Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.
You don't have to keep that hidden hornet stinging you all the time. You can be real. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see yourself in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series, Free Yourself, Be Yourself. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It could be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries. As you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org or call 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. More on that later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.
Here is Alan Wright. The only thing we know about a marriage in paradise is they were naked and they knew no shame. And then you know the story as soon as sin enters into the world, what happens is that at verse 8 of chapter 3, they heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among all the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called the man and said, where are you? It wasn't because the sovereign omniscient Lord didn't know where they were. It was because he was highlighting through his question the fact, the silliness of them trying to hide.
But they were hiding. I heard the sound of you, Adam said, and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself. And he said, who told you you were naked?
Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat? And the man said, the woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me through the tree and I ate. So the only thing we know about a relationship before sin entered the world is that they were naked and they knew no shame. And the first thing we learned about a relationship after sin entered the world is that they became ashamed. And with that shame came fear. And with that fear, they began to cover themselves up. And then immediately Adam started becoming blaming and trying to shift all of the shame.
Because you see, if you become aware, if you suddenly become self-conscious and you feel exposed, then your instinct is to just cover up, to close up. And don't let anybody see, I love the story my friend and mentor Dudley Hall has told about the old days where sometimes there were churches that had the baptismal pool like under the platform. And they would just move pulpit and stuff out of the way when it came time for the baptisms. And then they'd open up the pool and they'd just step in there and they would baptize people in the pool right under the platform. And oftentimes they would just have some curtains that were set up on the side of the platform where the baptismal candidates could go and they could change their clothes and come out of their clothes and put on a baptismal gown and be baptized. But in one instance, one evening at this little church, it came time this woman was being baptized. And while she was being baptized, there was a man, he was behind the curtain, he was changing his clothes. And as the woman was getting out of the pool, she reached up and she grabbed hold of the pole, the curtain that it was hanging on. And when she did, she pulled down the curtain accidentally.
And there in all his nakedness stood this man who was ready to put on his gown and be baptized. And all he could do was he saw there was a chair, so he just grabbed this chair and hid behind it like this. Well some wise deacon ran to the back of the room and cut out the lights. So now it was dark. And they just left the lights out for what seemed to be an eternity, you know, to give the guy plenty of time to get out of there, get his gown on or get his clothes on or something. And finally, when it seemed safe, they cut the light back on and there was the man still behind the chair. Because I suppose he just never knew when the light would come back on, you know.
And if a chair is all you got, you're going to hold on to that chair. Well that's the way Adam and Eve, they felt. They suddenly felt like that when sin came into the world. And the Lord is so gracious that right there in the opening chapters of Genesis, what you begin to see is that those sin has come into the world and those shame has come into the world. What does the Lord do? Does he say, well you're just going to have to just stand there in all of your nakedness and just feel the weight of this shame.
That's not what he does. Instead, the text says that the Lord made clothing out of skins for them. They had made clothing for themselves out of some kind of leaves or something like that. But the Lord in the first sacrifice, the first blood offering, the Lord let blood be shed so that clothing could be made so that their shame could be covered. Never forget this. The Lord has from the beginning intended through blood to cover our shame. Well this began the plight of humanity where there is sin and there is shame. And there is a pattern that we've been learning about that builds when you have shame start working in your mindset and it is rightly called a stronghold. The words of Paul, the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ. What is he talking about a stronghold?
Maybe you're like me. I'd heard of strongholds. I'd heard of this mentioned in spiritual circles but I didn't really know what this was all about. But I began to think about strongholds, reading the Old Testament references to strongholds and what you realize is that literally a stronghold is a strategic fortress, a wall that gets built usually at a high place so that it would give advantage over an enemy. So here's the idea.
Find some tell or a mountain or a hill. Build up a fortress. Build a strong high wall and then the enemy, let's say there's an enemy going to be attacking you. That enemy can hide behind that wall and therefore you can't see the enemy but the enemy has a strategic advantage of firing the arrows at you.
And it's like you could fire arrows back but it just hits the wall and bounces off, hits the wall and bounces off and you don't even know what you're shooting at. And so many people that I've prayed with and counseled with over the years that find that they're having the same besetting problems, the same kinds of patterns and it's like you know you've got a feeling where there's something you want to overcome it but you feel like you've tried everything. You've studied the scriptures on it. You quoted the scriptures. You've been held accountable. You might have even had counseling.
