Patricia Usiobaifo

Article by Prophet Patricia Usiobaifo, Women’s Apostolic Alliance Member

Regardless of where I have travelled throughout my 57 plus years, I have consistently met people from all walks of life who are dissatisfied with self. Usually, the dissatisfaction is around appearance; for example, people with straight hair would love to have curly hair, people with curly hair would love to have straight hair, fair-skinned people go to tanning salons while dark skin people use skin bleaching products. Even height, size, build etc. are not exempt – tall people often desire to be shorter, short people taller, thin people often wish they could gain weight while generously proportioned people often desire to be more petite. People change the colour of their eyes with contact lenses, others the shape of their eyes to become what they consider more beautiful and aesthetically improved.

Some cultures bind their feet, some have operations to break their legs to extend them and therefore be taller. Implants and reconstructive surgery from breast implants and reductions, to nose reconstructions, lip enhancement, pectoral implants, and butt implants etc. are available and are common place. People often request from the plastic surgeon a nose or lips that resemble that of a famous person. In addition, the diet industry is worth trillions of dollars each year as people try to lose weight and change shape and the gym culture has proven that many work out not just to be healthy or to train for events but rather to change their body image, with some going to the extreme with the use of steroids and excessive training.

When we are seeing ourselves as ugly, unattractive, in need of physical change to be accepted as beautiful, we are seeing the craftsmanship of God as inferior, implying that God made a mistake when He formed us. The truth can be found in Psalm 139:13-14

“For You formed my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.” (ESV).

The Young Living Translation says “I confess Thee because that with wonders I have been distinguished. Wonderful are Thy works, and my soul is knowing it well.”

When we are young we can often wish our lives away. When we are old we can wish we were young again, we despise our youth and do not appreciate the wisdom that comes with life experiences. Females especially are targeted from a very young age by advertising, models, body images that have been digitally enhanced therefore creating unrealistic expectations and stereotypes. Even our circumstances in life can be reasons for wanting what others have with the average person dreaming of fame and fortune and often the rich and famous desire the simple life.

The enemy has targeted identity from the Garden of Eden, offering Adam and Eve something that was not theirs to have, resulting in shame when they became conscious of their nudity and covered themselves and hid from God. The enemy has throughout the ages continued to plant lies: ‘We must do great works to enter into Heaven’, ‘We must be perfect and sinless to attain the acceptance of God’, `We must ….We must….We must. We are told we are never good enough so we spend our lives trying to change, trying to improve, trying to be like someone else, someone who appears to be confident, happy, successful etc. We compare ourselves to others meanwhile that person is most likely comparing themselves to us. The enemy will be trying to impute shame through any means possible and in doing that is denying the power of the cross, denying the finished work of Calvary; totally invalidating the power of and the reason for Christ’s crucifixion.

If we could attain perfection or salvation through our own efforts we would have no need of a savior. Once the enemy has made us feel ashamed of ourselves, he then compounds that shame by presenting opportunities and circumstances to us whereby we can self-comfort and find momentary pleasure, distraction, from our feelings of shame and inadequacy; opportunities to create false personas and false identities. This is usually through behaviours or substances which can quickly become addictions. These compound our shame and can very quickly spiral out of control. We are then so blanketed in shame and so lost in our own false reality that we are rendered powerless and are of no further threat to the enemy. If the enemy has distanced us from truth he has distanced us from God. It is so important to have the mind of Christ. To be able to think, feel, hear and see what is flowing from His heart. It is imperative that we know the Word of God, to read for yourself what God says about you, who God says you are. Everything we think, say, and act upon is determined by what we are choosing to believe at any given moment in time.

What or who is the final authority in our lives? The word of God or something or someone else? What we think is what we choose to accept as truth for ourselves. The beliefs we hold as truth in our hearts, if it is not in agreement with God’s word is idolatry.

God loves you, totally, unconditionally, and perfectly. Everything including our identity needs to be viewed through His heart of love. Discipline, correction, mercy, forgiveness, chastisement, blessing, intimacy and even judgments to come are all grounded in the perfect love of God. For us to find worth, value or identity in anything or anyone else is to live apart from God’s truth about us. Our true identity is determined by God alone. A correct perspective of self comes from a correct perspective of the character and nature of God.

In order to identify the lies we have believed, in order to break those lies, we need to embrace restoration ministry and in doing so, in submitting to God’s adjustments and correction we can be reconciled to the truth. We can unravel the ties that bind, escape from the deadly tendrils of deception, the lies that have bound us and distorted our perspective of God and self… we can reverse the curses and be restored back to wholeness where we can once again walk in the truth that we are created in the image of God.

Patricia Usiobaifo

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