I realize that the way my mind works sometimes causes me grief but I think in most cases it serves me well because it causes me to grapple until I find a better understanding of myself and my beliefs.
I’m 40 years old and for the most part I have a settled existence. I like routine and I love being at home. I enjoy reading and having quiet, reflective time for prayer and for gaining a settled mind. Peace is of paramount importance and honoring the Lord is my greatest desire and challenge because daily I contend with a sin nature I desperately long to shed.
We live in a wold filled with contradictions and inconsistencies that cause me to feel great trouble and distress as I try to make sense of all that I hear and see. Since I was a very young child, I have been deeply affected by these things, and I can honestly say it is no less troubling to me now than it has ever been.
While grappling with many thoughts on this subject for many days I’ve had several scripture verses come to mind. One is from Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” There is no rest for the soul apart from the good old way. I’ve found this to be true again and again through these growing years!
In the book of Romans Chapter 7, Paul well describes our sin problem and how we often desire to do good yet find ourselves doing the opposite of what we desire in the inward person by conforming to the comfort our flesh craves.
Have you ever spoken a harsh word or failed to grant forgiveness; walked in pride, or been caught up in self-righteousness? I have, more times than I can count. And what about being ruled by fear and doubt instead of trusting in God’s Holy Word and surrendering all into His mighty and capable hands? Oh how many times I have! Sometimes I find myself asking “will I ever learn?” The answer is yes, a little at a time with many failures along the way, but never attaining perfection until I see Him face to face and once and for all drop this robe of flesh!
I’ve thought so much, too, about the scripture that says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) and Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.” So we know, that the condition of our hearts matter. As human beings we all fail, again and again, yet we are called to live a holy life. When we fail, it is of paramount importance that we have hearts that are open to hearing God’s call to repentance. When we come before the Lord with a broken and contrite heart, He will hear us, forgive us, and grow us in His ways from what we learned through the process of failure and His gracious forgiveness.
But what if we harden our hearts? What then? Do we become less and less sensitive to His call? I believe we do, and as painful as facing our failures can be, it is imperative in order to find true peace with The Lord. Admitting our wrong is necessary for forgiveness. Paul warns us not to allow ourselves to be given over to licentiousness; believing falsely that because God is gracious and we are sinful we can walk in disobedience without consequence.
How can we turn from our sin if we won’t face it? Who determines what sin is anyway? Is it us, our culture, society, or our God? Indeed, it is HIm and it is all contained in His Word. Yes, we need to remember, even when it hurts to do so, that we are called to a standard that requires us to not even give the appearance of evil.(1 Thessalonians) What does that mean? Well, it means many things in many circumstances and wisdom and obedience to the voice of the Holy Spirit is necessary to honor this call.
Oh my, my my…this is where my heart is lingering with an openness to The Lord for His perfect wisdom, will, forgiveness and guidance in my walk from this day forward. I readily recognize myself as the sinner that I am, but I also know that through His grace and His mercy I am now a child of The King. He willingly took my sin upon Himself in order that one day I might wear a robe and crown. He saved me from my sin…from my sin…how I thank Him with a humbled and broken heart for all He did and continues to do for me day by day.