Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Complete Abandon at the Foot of the Cross
Regret. You all know the feeling from your very core, filling every vacant corner of your floundering mind as soon as you discover that something could have been done differently, done better. A task assigned to you days ago failed to be completed to perfection, and the lectures from others have only begun. Yet, the voice that does the most lecturing, far more than any single person, is the voice inside your mind, wrecking havoc and tossing guilt in your face. It causes a divide in your thoughts, pulling your focus away from the tasks at hand to mentally correct your mistakes permanently apart of a past. As natural as this reaction may seem, have you ever considered how unhealthy it is? Look at what you are filling your mind with: anger, frustration, regret, possibly denial. Yet, God calls us to fill our minds with the good, with the reality of hope, love, and forgiveness. Why do we succumb to a lesser version of who God is calling us to be when we do something wrong, when we fail Him?
Please, do not mistake me here. Pondering on our actions of the past, learning from their consequences, and implicating lessons learned in the future is an absolutely necessary process to recognizing God's hand in our lives and growing in Him. But prolonged time spent looking in the past, discovering every possible angle we could have gone, and deceiving our minds into thinking that dwelling on that is part of the learning process hurts us and hurts our relationship with the Lord. God has chosen to look through Jesus, to look through Jesus's death on calvary, instead of our sinfulness. For us to chose the path of regret and self-beating only draws our mind away from the reality of Christ, from the reality of what Christ did for us. It deadens our inner balance, threatens our peace, and gives a foothold to the devil.
I speak of this with such urgency and forthrightness because I have been there and still go there. The temptation to rely on my own good works over God's grace is so real in my life, so raw. It has nothing to do with how confident I am in my Lord, my Salvation, and who I am at heart. It has everything to do with my desire to follow and please God taking precedence over my need to seek continually forgiveness, address sins, and recognize that perfectionism will not be the result. A mixture of apathy and pride guard this all too familiar thought-process, holding captive the true potential God has for me. It spreads seeds of doubt on the soil of my life, and it takes such careful steps to not let a drop of water fall on those seeds. I want to be a good example, live as a good example. Yet, at the same time, I do not always want to address the dark places of my heart because I know that which is hidden there will threaten to shake my foundation. The question I ask myself nearly every single day is will I rely on myself, on my own wisdom, or the wisdom of God in any given situation.
See, the line between pursuing good works and pursuing God is such a fine one. It is a line draw in sand and winds will eventually blow enough grains of sand into the crevasse to make it all but disappear from our sight. And every day we will inch closer to that line, simply to make sure we know where it is at. How utterly foolish. We should be running from that line. If the tidal waves of life are all that meet you upon running, meet them with the confidence that you are in God's ways and in His power and in His grace. The surface of His grace and His love for you will never crack and will hold any and all weight over the surface of your good works absent of grace. For every moment we live in this life, it is vital, necessary, to constantly bring the reality of the cross, what Christ did for us, to the very forefronts of our minds. Because, trust me folks, our feeble minds forget that reality all too often and get far too comfortable in our current lives and our current ways. Each and every one of us is all to grow, to grown in the Lord every second of every day. You cannot do that when you focus on doing good over seeking Him.
Our growth in Him directly corresponds with our willingness to seek Him with utter and complete abandon, to hold His love and grace so close to our hearts that we see everything else through that bright light. My heart is weak, my mind easily swayed, my ways flawed, my dreams tinted with impossibility, my footsteps uncertain, my thoughts marked by sinfulness, but not so are His. His heart is strong, His mind firm, His ways perfect, His dreams awe-inspiring, His footsteps deep and set, His thoughts pure. I do not know about you, but I want His; I want Him. And the only possible way I can draw close to Him and tap into His ways is by letting His love and His grace be my guide and letting His love for me grow with so much vigor that I cannot help but follow the ways of the good.
I reach out to your hearts with a plea today, with a hope that all ears would listen. We are not called to dwell on the past, to dwell on the actions of who we were days ago. Each minute we live is put into the history book of all time. The great men and women of history were not marked because of their failures so much as they were their ability to overcome failure and live a life that spoke to so many people in so many different ways. We have that opportunity standing right before us, waiting for us to cross the threshold between simply good to being great. We cannot look back; we can only look forward. Your future is not in your past; it is not in the hour that just passed. Your future is completely and totally enveloped within His presence, His hands, and His suffering for us. That is what we are called to. That is what we should pursue. That is what we should fill our minds with. We are the Lord's children, and we are His alone. Remember that fact whenever you are tempted to get by on your own dealings; whenever tempted to practice self-lecture; whenever tempted to draw close to the line in the sand. Dare to be bold; dare to live in His confidence; dare to be His.
Posted by Hannah Marie at 10:33 AM