I learned something this past year that has proven particularly wrestle-worthy. I learned the hard way that when you accept Jesus as your savior, the bill for your sin is fully paid, but the damage from your sin remains. Renewal and healing are surely ours in Christ, but how do we access it. The safety of my soul is promised and paid for, but the expressions of my soul in daily life have yet to reflect Jesus. That has been the subject of most of my wrestling. With Jesus. With mentors and teachers. With worship and literature.
I know that I am saved. I know that my soul is saved. I know that Jesus promises restoration and renewal to those who love him. I know that I desire walking with Jesus to be the beat of my life. I know, because I have tasted his goodness and felt his loving correction, that he is the master I long to serve.
There is one thing though that constantly eludes me, and you may be able to relate to this… How do I keep my eyes fixed and my heart close to the one who loves me?
I have been frustrated and increasingly impatient with myself in this area. When I brought this frustrated heart before Jesus, I was encouraged and humbled. Encouraged by his commitment and grace. Humbled by his invitation to let myself die.
He did not rebuke me, no, he blessed the desire that I have to be with Him. That is where moves of the heart begin and are stoked and fanned. Our flame burns clean when we want only to be with Him, apart from any advantage or benefit we will surely find in the process. I asked him to remind my heart of the sweetness of his company. He did just that, and reminded my forgetful heart that his commitment has never wavered.
If you are frustrated because you can not seem to get out of your own way. Take a moment, breathe, and ask the Lord to remind and renew the desire in your heart to just be with him. He will kindly remind you of the warmth you felt standing in the light. Something so simple can refresh your desire to be near Him and give you the grace to give yourself as you return.
You may also be equally frustrated because the Lord is not bringing about the changes you so desperately want by the means you so desperately wish he would. In learning how the Lord wants to renew me, I have been shaken constantly from a complacent waiting. A waiting for the Lord to whoosh in and do for me what I see Him doing for those around me. Hoping for the day he will see me suffering an allergic reaction to my poor choices and give me a spiritual epi-pen, shocking me into zeal and obedience.
When I brought this frustrated heart before Jesus, I was humbled by His response. He reminded me that he alone is wholly able and committed to transforming my life, if I am wholly able and committed to trust Him. If I desperately desire for the ins and outs of my life to be resurrected, the ins and outs of the life I’ve led apart from him must die. Resurrection cannot precede death.
Be encouraged! Jesus is not withholding his restorative work from you and your life; but He is unwilling to resurrect areas of your life that you aren’t willing to let die.
I don’t know how the Lord is moving in your life or what your relationship with Him looks like, but I do know that he is patient beyond measure and faithful to restore what we trust into his hands.
The truth is, letting Jesus teach us how to be His in heart and by hand will be our life’s work. Slow down. Ask him to teach you, remind you, and resurrect you every day. The work may be slower and less glamorous than you were hoping for, but I assure you it is of the highest quality.
Love you all,