It's tiring to be a sinner.
It’s tiring and hard to have a heart that’s conflicted, that swings wildly from trust to trouble. It’s hard work to keep pressing into truth, the truth of God and of myself and of everything in-between. Because there’s this place in all of us, this Holy of Holies, the place where God can dwell. It’s a place made for worship because we are designed to worship, and we will always find something or someone to fill that place.
And it’s easy to let trouble into that sacred place, to worship every other shiny thing that tempts and distracts. But I’ve the learned the hard way (is learning ever an easy way?)–I’ve learned the hard way that letting other things into that sacred place is worse than facing the truth. Letting other things command that place designed for worship leads to bitter-tasting emptiness. It leads to death.
So I need grace and I need to cling to truth and sometimes I need help finding my way, so I have some questions I like to ask myself. They help me and they might help you too, because MAN do we all need grace, just flooding into our two-timing, conflicted hearts, leading us back to Jesus and all that his love offers. So here goes:
1. What do I want?
I picture it. I visualize every part of what I want, what I’m asking for or questioning or bringing to His attention. I try to see myself in it and others in it. As my pastor David referred to last week, I ask myself the question, “Am I the star of my own show? Do I see myself at the center with everyone else a supporting cast?” That’s a hard question but it’s an honest question, and before I can know my motive I have to start with the raw, gutsy truth, “what do I want?”
2. Who do I confess that God is?
I remind myself. Do I believe He is faithful? Then He’ll be faithful to me. Do I believe that He is sovereign? Then His plan cannot be thwarted. Do I believe that He is good? Then He will act in his timing.
3. Whose wisdom is best?
Proverbs 3:5 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” So, God’s wisdom and human wisdom are not the same. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. Or better yet, a squeeze tube of applesauce with an entire mountain range. Not. The. Same. So, whenever I feel like God must have forgotten about me or doesn’t like me or isn’t looking out for me, I ask myself, “is it possible God sees this differently?” I ask myself, “is it possible that I do not understand something important here?” And I have to admit to Jesus, “yes, it’s certainly possible.” Which leads me to the next question:
4. What does it take to trust someone?
Well, it takes faithfulness. And commitment. And sacrifice. And a promise. And I am staking my entire life on this person, Jesus. Jesus, the man who walked the earth and lived and breathed and healed and taught and died and rose again because He embodied faithfulness, commitment, sacrifice and a promise. His promise? “I have come so that you may have life, and have it to the full.” And I just can’t beat that promise.
5. What adds up?
I review my questions, on what I want, on who God is, on wisdom and on trust. And I come up with peace. Peace that God can handle my situation, my confusion, and my sin. Peace that although I may not understand the plan, there is no reason to believe that He doesn’t! And peace that He will supply all my needs if I come to Him. So I come one day at a time, asking to be brave enough for what the day requires, humble enough to trust in His way, and peaceful enough to let Him be Lord. And if every day could start and end like that…well…that’d be more than enough.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Thomas Bullock