Journal Entry ~ 10/21/17

20 He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. 
21 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!  - Psalm 107:20-21

So, why do we need to get into the Word every single day?  Because that is where He reveals the deception of our hearts to us. Let’s be real - confession is not natural for us.  We’re more comfortable thinking we’re righteous than we are thinking we’re wrong in any way. It’s easier to point the finger out than to point the finger in, to blame others of our circumstances, to point out bigger sinners than we are, and to minimize our actual sin. It’s natural for us to be blind to the depth of our sin against God, it’s natural for us to dismiss it as only a little something, it’s natural for us to harden our heart against the grief we should be feeling because we’re using the world as our standard. Getting into Scripture every day is how we continue to measure ourselves against the true standard, it’s how we see our sin from His righteous and holy eyes, it’s where we find true repentance and true change. 

Living in this world, we can be only vaguely aware of our sin, if at all. Maybe it’s because our struggle with  sin happens in the little moments of life rather than the big moments that they’re so easy to dismiss. The majority of our lives are lived in the little moments that happen in between the big moments, and that’s where you’ll find the majority of our sin. We notice the big sins and we tend to confess those; in fact, many of us dwell on the big sins and have a hard time moving past them. If you’re caught in that cycle, remember that condemnation keeps us focused on ourselves while conviction points us to Christ. We have been forgiven in Christ for all of our sins, we no longer need to hang on to our sins once we laid them before God. In fact, hanging on to a past sin may be the reason you are not seeing your current sin in all the little, mundane moments of your life. It’s the character you display in those little moments that determine how you respond in the bigger moments of life. It’s the harsh response or the giving in to the little pleasures, it’s the flash of lust or the anger at someone who cut you off, it’s the critical thoughts or the impatience with a family member. These moments go by so fast, we scarcely notice them, and often fail to confess them. All these little moments add up and point to the fact that we are truly broken and in desperate need of a Savior. 

When we do recognize our lack of patience that caused us to snap at those near to us, or the difficult day that caused  us to be unloving in our response, when we do realize we should have opened our bible this morning instead of hitting the snooze again, or offered to help instead of standing in judgment,  we will often take those sins to God and confess them in a list of things we did wrong. But that will never bring about any change. I know so many people caught in the sin-confess-repeat cycle, vaguely aware of the wrong in their life, but never finding any true freedom when they confess the sin. They stand up from their prayer of confession, and go right back to living in those little moments of the sin-confess-repeat cycle. I’ve lived in that camp far too often myself.  We want to quickly dismiss any sin we see in our life, so we confess it and leave it. It’s hard to get to the place of brokenness over our sin necessary for true repentance because it takes time to look deep into our hearts and uncover what really lies beneath the sin. 

We will never find true freedom from our sins until we get to a place of repentance, and we can’t get there unless we’re in His Word consistently. We can’t simply say the words of confession without feeling the grief our sin causes and expect any change, and we can’t really feel the grief unless we see the sin as God sees it. Repentance is a confession of that grief, which leads to a change in behavior because God has allowed us to see our sin for what it truly is. So, if you’re caught in the sin-confess-repeat cycle, open your heart and ask Him to give you eyes to see the sin as He sees it.  If your eyes are open, and your heart is humbly willing to see what God reveals to you, you will find the glorious, restorative, rescuing, and transformative grace and forgiveness that leads to a changed behavior. But it takes an incredible amount of courage to allow God to take you to the place of brokenness over your sin, it can be hard to allow Him to show you what truly exists in your heart because it’s ugly. We hide a lot of pride and bitterness and hurt in our hearts that is the root of so much of our sin, and we don’t want to own that it’s ours. But if we’re willing to be vulnerable and allow Him to expose it, He stands at the ready with His grace and forgiveness to completely cover it all. 

I remain so thankful of the gift of time He has given me in this diagnosis. There are no time pressures on me to get off this couch and move on with my day, I have the freedom to hang out with Him as long as I like. That’s a beautiful thing. It’s allowing me to be deeply reflective of what lies in my heart, to allow Him to reveal to me those strongholds and sin issues in my heart, my pride, my bitterness, my hurts. It’s not easy to own what’s in our hearts, but when we do, and we learn to lay it down at His feet, there is such sweet freedom on the other side. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗


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