Some mornings I read a devotion and just can’t help but to share it. Today is such a day. I know many of you are familiar with Susie Larson, a local radio host, author, and conference speaker. She writes morning and evening blessings that are pretty cool. Today’s was spot on for me.
Morning Blessing: May God’s peace mark your day in every way. May the Lord show you places in your life where you’ve let your guard down, let your thoughts wander, and let your peace slip away. May Jesus help you shore up your life once again. May you listen more closely to His voice and turn a deaf ear to the enemy. May you refuse thoughts and indulgences that only weaken you. Engage in all of the things that are good for your soul. Jesus loves you and He wants what’s best for you. Have a peace-saturated day today!
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you (2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV).
I have to be honest with myself. My spiritual life has slipped. I don’t like where I am at today. I know that I should be in a much better place right now, closer to God. I can tell because I don’t have the peace beyond all understanding. I’ve let my guard down, my thoughts wander, and my peace slipped away. Temptation seems to be nearer and louder.
Why is that? I believe it is because I have tried to cut corners and nibble a little on sin. I’m not talking outright indulgence, just a little around the edges. Kind of like picking at frosting on a cake. There’s a time and place for everything, right? Yet, I seem to want to cheat the system. I’m not fooling anybody.
So, what to do about it? Well, like most people, I guess, I simply try to ignore it. Then I justify it. Maybe that comes first. Justify and then ignore. Then the peace disappears, and I find myself looking to fill that void. With what? Other things, of course, because I can’t get close to God when I’m looking away from him. Have you ever had a dog that has done something wrong and won’t look at you? That’s me.
I’m reminded of The Fall. I’m going to be straight with you, I do not like this story one little bit. Why? Because it is as if it were written about me, and I guess it was.
Genesis 3:6-10 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
There you have it.
What now? Fess up and repent. Let’s not stay hidden. Things are much different for us than they were for Adam and Eve. I’m not banished from Heaven, although I certainly will lose blessings if I remain in hiding. If I want things to be different, I need to resolve to recognize my sin for exactly what it is and turn from it. Does this mean I can avoid it for the rest of the week, but maybe leave the option open for this weekend? Ah, no, I don’t think so. So, if I am resolved to be done with it, then I am ready to move on. Here are a couple verses to help with that.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Did you catch that? God is faithful. I’m not. I blew it. Again. Yet, God is faithful and just to forgive my sins, all of them, and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. That means as far as God is concerned, I’m good to go. Yes, I may have some price to pay for my sin, but God is looking at me as if all is well – because it is.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation or those who are in Christ Jesus.
I’m right with Jesus, even when I am hiding. This doesn’t disqualify me; it can’t. Yet, there is something quite comforting to be reminded of my position after I come out of hiding and into the light. The light feels good. Really good. Why, oh, why, do I try to think I can find any good in sin? Ugh.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Father, I come to you, humble, with my hat in my hands. Please forgive me. I have no excuse. Cleanse me. Restore me. Have mercy on me. Grant me grace. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers