This morning I went to the Mighty Man's church for some good solid preaching from my favorite pastor. :) I just love hearing that man share God's truth. What a blessing to be in a relationship with a man who has such a fire and passion for proclaiming the power of Jesus Christ. I never, in a million years, would have believed I would be so blessed as to fall for a guy this awesome. :)
haha! Told ya' to get used to the sappy love stuff, didn't I? :)
Today, my mighty man of God gave a great lesson about asking God to search us. Like, reeeeeeally search us. It comes from Psalm 139:23-24 in which David (I think it was David) writes, "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
I don't know about you, but inviting God to see into my heart like that is a little unnerving. There's stuff in my heart that, quite honestly, I don't want God to see. I live with my self every day, and I see the wickedness of my heart. I see the sins I commit. I see the selfish actions and prideful attitude. I know when I turn away from something God asks me to do simply because I don't feel like doing it.
AH! Why on earth would I ask God to search that? I know that He'll find things that are not pleasing to Him?
Based on that very mindset, I learned the art of building walls between myself and God. For most of my life, whenever I would sin against Him, I would shut Him out. Remember that old "Talk to the hand" gesture from the 90s? It was like that. When I'd sin, I would put up a hand in God's face and basically say, "I know what You're going to say. I know I screwed up. Just don't even look. I know I'm at fault, and I don't want to hear it. I'm already ashamed enough without having to be condemned by God, too."
Oh, man. Did I miss it, or what?
When we adopt the habit of hiding our sins from God, we miss the whole point of the cross. We forget that Jesus paid the death penalty for us already and that there is no NO condemnation for those who have received Him. Instead of receiving His forgiveness and mercy and grace in times of sin, we unnecessarily distance ourselves from Him thinking that He will point a finger and reject us. Punish us, even.
But that's not God. God is love! If there's anyone we SHOULD go to in our shortcomings, it is the One who loves us more than any human ever could. His love goes so far beyond human capacity, and it reaches the level of unconditional. I can't honestly say I have that for anyone. My love is human love. Yes, through Christ, I have the ability to love like He does, but I don't always choose to.
When we hide our sins from God, we create distance that shouldn't be there. We destroy the intimacy He desires with us. It's just like a human relationship in that aspect in that, if we want to develop intimacy, we have to reeeeeeeeally communicate and be honest. (Side Note: Mighty Man, thank you for being so respectful in sharing that lesson from our convo today.) Intimacy can't be built on anything fake. It has to be built on what is real. That's why it's so important that we get REAL with God.
Today, I want to encourage you to get honest with Him. Whatever is in your heart; whatever sin you may be hiding out of shame; whatever secrets you want to keep...Bring them to the Lord. He is not a God of condemnation (see Romans 8:1). He is a God of love. Yes, our sins may carry consequences, but if we have received Jesus Christ and placed our faith in Him, we are covered by His blood and forgiven of every sin.
Let Him in. Let Him help. Let Him love. It's the only way to intimacy with Him. And, believe me, it's worth it.
Big hugs, everyone!
OH! And P.S. I would LOVE your prayers this week! We're starting media coverage on the book, and I'm doing a few interviews. USA Radio Network on Wednesday morning, a local morning radio program in New York on Thursday, and KCTV5's morning TV show on August 7th. Please pray that God would be glorified and that the message of His love and truth would be clearly communicated! THANKS so much, all! :)