Ever read someone else’s blog and feel His sword pierce your heart?
How about when you read Scripture?
If you believe with your whole heart His Word is living and active before you open your Bible, be prepared to be seen in His holy light where nothing is hidden:
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of the Him to whom we must give account (Hebrew 4:13 NIV).
Some of us who grew up with a lack of trust in others shudder at the thought of this vulnerability, even before Our Lord and Savior. I get it. But don’t give the devil an inch of air time to whisper shame-filled lies into your soul. Put the devil under your feet where he belongs.
Seek the holy face of Your Father for the times you have gone astray.
God gave me this analogy for repentance:
We take off our clothes to get into the shower, right? We bare our physical bodies to cleanse them.
In the same way, we bare our sinful souls before Christ.
Our showers are not one and done in a lifetime, nor is our time at the Cross surrendering our junk. The only one and done at the Cross was Jesus taking nails. One time He died for the sins of the whole world. He shall never die again as His victory over death is found in His resurrection.
His victory is ours because that is how much HE LOVES US!
God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
If we choose to hide or deny our sin, we keep ourselves away from the One who waits for us to come, who has the power to change us.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).
In the wee hours of this first 2021 morning, His moon shone in the corner of our dining room window.
Full, emanating light given by heaven.
Lord, please forgive me for the two people I met in 2020, the strangers you put in my path, and I didn’t shine. I know You saw me. Both times I was focused on my needs. I am tempted to carry shame about this greed that lives in me, where I know and pray to serve You, yet I tend to my flesh not my Spirit. I thank You, Jesus, that You welcome me, here at this window, seeking Your face. I lay down this lack of focus, this greed to serve my natural self. For when I turn away, I cannot be used by You or give You glory. Lord, please help and direct my path this new year, that my feet may walk steadfastly on Your path, that my eyes and ears be attuned steadfastly to Your Word and Your Spirit. That my life is not my own but Yours. In Jesus Name, Amen
Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest is a powerful devotional. On the reading on December 28th , God began to prepare my heart for repentance with Mr. Chambers’ words:
When God through His sovereignty brings us into new situations, we should immediately make sure our natural life submits to the spiritual, obeying the orders of the Spirit of God. Just because we have responded properly in the past is no guarantee we will do so again.
There were times I did witness to strangers last year. However, as Mr. Chambers says plainly to those who follow Christ: following His Spirit at 1pm Tuesday does not mean you will follow His Spirit at 1pm on Saturday.
My heart aches if I missed the opportunity to introduce Jesus to the woman in Kohl’s who mentioned the cross on my cowboy boots. I don’t know if she believed, but I should have continued the conversation instead of trying on shoes I was not going to buy.
What do we do with situations in 2020 in which we neglected to listen to His Spirit first?
Repent. Know the kingdom of God is near (Matthew 3:2). Your sin alone has not interrupted God’s plans for His world. Yet, even though we trust He is mighty to save and will forgive us, we still need to go, bend our knees if we are able and spend time to repent.
We can’t expect full forgiveness without full repentance: https://juliedibblewrites.wordpress.com/2021/01/01/repentance-with-zero-shame/Tweet
Turn to Jesus. Lay down the sin AND the regrets.
Let it go with a child’s heart who wants to learn to be more like Jesus and steer clear of this sin in the future.
Receive the soft rain of His grace and peace. Feel His love trickle through your scarred soul.
Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded more (Romans 5:20 ESV).
When you receive what He offers, the clutter in your mind clears. Your heart lowers to serve Him well. Not perfectly but well.
If any of your 2020 sins involved others, pray for them as part of your repentance. I am doing that this weekend, listening for His direction. Sometimes God will nudge us to take action as part of repentance, beyond prayer. I have an email to compose to ask one of these persons for their forgiveness. If my email is not received well or responded to, I will still be in obedience to my God, making right where I fell short in His eyes, even if not in theirs.
This new year awaits our Christ-like presence.
Let’s slow our roll so that we seek Him first in all things we do on this earth. We will trip and stumble, but that is no excuse before Him.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).
As the wise men brought small gifts to our favored new King, so we bring our souls as clay, an incredible gift to our All-Knowing, All-Powerful Potter.
Mold us, Lord. Smooth the sharp edges. Make our limbs flexible as we reach out to others. Quiet our voices with Your gentleness. Through all our cracks, Lord, shine Your light, help us be North Stars to the broken world.
Grow our fear, Oh Lord, for that is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of You. This moment we bow our heads as our hearts profess our love for You, Lord. We raise our arms in ever praise of Your holy, righteous ways. We thank You for the fresh showers upon our souls, grace and mercy given to those You love.
For you shall not go out in haste, and you shall not go in flight, for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard (Isaiah 52:12 ESV).
Wow! I didn’t know all of what I would share until I sat down.
All photos in this post are from Pixabay.com.
It is hard being a follower of Christ. We are only holy and righteous in Him. When we step away from His presence, even just for a minute, we lose credibility as His followers.
The world is watching how we will respond to hate, to blame, to persecution. The world is trying to tell its story of pain. The world is lost and needs direction to the Way, the Truth and the Life. The world can also be something we walk away from at times. Jesus did.
We are stronger together, speaking truth into each other’s lives with the grace He gives.
When one of us falters, we all falter. When one of us shines, we all shine.
Repent, sisters and brothers, and believe the Kingdom of God is here. Watch for Jesus. He is coming back soon.
Love in Christ,