I’m an early bird. Maybe that’s one reason why my nickname growing up was “Bird Baby.” (Only my older brother, Jim, is allowed to call me that, and that’s because it’s always been his name for me.) And though I like to get up at the crack of dawn, or even before, I like to do it…
So, before anyone else wakes up, I’ll grab my cell phone and glasses, and quietly tiptoe down the stairs, wrapping up in my robe as I go, because even in summer Jerry has set the thermostat to generate snow as we sleep. Pouring a cup of Italian coffee, I settle down into my most comfortable chair and open up the app on my phone that leads me to one of my favorite devotionals.
I don’t remember the specifics of the one I was reading this particular morning, but my response to it, in the very least was disquieting and unnerving. For what it said, I knew could not possibly be for me.
The devotional was beautiful, really, talking about finding your worth in the Lord’s eyes; knowing that He loves us beyond anything we can imagine, or think, or desperately want. But worn out images and thoughts from my past railroaded what was before me, saying, “That can’t apply to you. The Lord rescued you once. Big Time. Set your feet on solid, solid ground. But what did you do but turn to another, the idol you thought would bring you fulfillment and happiness? You were faithless.”
Before, I would swing and hit at those mental pictures, those memories. I would do battle, from what I understood or or more accurately, misunderstood what the Bible means by, “Taking every thought captive.” (See 2 Corinthians 10:5.) Because the Lord tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (See 1 John 1:9.) I would quote that verse. And stand on it. And try to rally myself that it applied to me also. While that Scripture is true, for the Lord cannot lie, I couldn’t make it stick.
I could not make it mine.
I found I had to tell the Lord just that. There was nowhere else to go but to His mercy. For what my heart truly believed and believes, what is embedded deep within, is something only God’s Holy Spirit can reckon with. I can only fall to my knees.
In repentance ~
Because when these doubts come, I’m actually saying, “I don’t believe You, Lord. You can’t be telling me the truth.”
In supplication ~
Because only the Holy Spirit can truly know my heart. I need Him far more than I have ever understood, to bring unconfessed sin, what is not of faith—doubt and unbelief—to the surface, so that He can take it away.
In gratefulness ~
Because I know only God, can and will change the course of my heart and mind.
In freedom ~
Because my hands are let loose from the burden of fixing what is wrong deep within.
Satan often whispers in our ears that we are lost causes. Beyond hope. Beyond redemption. And the world unknowingly jumps on that same bandwagon.
But Jesus tells us something different ~
He tells us the truth.
He did not come to judge, but to save us.
So go away with Him. Go to that quiet place where you can read what He says in His Word, the Bible, and hear when He impresses on your heart, that you are loved. For He knows the plans He has for you, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (See Jeremiah 29:11.)
In the Hope that only He can give,