“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2)
“If we confess we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” 1 John 1:8-10
(Continuing from the last blog…)
So there I am, face down on my bedroom carpet, and I know I must immediately do something. And it's one of the hardest things for people to do.
I needed to admit my sins—more to myself than to God. It was time to stop glossing over and denying them and ask God to display them to me, so I could repent, of all of them.
After that ugly, soul-baring, tear-filled event, one other step needed to be taken.
It was time to take God's hand in faith and allow Him to lead me out of the darkness. I needed to take His hand, so even when I stumbled I’d no longer fall.
No longer a child or adolescent with an adolescent theology, it was time to put away childish things and recommit my life—and all I had—to Him. It was time to stop being content with hanging onto salvation scraps and take faith one more step: To climb onto the altar to wholly present myself as a living sacrifice to God. No scrambling backwards; no apprehensively testing the heat with a big toe; no waiting for someone else to go ahead of me; no standing at the threshold with knocking knees, my heart poised to turn and run.
It was way past time for me to grow up!
But it would require more than plain head knowledge to do so. I already possessed that, confessing and believing that Jesus Christ was the world’s and my Savior. I believed it, but I didn’t fully comprehend what it implied. I believed Him to be the sole source of my salvation, but I’d previously been unwilling to make a full commitment by bending my knee (actually my heart, soul and life) to Him.
I often prayed for a deeper faith, begged for it, but my faith was erratic because of my ignorance of God’s faithfulness. His promises, His track record. All of it, from the beginning. Where would I find that information, that proof?
Right there within the pages of my Bible.
I always held the erroneous impression that I’d possess more faith if I did something, performed some monumental act that would get God's attention. (Everyone is like that. We either have teeny, shriveled, accolade-craving egos; or our egos are so inflated we think we’re actually capable of doing something that will get God’s attention, really impress the socks off of Him.)
Surely faith would rush in like a firestorm, a jubilant announcement proclaiming me worthy of endowment of unlimited, earth quaking faith. A reward for my personal sacrifices and heroic efforts. Surely, as a chain reaction to my good deeds, God would counter with a monumental, miraculous act on my behalf. I’d know because then life would be simple; life would be burden-free, doubt-free and carefree.
Yes, I believed in Christ, but I hadn’t fully trusted in Him, hadn’t fully given myself to Him, hadn’t rested in Him. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Jesus said. That was me: heavy laden, and needing rest.
I needed to sink my weight—my life—into that rest, without reservation or hesitation, like I do when I confidently sit on a chair I expect to hold me up. (How often do you inspect the legs of a chair before you sit in it?) I needed to sink in and allow Him to support and carry me, fully and completely, in His power, not my own.
The time had arrived to take the next step.
More than just profess Him as my Savior, I needed to allow Him to actively be my Savior. That meant relinquishing my life’s control reins and handing those reins over to Him. I needed to step down from the throne I’d attempted to make myself comfortable in, and allow Christ to sit in His rightful place as Lord over my life. All of my life, not just what I might be willing—on any given day—to turn over to Him.
That next step would be more of a process…
I want you to read this line again:
Surely then, as a chain reaction to my good deeds, God would counter with a monumental, miraculous act on my behalf.
Actually, He already did that, two thousand years ago.
Not for my good deeds, but because He loves me.
And he did it for you, because He loves you.
Many of you, like me, have lost children or grandchildren, or know someone who has.
Would you willingly, deliberately—like God—send your only Son to an unspeakably cruel beating and death on a rough Roman cross as a sacrifice for someone else’s sins, just so that person would know how much you loved them?
That’s what God did for you, so He could permanently write your name on His hand and never let you go. If you were the only person on Earth, He still would have sent His Son to that death, just to spend eternity with you.
Are you ready to sink your weight into Him today? If not, ask Him to reveal Himself to you; pray for the faith you need to do it.
He’ll faithfully respond.
Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on,
Let me stand
I'm tired, I am weak I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
~Rev. Thomas A Dorsey
NEXT WEEK: The final step: Experiencing the process and slowly ascending from the grief and despondency that had overtaken my life…
Thanks for joining me.
Until next week!
(After years of trying unsuccessfully to correct and live with the negative effects of the damage and trauma done to my womb in my last two pregnancies, as well as a procedure in 2008 that has worsened my condition, I’ve finally decided to have it removed next Monday, October 14. So, while many of you are reading my post, I’ll be reclining comfortably, in controlled sleep, on an operating room table. It will be a melancholy day. Please pray for a successful surgery and speedy recovery! Thank you!)
PS I’m writing ahead, so posts will continue every Monday, on schedule! J