You've had prayer. But it just seems like it just keeps defeating you. Well this could be because of a stronghold. Well what a stronghold really is in the words of one writer is a house of thoughts. It is like an argument that gets built up against the gospel but we don't realize that it's being built up against the gospel. And shame is one of the major strongholds that gets built in our souls. It's like an invisible house of thoughts in the soul and we don't even realize that it got built there. But again, for the enemy of your soul, for the powers of hell and all of temptation against you in life, there is always an attempt to get a stronghold, a negative stronghold built up in your thinking so that it would give the enemy a strategic advantage against you and to be able to hide from you. And what I'm saying here is that this is the nature of spiritual warfare. This is the nature of what goes on in temptation itself.
And I was just going to give you an example of how, at least one simple example of how a stronghold could be built. That's Alan Wright and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Alan Wright's daily blessing.
It's free and just a click away at PastorAlan.org. Can you imagine what it would be like to be accepted perfectly? Envision it. Being free to be yourself with no fear of rejection. If you mess up, people don't roll their eyes, make fun of you or love you less.
Imagine no more of that anxious feeling that you get deep down in your gut that makes you feel like the pressure is always on so you can never really relax. What you're imagining and longing for is a life with no shame. In Paradise, before sin came into the world, the Bible tells us only one thing about Adam and Eve's relationship.
They were naked and felt no shame. Ever since the fall, the human heart has been riddled with shame. It's a lie that says, until you measure up, you can't be truly acceptable. Shame causes some to say, I'll try to be perfect in order to be accepted and others to decide, since I'll never measure up, I might as well rebel.
Either way, the heart is poisoned by shame and there is only one antidote, the grace of God in Jesus Christ. In his highly acclaimed book, Free Yourself, Be Yourself, Pastor Alan Wright not only exposes the lies of shame, he leads you into a revolution of God's love that heals your soul. Discover freedom, joy and destiny as you shed performance-based living and let God take the shame off you for good. It's a life-changing, full-length book from Alan Wright.
Free yourself, be yourself. The Gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860 or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright.
I was just going to give you an example of how, at least one simple example of how a stronghold could be built and it starts with something that's actually true. It starts with the idea that I know I'm sinful and therefore it starts with the truth, I am flawed. Now as we have been discussing, that is true. That is a true statement. It's not to say that we're saying oh we do in and of ourselves measure up.
We're not saying that. Shame is the idea that I don't measure up but now it's up to me to fix it and make myself acceptable. So it starts with something that's actually true that says I am flawed but here's at least how I would analyze it in my life.
Here's how it got started. Here's where the lie starts right here is because I am flawed therefore I am less loved. You see that's the beginning point of this stronghold right there. If you can become convinced by all the snares of the powers of darkness and however temptation and wrong thinking gets into our thoughts and the things that we experience, the wounds of our childhood, the things that people say to us, the way people have treated us, whatever it might be, if that little lie starts right there I'm flawed and therefore I'm less loved.
If that stone gets set in place then the stronghold is going to get built. It starts right there. Because if I'm less loved because I'm flawed then of course I don't want anybody to know my flaws. I would never want somebody to know them because if you're going to love me less because I'm flawed then I'm not going to open up with you. I'm going to close up. That's the picture of hiding.
That's the picture. I might be hurting but I'm not going to let you on to my pain because I'm afraid that you'll love me less if you see my flaws. Now beloved one of the things we must say right at this point is that one of the great problems therefore for relationships is you can't have intimacy. You can't have a relationship if you can't open up about your pain and about your flaws.
