“turn to Me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning!”
So rend your heart, and not your garments;
return to the Lord your God,
for He is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and of great kindness;
and He relents from doing harm!!
God has been doing a deep and mighty work in my heart lately.
He is teaching me (or, I'm finally realizing even though He's been showing me all along!) that I have been living:
1) acting like I have it all together, instead living honestly even when I don't;
2) serving my family because it's a necessary duty, instead serving my family joyfully because I love them;
3) wanting others to see how spiritual I am, instead of openly acknowledging that I am not unless I'm in Christ; and
4) feeling guilty under the weight of my sin instead of fearing the LORD in such a way that I do not choose to sin in the first place and accepting His total forgiveness.
It is a painful place for me to be. Daily I'm being reminded that I, apart from the redemptive work of Christ, am not.
Am not what?
complete. wise. mature. spiritual. loving. kind. joyful. patient. faithful. tempered in my appetites. an excellent wife. a dedicated mother. a decent friend. a decent human being.
Lest you think that I'm in a state of despair - read on! When the Lord chastens and humbles His daughter in such a way, it's because He loves me. Fiercely and completely. Enough to inflict a momentary hurt in exchange for eternal freedom. I hurt, but I know it's because I am loved by Almighty God. I know that this is a good pain to be experiencing. I am not hopeless! Sorrowful, ashamed, angry with myself at times - yes. But never hopeless. The joy that I have right now is that I can put full trust in Jesus and His Word. There will be exuberant joy afterward. But now, a quiet underlying joy that reminds me that He is molding me to be more and more like Jesus.
And here are the sermons and studies that God used powerfully to bring me to this place in my journey with Him:
...and pretty much any of the Psalms and the book of Romans.
Humbled and clinging to Jesus,
for His glory!
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
a broken and a contrite heart—
these, O God, You will not despise! [Psalm 16-17]
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God!, that you may obey His voice!, and that you may cling to Him!, for He is your life and the length of your days!!!!; [Deuteronomy 30:19-20]
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction. [Proverbs 1:7]
He must increase, but I must decrease. [John 3:30]
When pride comes, then comes shame;
but with the humble is wisdom. [Proverbs 11:2]
From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!! Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!" [John 6:66-69]
I may be sharing this with these uplifting Link-up parties!
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