Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm a Mess...but Covered by Grace

I read this today:

James 4:3-4 "You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.  You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."

I am an adulterer. I have been looking everywhere else but to my one true love. My first love.
I have been yearning for love, I have been yearning for joy, for satisfaction, for peace, contentment, for happiness. I've been looking for all of these things in the world, in relationships, in money, in entertainment in pretty much anything but Jesus. These things have left me empty. They have left me feeling unloved, despaired, unsatisfied, anxious, mad, sad and everything opposite of what I was yearning for. I've gotten to the point of feeling the weight of being far from God. I've realized that it is my pride that has kept me from Him, it's my pride that has kept me from my community, from my team, from the people in my life who know and love me best.

Then I read this:

James 4:6-10 "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you."

I'm thankful for God's grace. I have to believe that His grace is over me more and more. More than I will ever have sin. His grace comes with humility and when I submit myself to Him and put myself under Him, fully surrendering to Him as my King.

I read these great quotes:

"Pride demands that God bless me in light of my merits, whether real or imagined. But grace will not deal with me on the basis of anything in me, good or bad, but only on the basis of who God is."
"It isn't as if our humility earns the grace of God.  Humility merely puts us in a position to receive the gift He freely gives."

God's promises:
--If I resist (stand, against) the devil. He will flee. I have to believe that I have the power of Jesus (who has already conquered death) in me by the Spirit to be able to have power to stand against the devil and the way that he schemes me.
--If I draw near to God, he will draw near to me. He hasn't gone anywhere...I have. I am the one that has turned my back. That has walked away. That has distanced myself. Hello pride! God has not gone anywhere. When I draw near to Him, He is quick to draw near to me.
--If I humble myself He will lift me up. Acknowledge my pride, my selfishness, my impure heart, my wretchedness...weep and mourn over my sinfulness, cleansing my hands and purifying my heart. Fully humbling myself and He will lift me up.

Lord Jesus,
You have power and You have pure and complete love. Love that is satisfying and full of joy. Power that has conquered sin and pride. Love that gives life, power that defeated death. You never leave, even when I turn my back. You wait for me and You even come after me. Thank You for not giving up on me. Forgive me for thinking that the things of the world would be enough for me. Forgive me for not believing in Your love and power. I need Your love and Your power. Get rid of the pride in my life. Get rid of the selfishness in my life. Give me more of You. Give me desires of humility, give me desires of You and not of the world. Change my desires. Change my heart, change my soul, change my life. There needs to be a change in me. I can't do it. Only YOU can fix me. Give me hope. Give me joy. Give me YOU. Help me to stand against the devil. He is quick to get me down. I'm sorry that I have not turned to You for help. You are my helper. You love me more than I can comprehend and You desire for Your name to get glory in helping me. I have robbed You of glory. God forgive me. Bring glory to Your name through me. I'm nothing without You. Anything through me is You. Humble me and lift me up. Only if it will bring light to my sin and bring light to Your name. I surrender to You Jesus. I surrender, I give up. I'm Yours. Cleanse me. Purify me. Make me new. Help me to not be content with where I am. I know that You have me in this season for purpose. I want You to give me a story that continues to point to You. Continue Your work in me, You have promised to keep Your hand on me and to complete the work that You have started in me. Keep reminding me of this. Help me trust You. I love You. I do. Burn in me a love for You that is stronger then when the darkness comes in. I need You. Thank You for hearing me. For hearing every word. Even if it's been awhile since I've talked to You. You are quick to listen. Thank You.
In Your name, do I pray these things.

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