Take Back Your Life by Levi Lusko Part 2
We are camping out in the next part of this book, Take Back Your Life. I promise this little series won’t be as long as my last one. Taking apart certain aspects of a book helps me gain a perspective I might not have. So, these book reviews are my online journal to continue my faith journey.
Here’s Some Truth For You
Levi Lusko provides these truths.
- You were made in the image of God.
“That’s right, made. You are not smart mud or a monkey wearing pants. God made you. Fearfully, wonderfully, he knit you together inside your mother. You’re no accident.” I am NO ACCIDENT. I was not an “oops.” It was not a mistake. I was meant to be on this earth and given to the people, my parents, who created me. It might have been a surprise, not a well-received one, but I’m not mistaken. God wanted me from before He created the earth. He knew about me. He made me in the image of His Son.
- You have autonomy.
“Like God, you have a personality. A sense of humor. You can laugh and sing, make love and create, dream and destroy. You have feelings and can be hurt. When things don’t go your way, you get sad and can be grieved, just like God. This might surprise you, but God doesn’t always get what he wants and neither do we.” Be bigger. Be loud. Do not shrink down and become invisible! You are not less than. You are the child of the King. Straighten that crown!
- You are immortal.
“The question is not whether you will live forever but where. Four hundred years from now, and four thousand years after that, you will still exist. You will still be alive, and you will still be you.” Wow. Just wow.
- You were expensive.
“Think about what God was willing to spend to redeem you and give you hope when sin and death had their suffocating stranglehold on your life. You weren’t purchased with any common currency, like gold or silver, but with the precious blood of Jesus. His veins were opened, and then hanging on two pieces of wood on top of a hill shaped like a skull, the Son of God died to pay the price for every wrong thing you have done. Sin is a capital crime, so he died to set you free.” Humbling. This concept is almost incomprehensible. I can’t say I would kill my son for anyone ever.
- You have power.
“As a child of God, you have been entrusted with the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in your heart and is ready and waiting to be activated.”
- You are gifted.
“You have specific connections and opportunities that I haven’t been given. You’re a genius. There are people you get to talk to every day whom it would take a miracle for a preacher to get in front of. But for you it’s effortless as sitting in second period or clocking in for an afternoon shift at your job.”
I can say that I wholeheartedly agree with this, but not everyone does. I learned to blend. Do not stand out, do not attract those that look different from me, don’t go to bars (which I don’t, but that is for another reason), watch who you talk to because you just might be seen by a church person, and that could mean disaster for you. Never have I ever agreed with that statement. I did, for years, but not anymore. I’m a girl with pink and purple hair. As small as I want to be, I am loud and look different. Those people march to the beat of their drums. Well, those are my people. I don’t care what anyone else thinks. There are people that I can reach that might seem “less than” to other “Christians.”
- You have an epic mission.
“The orders from your commanding officer are pretty clear: go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Be Bigger. Be Unapologetic. Be Unique.
“I hope you are starting to get a sense of how incredibly, wildly unordinary you are. You, my friend, were put on this earth to make waves, disrupt the status quo, and kick over some stinking applecarts. you have everything you need to move forward and live an extraordinary life.”
Preach it, Levi!
From Mundane to Purposeful
“It’s always going to be harder to do the right thing than it is to do the wrong thing. That’s why checking your email a thousand times will always be easier than actually working on something. That’s why scanning your Instagram feed is always going to be easier than actually doing something meaningful. That’s why starting a project, with the blank screen staring back at you, is so hard. But here’s the thing. The harder you work, the better you get at getting over that hump and starting, and the harder it is to surrender.”
From mundane to purposeful is the commitment we need to have for Christ. Delete your social media apps off your phone. You will find that it very well might empower you. Carry a book around, place a small Bible in your car for wait times, and have a playlist of praise and worship music on your phone. Listen to a podcast that uplift and teach you. Fill your mind with the things above, and you will find that your perspective will change for the better.
How You Speak
“How you speak determines how you feel. It’s time to stop listening to your fear! Instead, put some faith in the air. Your speech can create, tear down, build, heal, or hurt. You will feel how you speak and find what you ask. Your words can unlock a life you love or one you loathe.”
I can say; lately, I have been speaking negatively about everything. A thousand and five things in my house need to be accomplished. I clean, and 5 minutes later, it is a disaster. My relationships are not great right now. When a friend calls, my first statement is running down the list of things that are all wrong. I don’t want to lie, but I also don’t want to focus on the negative, and that is what I do. I have got to work on that. It is destroying the people I love around me and me.
Mask of Shame
In Taking Back Your Life, Levi Lusko says, “Is the you you’re showing people really you? Or does your image feel a little disquised? A little distorted? A little masklike? God tells us who we really are but it can be hard to absorb, especially when fears hit. So we slap on a mask as a defense to hide the fears that we aren’t enough.”
The mask of shame speaks to me on every level. I am famous for wearing the appropriate mask for the proper time. I do this out of fear that my true self is too much for some people. Honestly, it is a realized fear because people tell me I’m not good enough. I have too many tattoos, and my hair needs to be a standard color; why do I not wear shoes often? I parent differently than other people parent. I’m not submissive enough, not smart enough, etc. The bad stuff is more accessible to believe than the good stuff. How sad is that?
The Different Types of Masks
I won’t go into detail about what Levi Lusko says. You will get the idea as you read these.
- The superiority mask.
- The smiley-face mask.
- The “Fifty Shades of Grey” mask.
- The funny guy/gal mask.
- The “I’m so holy” mask.
- The clone wars mask.
- The zombie mask.
- The gold-plated, diamond-encrusted mask
“It’s ironic, we put on masks in hopes of finding love and acceptance, but people cat love someone they don’t know. What they’re falling in love with isn’t you; it’s your maks, a superficial version of you, a costume you’ve carefully curated. What you wear to obtain, you must wear to retain.”
He further says that we need to learn our true identity in Christ. He encourages you to take your masks off, remember who God says you are, accept who God says you are, and live in complete freedom.
What Does Freedom Look Like
What does this word “freedom” look like when you drop the facade and become the you that God created you to be? I wish I could say I was living that, but I’m not. Honestly, I’m a constant work in progress.
“Freedom looks like vulnerability.” Vulnerability is being capable of being physically or emotionally wounded – open to being attacked or damaged. Being vulnerable takes an incredible amount of strength. I encourage you to see the TED Talk by Brene Brown on this subject. Levi Lusko states, “the only way to victory is by going through vulnerability.”
Life Lesson Number 101
I read this book a couple of months ago. I’m rereading as I process through each chapter and rereading what I have highlighted. I aim to apply things to my life and get stuff on notecards to carry around. Silly sounding, I know. Yet, it works for me.
Currently, my husband and I are at a crossroads. Hurts have been expressed. Saying things out of frustration leads to hurt feelings and pain. The desire to give up is at an all-time high. As I’m going through this book, this is what I previously highlighted: “In marriage, being “naked and unashamed” lets down all the walls, telling your fears, telling your desires, telling your dreams, telling how you feel when you don’t measure up. People can say, ‘what you said hurt my feelings. I’m not going to lash out in anger and write an angry email to make you feel small because you made me feel small. I’m going to tell you it hurt me. I’m going to try to get on with it.’ “
I need to pause and go and talk to my husband. Marriage is hard; even after almost 30 years, it is hard.
I will leave this parting quote that was written on my whiteboard. “If God didn’t give it, you don’t have to keep it. This is your permission slip to let that go.” Part 3 is coming soon.