Uncomfortably Honest

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, if they will pray and seek me and stop their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven. I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land.” (NCV)

I read these verses the other day and immediately my heart turned to someone in my life with whom I am currently struggling. “Oh Lord,” I prayed, “please speak to this person and let them humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways and return to you.”

But halfway through this prayer for this person to “turn from their wicked ways”, another thought popped into my head. Should I be focusing this prayer on myself instead?

In this situation where I believe I am being wronged, and I truly believe I am following God’s ways in this particular situation, shouldn’t I be praying for the other person’s eyes to be opened to the situation at hand? Shouldn’t I be praying for them to turn from their ways and turn towards God?

Maybe not.

Maybe what God is trying to tell me with this verse is that I need to not focus so hard on the other person, but instead turn that spotlight inward, towards myself. Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (NIV) What wicked ways do I need to turn from? What are those black spots in my mind and on my heart that I need to confess to God and allow Him to clean me up from the inside out? What are the areas in my own life where I need to humble myself to God and pray and seek His face?

Anger/Resentment: my feelings of being wronged and feeling like I am the victim will not only turn to anger if I don’t confront and confess them, but eventually could turn to resentment, hurting nobody but myself

Doubt: doubting God’s plan for my life

Envy: I’ve struggled with various forms of envy my entire life

Fear: instead of trusting in God, I’ve found myself crippled with fear over all the things that COULD happen, instead of focusing on what GOD will make happen and trusting that whatever that is will be what’s best for me

Looks like I have enough of my own things to confess to God, to humble myself before Him, to seek His face and to pray and to turn from these wicked thoughts which are not from God.

Dear Lord, I come to you humbled and broken, a sinner in need of redemption. Please help me to turn from my sins and turn from the things that are not from you. Please forgive me and help me to remember that you are perfect and you are in control. Forgive me for my anger, my doubt, my envy and my fear. Please fill me with your peace and your love and help me to live as an example of you. Thank you for these words and this reminder. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

uncomfortably honest

Advertisements

Repent and Renew

I’ve found myself spending a lot of time lately asking for forgiveness during my prayers.

prayer

Please forgive my horrible attitude today.

Please forgive me for my unfaithfulness.

Please forgive me for doubting.

Please forgive me for not trusting You.

I feel like it’s this vicious cycle sometimes that I just can’t get out of. I pull myself out of yesterday’s pit of doubt, fear, despair, and self-loathing and I ask God’s forgiveness and promise to do better, only to find myself failing again. I want to trust God. I want to live a Godly life, I want to have a Christ-like character, I want to glorify God in everything I do. So why is it so hard? Why do I keep messing it up?

Are you ready for this? It’s kind of earth-shattering.

It’s because I am human.

I know, right? I couldn’t really grasp it myself. But as I was catching up on my She Reads Truth devotion from last week, I read Day 14 (Neh 9:30-10:39), compliments of Amanda Williams from SRT:

Repentance leads to a renewed obedience.

redemption

A renewed obedience. One of Mirriam-Webster’s definitions for ‘renew’ is to do again or begin again. How about that? When we repent, we’re starting over. As long as we ask forgiveness, we have a clean slate. The gospel tells us that we need to turn to God again and again – even if we continue to get things wrong. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t continually try to get it right; but we should recognize that we’re going to make mistakes. Take a look at the Israelites – they were constantly turning away from God; constantly disobeying Him. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel better to know that even God’s chosen people got it wrong. And pretty frequently at that. But Joshua 1:5 tells us “as I was with Moses, so I will be with you: I will never fail you nor forsake you.”

God will never fail us or forsake us. He will never leave us, no matter how many times we screw up. As long as we repent, and keep trying, He will be there. Pretty powerful stuff, huh? Powerful and comforting. All we need to do is trust in Him.

I think the O.C. Supertones summed it up pretty well with their song lyrics:

I count on God, I love Him best
He helps me through my trials and tests
He’ll always be there when I call
Always catch me when I fall

forgiveness

Thank you Lord, for being there for me when I fall. Thank for forgiving me and loving me and never forsaking me.

Because, really. Is there anything greater than the unconditional love of God?