If you can't be real how can you ever know that somebody does love you? And so we close up. And for me what this meant was not only do you try to close up so nobody can know all of your problems but for me it also came with and what I need to do is I need to be better. I need to do more. I need to be more than I am that if you if you would love me less because of my flaws then maybe you would love me more if I could be more if I could do more and the wall starts getting built and you see that as it starts getting built if you could imagine there could be an enemy there could be a predator there could be a voice there could be a temptation that begins to hide behind it. The problem with this kind of wall is at least for my life and for many many people that go down this particular path is that the message is not just be more the message never stops and it kindly becomes what you really need to be as the final stone gets laid to the wall is you need to be perfect. You need to never rest until you get everything just right and there's a stronghold. And what happens when there's a stronghold is that you don't even realize but there is now a whole nest of little lies that comes and can hide behind that wall and you can't get to it and you can't seem to stop it and you can't seem to stop that little nagging voice even when you get into a good relationship then there's a little voice and that little voice begins to say yeah but when they find out who you really are it's not going to go so well for you and there's a little voice can come in behind this and it's called covetousness and it can start saying yeah you know your problem is you don't have as much as so and so has. Lust can hide behind this wall yeah this anxiety would go away you just need to satisfy those urges you have this addiction can lie behind this because the answer is just to mask all this all of these voices they hide behind a stronghold and I think what happens beloved is sometimes what we do is that we're so busy trying to attack our behaviors we're trying to mold our behaviors we're trying to live a better life we're trying to be a better Christian and we're wondering why am I not getting more success why is this why am I always beset with these same thoughts why am I always beset with these same issues and it's oftentimes because there's a stronghold and what Paul says about the stronghold is that the gospel is the power of the gospel is released for the demolishing of a stronghold and think about it how would you go about tearing down this little wall that has been built here well the first thing to say about it is that really since they were my thoughts and I built them I can tear them down and you tear it down by replacing the first lie because that's the foundation so this this first lie that says that I am less loved if something dawns on you because of the announcement of the gospel inside of your heart and what you realize is that in Jesus Christ I don't care all my mistakes I'm not less loved I am so loved and what you do is you just come in and you just say you just say no I'm gonna take that stone out and you know what if you just could replace that very first one you know what will happen that's always fun to do actually it's fun to do just see them just go falling down because it's kind of like that in your soul if you can find out you get hold of some of the foundational lies that the enemy's used against you and you just pull that thing out of your thinking you know what begins to happen is it just feels like the weight of the world falls and all of a sudden now you find yourself wait a minute the enemy has no place to hide I'm living in the light as he's in the light and I start seeing the gospel for all the truth and all the power of it the fact of the matter is that the proverbs proverbs 18 10 says the name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous run into it and the fact of the matter is that there can be a whole new wall that's built up but this one is by the gospel this is the strong tower of the righteousness of Jesus Christ and in the name of the Lord we can run into that and there we are safe so instead of saying that because I am I am but I am flawed I'm less loved what the gospel says is that yes I am flawed but I am so loved and what that means therefore is I don't have to close up I can just open up and I don't have to always be more and more I can begin to just accept who I am but knowing that I'm accepted in the Lord and instead of ultimately just having to become perfect my life becomes more one of worship where I'm able to surrender my life to God and and and accept accept circumstances as they come knowing that God is my strong refuge that God himself through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ has made the way possible for me to be set free in other words beloved you don't have to keep that hidden hornet stinging you all the time you can be real because as you open up and this is what can happen it can happen in your small group it can happen in the body of Christ anywhere it can happen in your encounter with God as you open up what you find is that you're loved and when you taste of the love of God that is unconditional it's paradise it's paradise that's the gospel alan wright today's good news teaching on the sting of the hidden hornet from the series free yourself be yourself pastor alan is back with us in the studio in just a moment with today's parting good news thought unlock the power of blessing your life discover god's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for alan wright's free daily blessing if you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement get alan wright's daily blessing it's free and just a click away at pastor alan.org can you imagine what it would be like to be accepted perfectly envision it being free to be yourself with no fear of rejection if you mess up people don't roll their eyes make fun of you or love you less ever since the fall the human heart has been riddled with shame it's a lie that says until you measure up you can't be truly acceptable in his highly acclaimed book free yourself be yourself pastor alan wright not only exposes the lies of shame he leads you into a revolution of god's love that heals your soul discover freedom joy and destiny as you shed performance based living and let god take the shame off you for good it's a life-changing full-length book from alan wright for yourself be yourself the gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries this broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support when you give today we will send you today's special offer we are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries call us at 877-544-4860 that's 877-544-4860 or come to our website pastor alan dot org back now with pastor alan and our parting good news thought today i'm sure it has something to do with honesty and being vulnerable well you know uh it's not just that we start with being honest that hey something's been stinging me but it is in replacing the lies that have gotten built on top of the lie of shame and um at our conference when we actually set up these boxes that look like stones and just knock them down when you pull out that foundational lie that says i can't be accepted as i am and destroy that lie because it's not true the fact of the matter is christ died for us knowing full well all of our sin right and so we're accepted not because we're without sin but because we're loved and because of the mercies and the sacrifice of jesus once you correct that with even though i sin i am so loved by god now you build a whole new wall of strength that to me that's the that's the fortress of grace and that's what the righteous run into so uh you don't have to keep uh being stung and you don't have to let your life get uh built up on a series of of wrong thoughts you can tear it all down and you can start building it right now on the grace of god have you ever felt an inward sting that you felt like you just didn't want to tell anybody about well maybe it's time to tell somebody maybe it's time to find somebody you really trust and say my soul has been stung and i feel ashamed and i need to talk to someone about it because i can't keep it hidden anymore you don't have to wait until the pain is so bad you can do it now find somebody and somebody you trust who understands the grace of god and share with them pray together and watch the healing begin thanks for listening today visit us online at pastorallen.org or call 877-544-4860 that's 877-544-4860 if you only caught part of today's teaching not only can you listen again 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