For the last few weeks I have had a deep cry in my heart which I knew was there, but I have been trying to numb it with life’s busyness and ephemeral pursuits. I can’t believe the amount of energy, time and effort I can sometimes put in preparing and planning for things that lie ahead in my life and that of my family, and yet, although in Christ I am a new creation and I know where I am going, I do not invest half as much time preparing for such a lofty destiny.
Last weekend, it had been weeks since I had picked up my bible for longer than 10 minutes at a time; it had been weeks since I had purposefully made time to pray and be in God’s presence; it had been weeks since I had spent some considerable time asking God: What next?. I share this with you because in order to be able to follow Christ, one needs to remain real and true to oneself and others, and I will not be the one who sits and writes in judgement of others when there is so much idolatry and unfaithfulness to God in my own life. I have been doing a lot of that in the past and although at the time I felt called to expose certain things taking place in the Body of Christ, to rebuke and exhort, to cry out loud and to plead to other Christians to open their eyes and see the reality of many in the Body of Christ today which does not reflect, represent or honour Christ, I feel that today is the beginning of a new season; an introspective season where in order to gain more revelation and knowledge as to where I need to be and we need to be as a body, first I need to look within and re-tune certain areas in my own life which I have recently neglected and need to re-focus on and allow God to develop one stage further.
As I stood there in my kitchen pleading forgiveness to God for once again putting His purposes and those things that break His heart in the back burner of my life, I could sense God’s presence and Jesus’ eyes piercing right through mine; I could sense the hurt in a loving God who is not only neglected by those whose stubborness and pride blinds them from the truth, but more worryingly and inexcusably so, by those who know the truth and yet, have allowed for their love for the Lord to grow cold as the here and now takes the front seat of their life. I am one of those people. I have recently lost sight of where I am going, of who lifted me up of the wrong path and placed me by grace on the right one; I have fallen trap to the lies of the enemy which fooled me into believing that if I let my guard down for just a few weeks, I would be able to retake my spiritual journey where I left it. Nothing is further from the truth. When we falter; when we are weak and fail to maintain our disciplines to pray, abide and meditate on the word of God and carry His presence with us wherever we go, whatever we do, we create a massive wedge which not only is hard to put back together, but which makes room for all sorts of earthly things and pursuits to creep into our life and dissuade us from our calling in Christ set before our time.
Although these were not my exact words as I prayed, the lyrics in the song below pretty much describe the plead that came out of my mouth last weekend as I realised how desperately I really need Jesus in my life. You see, this is the problem with many Christians today. We think that just because in our own eyes we are ok with God because we have not committed a major crime or sin, we can by-pass His first and main commandment to love Him with all our heart, all our soul and all our strength, to love Him above all else; we can just do a few good deeds here and there, go to church most Sundays, and attend a few prayer meetings, and in our eyes and in our limited knowledge we convince ourselves that we are being true to Christ. We keep forgetting He can see right through us; nothing is hidden from Him. We think that a full, content and blessed life is the result of a life well lived, honouring God every now and then and loving our neighbour occasionally, but these things fall so short of our true calling in Christ. We may think our full lives in this world are a reflection of the condition of our heart and our right standing with God, but Jesus said that those who wanted to keep their life would lose it and those who lost their life for Him would gain it.
To live as God calls us to live, being in this world but knowing that we are not of it, we do not belong in it, implies a radical change in the way we do life. Though we think we are so alive, so accomplished in our personal pursuits, we are so spiritually dead. When we feel our happiest in the world’s sense of the word, is normally when we are furthest from God, because the God of the Bible, The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit call us to a life of sacrifice where to live is Christ; it is all about Christ, for Christ and in Christ, and to die to self is gain though whilst we are on this earth, dying to self is so painful and hard to achieve, because our fleshly nature and the incessant prods of the enemy have an incredibly strong pull which we can only fight and overcome by the grace of God.
God is a forgiving God, full of mercy and compassion with those whose hearts are genuinely repentant and contrite. Do not fear to come to Him in utter defeat, in shame, empty, for He will ALWAYS pick you up and restore the pieces of your heart; He will BREATHE his Spirit into your life again; He will fill you with a new breath, a new life and a new revelation of who He is and what is on His heart; He will never leave you nor forsake you. He IS the God portrayed in the parable of the prodigal son who rejoices when the lost son comes back after some time of being astray and unfaithful. It is never too late to start again. In fact, I think we all need to humble ourselves regularly and ask for more of His grace, more of His Spirit, more of His love, not because He ever stopped giving it to us, but because it will keep us real, genuine, authentic, humble, and in the very spot, the only spot in the spiritual realm where He can transform us and grow us into the person He wants us to be; the only place where whatever we do for Him and in His name will be purely and solely for His praise and His glory, and not our own.