Jesus has been hard at work on my heart these past couple months. As spring came, so did my own awakening. This quote from C.H. Spurgeon sums it up right:
"Fair weather is smiling upon the face of the earth, and He would not have me spiritually asleep while nature is all around me awaking from her winter's rest. He bids me "Rise up," and well He may, for I have long enough been lying among the pots of worldliness. He is risen, I am risen in Him, why then should I cleave unto the dust? From lower loves, desires, pursuits, and aspirations, I would rise towards Him."
I really don't even know how best to document this transformation happening in me. So, naturally, I'll make a list. Here are just a few of the lessons and thoughts that are changing my life lately.... it would be so sweet if the Lord uses them to bless someone else in their walk with Him, and I pray that He would! But regardless, I still need to be writing them down, for my own sake.
1. My sin. I will begin at the beginning. It really all started on March 5th. On this day in history, I saw my sin. I mean, it wasn't the first occasion for that to happen, but this was different. It was nap time at our house, I went to the guest room to sit on the bed and feed Casper and I started to read my bible. Suddenly, like a grand unveiling, the Holy Spirit convicted me of sin. It was a specific sin that had been lying stagnant under the surface for years and the Lord revealed it to me in a new light. I was deeply grieved by what I had done/had been doing. I felt the weight of my guilt. I felt the depths of His grace. I had felt them both before, but this was the heaviest and deepest (respectively) they had ever been to me. It was so hard and sad, so liberating and wonderful. My heart was broken, but bursting at the same time! All because of Jesus. I knew this revelation, this sin experience, was going to change me; it was going to unlock the dungeons of my heart and mobilize my will to fight against sin. Grant came home from work and found me still sitting on the guest bed, holding a sleeping Casper, crying my eyes out. He was so excited for me when I told him what had happened. And it was one of the best days of my life.
2. Feeling, tasting, seeing. Just moments after awakening to my sin, I went googling. I was looking up the bible verses I wanted to read for instruction and finding some articles for encouragement, and the Lord brought me right here:
"...maybe God has brought you to this point of feeling your guilt so that grace would taste sweeter than it ever has. We have to see our sin, but some of us have grown up in such goody-goody homes that we don't think we've ever done anything serious." - John Piper, emphasis mine.
The day after, I posted this photo to Instagram, to help me remember what had been done for me. There's nothing like a selfie to mark your memory. ;)
"Good hard, self-examining day yesterday. The lesson was the one that trumps all lessons: the greatness of my sin and the depths of His grace."
3. My good resolve. Just 2 days before seeing my sin, this devotional was preparing my heart. And it has left a scar on my sin attitude that, Lord willing, will not soon fade away.
"When you sit back to do nothing, you are not doing nothing. You are actively engaging your will in a decision to sit back. And if that is the way you handle sin or temptation in your life, it is blatant disobedience, because we are commanded to wage a good warfare (1 Timothy 1:18) and to resist the devil (James 4:7) and strive for holiness (Hebrews 12:14).
Part of the whole process of walking worthy of God's call is the active engagement of our will in resolving to do righteousness.
If you have lingering sin in your life, or if you keep neglecting some good deed, just because you have been waiting around to be saved without a fight, you are compounding your disobedience. God will never appear with power in your will in any other form than a good resolve that you make and keep." -from the solid joys devotional app, march 3rd
4. The fight. This was so inspiring to me! Now that I am awake to my sin, and one in particular that I will do battle with on a daily basis, I can fight it! And how do I fight against sin? What do I do when I feel myself starting to cave to it? This tool is the first thing I turn to, because it works. And because it has become part of the way my mind moves. When I first heard it, it made so much sense. Piper's A.P.T.A.T. -- write it out somewhere, my friends. Here's the simplest explanation.
A - I admit I can't in myself do what needs to be done.
P - I pray for God's help.
T - I trust a particular promise he has given us in His Word.
A - I act on whatever God is calling me to do.
T - I thank him for his help when I am done.
Well, these 4 items barely scrape the icing off this cake the Lord has handed me this spring. More heart issues to be shared soonish, so I'll say To be continued...