As believers who have personal relationships with the God of the universe, we sometimes have a tendency to revert to what seems most natural: HIDE!
Often if there is something (anything) in our hearts that we're ashamed of, we instinctively want to conceal it and ourselves from the eyes of God. Within the last month, I've been feeling that desire to stay hidden and avoid any confrontation with the Most High. It was over this attitude: I want to take care of myself. I want to be in control. I don't need Your help, God. I got this...
There is no greater lie than "I don't need God." There is never a more prideful attitude than "No thanks, Lord." And after thinking that way for a while, I constructed a wall in our relationship.
The interesting thing is, any walls I construct are really only affecting one person in the relationship. There isn't any wall where God's concerned. His power and love are ever active in my life, no matter what. And while I'm allowing guilt to keep me from him, he never stops extending grace and mercy to me.
After feeling convicted of my pride, I confronted my wall and did the right thing: I took responsibility for my actions, repented, told God it would never happen again, that he could expect much better from me in the future, and that I was now a person he could be proud of. Because that's what God wants to hear, isn't it? Isn't it? No, no it's not, and that's not what I did. I repented, but I realized that "There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus our Lord." And, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." All he asks of us is humble acceptance of his love and provision for our sins, and reliance on his work to make everything better. Acceptance is really all that faith is.
It was a little hard to do that. Even though I knew I had nothing to add to what Christ paid, it was still difficult for me to be okay with it (after having just been convicted of having a prideful attitude, too!) God handing freedom to you and me, no charge, is hard to accept. Just like we would love to be able to handle our lives on our own, we would love to do something, anything to deserve his forgiveness. We can't. He has to do it all, and he has done it all. We're responsible for receiving it and nothing more. The overwhelming thankfulness and love we feel when we finally accept it is what changes us into people who honor Him.
Like this quote I shared with you on Tuesday, we try to gain understanding and love from the Lord, but it only truly comes when we just receive it... freely and abundantly. Hiding when ashamed is unnecessary and trying to live in our own strength is fruitless. He is the only one who can overcome our struggles and who loves us despite our flaws. We just have to accept that. And when we do, we are free to enjoy the overwhelming security, peace, comfort and joy that is always ours for the taking...
-Song (thanks to Amy!) :)