generous, caring God, yet, if I’m honest, I don’t always live like it’s true.
My conundrum is that I know I am a child of God, and believe in my head that I am graphed into a spiritual line of royalty, but I don’t actually receive what comes along with that truth. I suspect that this isn’t entirely a case of unbelief, but I do believe that it can involve skewed beliefs that fuel some unbelief.
What we believe is critical to how well we are able to receive. God offers us things like peace and purpose and other incredible gifts as His children, yet if my perception of God is off (He’s a mean dictator sitting on a throne in heaven), or my understanding of myself is distorted (I’m not worthy), then my ability to receive God’s gifts is negatively impacted.
The way I know that I’m not receiving what He has given me is by my behavior. Am I living my life with an air of peace? Am I claiming my rights as His daughter by knowing that, in Him, I am worthy? When I actually open up and receive these gifts from Him, my life exudes them in ways that others can see. And when I don’t, it looks like this:
THE GRACE PACKAGE
Grace is a standard perk as a Christian, right? Yet in situations when I mess up, I tend to allow my inner critic to reign instead of giving God’s grace that space. This happens because deep down I don’t believe that I deserve grace. That ungodly belief takes the place of God’s blessing and prohibits me from receiving the gift of His grace.
In order for me to receive God’s grace I must catch that sneaky, skewed belief (I don’t deserve grace) and correct it with God’s truth (In Christ I am worthy). I then marshal self-compassion, which reminds me that I am flawed, fallen, and forgiven. Self-compassion allows me to forgive myself for situations like forgetting to meet a friend, or my most recent incident when I accidentally drove over a curbed island in a parking lot and ruined a perfectly good tire. Two tires and $350 later, my self-compassion is still being practiced!
THE MORE OF ME PACKAGE
Correcting skewed beliefs require going to God’s truth. God says:
- I am worthy
- I am enough
- I am loved
- I am adequate
- I am chosen
- I am protected
- I am provided for
- I am cared for
When we hold skewed beliefs (and there are tons of them), it prohibits us from not only receiving God’s blessings, but also more of the great I AM, Himself. It’s as if we can see Him in our life, know Him, and acknowledge Him, but we end up keeping Him at a distance (or boxed up in a UPS truck). God wants to give us more of Himself, and when we stand in His truth of who we are, it’s one of the most intimate ways to experience more of Him.
REAL LIFE GIFTS
Thoughts about receiving gifts brought me to question what we do with the tangible gifts we receive from each other. For instance, we may:
- Cherish it and use it often.
- Put it in the closet, on a shelf or in a drawer, and forget about it.
- Exchange it.
- Discard, donate, or re-gift it.
- Lose it.
- Don’t use it to its full capacity.
- Never open it.
- Refuse it.
Each of these are different ways of receiving. You see the gift, identify it, but it’s how you accept it and what you do with it that counts. God’s truths and gifts are something that require my effort to accept, and my responsibility to steward once I embrace them.
I can embrace God’s gifts partially, or fully. To fully receive them I need to accept and embrace them in body, mind, heart, and soul, which encompasses my entire spirit. This full-spirited posture is reflected in Mark 11:24. Jesus says, “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
Most likely you believe that God gives good gifts, but are there any skewed beliefs that have caused you to forget about some of them? Are you exchanging one for something unhealthy? Are you discarding or discounting others because you don’t see the full value now? Have you lost a gift He gave you as a child and need to go back and find it? Are you coasting on the gifts He’s given you, but ignoring His call to maximize it? Could you possibly be sitting on the biggest gift ever without even opening it? Or have you, like me, flatly refused a gift because you believe that your self-sufficiency is enough?
Knowing what you really believe is powerful! Once you’ve tackled your ungodly belief, then you’ll be able to develop the skill of receiving. Another practice I’ve developed is to say out loud, or in my spirit, “I receive that” when others bless me. The first time I heard a friend say that, I thought it was odd. But I have come to realize that this is a muscle that has to be built. So, when I say, “I receive that”, it is a physical habit that makes my spiritual habit of receiving stronger.
My dream might not have been real, but receiving God’s blessings is. He has gifts for us beyond our comprehension! Open yourself up to receiving them by working on the skewed beliefs that get in the way. We all struggle with enough in our lives, but don’t let some of that struggle be because you’re not receiving what God has for you. There are tremendous blessings wrapped up in all of His gifts. When you fully receive them, you live a spiritually satisfying, irresistible life that draws others to Jesus. So, go ahead and open the box that reads More of Me and receive the blessings God is waiting to give you!
FREE COACHING TOOL
Another way to receive more of God is by developing a Kingdom Impact Statement. Last month, I shared this coaching tool with my email subscribers. This month, you can download it for free yourself from a pop-up on my website.
Your Kingdom Impact Statement is a character signature that you grow into, and reflects how you want to grow as a Christian. It encompasses your body, mind, heart and soul. Mine is: In Christ I am a humble, healing, focused, and purposeful woman of God. This is what I want to receive from God. It is a work-in-progress prayer that helps me receive God’s truth, steward that truth, and fully depend on Him to create that truth in my life.
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