Week of June 19
"I will praise the Lord, who counsels me . . . You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand." Psalm 16:7, 11
In God's presence, there is light, safety, peace and joy. How many of us can honestly say that we reside in this place all day every day? Most of us struggle by reacting to sin, and some of us may have never experienced this amazing place. But there is hope.
The restorative process of overcoming patterns of sin in our hearts is a provision of God's great mercy and love for us. Psalm 41:4 (Amplified) says, ". . . heal my inner self, for I have sinned against You."
Some of our sins are obvious to us (and others). But there are those that are "hidden" or "secret," residing deep within our souls without our conscious awareness. For these to be revealed, we need the Holy Spirit to "illuminate" them before we can repent and be more intimate with God.
Psalm 90:8 (NIV) says, "You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence." The NIV note for this scripture defines the light of God's presence as being "The holy light of God that illumines the hidden corners of the heart and exposes its dark secrets."
We can walk around for years, even as Christians, unknowingly operating in sins. Some of them may have taken root during our childhood or perhaps were even established in our bloodline generations (Gen. 20:5). Operating in these iniquities can seem "normal" because we grew up in the midst of them, not knowing any better. And we oftentimes carry these sins into our adult lives unknowingly until something in life triggers them.
But there comes a time when God will bring those issues to the surface, enlighten us and lead us to confront and overcome those obstacles. With our participation—and often the help of a counselor chosen by God—He restores us to His peace, love and joy where we once again feel His presence in a profoundly intimate way. This level of communing with Our Heavenly Father is what we were created for. It's called freedom.
Would you like to reside in the profound presence of God? Ask Him to illuminate your secret sin patterns and help you overcome them. Praise Him in the process. And remember that love in action and truth is "how we will set our hearts at rest in His presence" (I John3:19). You are the delight of God's heart, and He longs for you to draw near to Him (Heb. 10:22).
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ.
Originally published Sunday, 16 June 2013.