I know I said goodbye for 2008 but...

I HAD to share this!

Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. -Proverbs 24:15-16


Feeling at the bottom of my seventh fall before 6am today, I turned to a steady source of truth and found this teaching that brought me trembling to my feet again. If you have time, please go here and click on the Recent Service, Sunday December 21st message in the sidebar. I'd rather you do that, than go on reading my ramble here. But if you're still reading...

Maybe as 2008 is coming to a close, and your walk of faith with Christ has grown a year older, you find yourself even more accused than you were a year ago and see yourself as an even more wretched person than you were last year. Maybe not, but I do. It seems as this year has come to an end I'm overwhelmed by how many times I've fallen and how much damage has been caused to the reputation of the Lord in the eyes of those I love because of my sinful choices. It seems the wicked one (Satan) lays in wait against me daily... just waiting for me to fall, cause I will, so that He can spoil my resting place, the resting place of God's mercy and grace.

This morning I saw a jaded attitude in me. I saw it coming out in the look on my face and the tone of my voice and I fell to my knees in the laundry room and prayed that the Lord would help me to know how to go forward because I was so overwhelmed at the destruction my life has caused. I faintly heard His Spirit stir my heart to let go; to not lean one bit on my performance in life, but wholly lean on Jesus' redemption.

I've caused a lot of damage. I thought it was just consequential for me, not realizing that I was not only causing pain, offense and bitterness in others, but I was tearing down the reputation of our awesome God in their eyes. I hate it that I've done this!!! The very thing I've prayed, the very thing I've wanted- for the people in my life to know the Lord Jesus as their Redeemer and to worship Him- I'VE prevented by choices I've made. And oh how the enemy of my soul reminds me daily, especially as this year comes to a close, of the damage I've done. It hurts so much I nearly grow cold. But the Lord calls me to defy the enemy and rise up, standing solely on the mercy and grace shown in Christ at the cross.

He calls me to let all the weight I am still resting on my performance in life fall on Jesus. He calls me not only to rise up trusting that Christ's righteousness is enough for me, but that it is also enough for those I love, and pray for, as I regret so deeply that I've left ruins in their path to knowing Christ through my witness.

I'm pressing forward into 2009 as though I'm walking across the Grand Canyon on an invisible bridge. I can't lean any of my weight on my ability to get across, I can't lean any of my weight on my ability to get others across, I have to rest completely in the invisible promise of salvation for every step, because He who began a good work in me is able to complete it.

And I think even beyond walking on that invisible bridge of faith, God calls me to clear away the stumbling stones and clutter that I'VE CAUSED. I don't know how. I have no idea how to undo the damage I've done. I'll have to walk on Jesus' ability to make me a reconciler, restorer and rebuilder for that calling too.

Go through, go through the gates;prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway; clear it of stones; lift up a signal over the peoples. - Isaiah
62:10

Oh my Invisible Hope! Please strengthen my heart to trust You! Give me courage to defy the accusations of the enemy by growing in Your grace even more! Hallow Your Name in me so that in the eyes of those who've watched my life may find a witness of You they can trust too!


Redeeming the time

9 comments:

  1. Dear Sheila,

    I know what you mean. I keep failing and need to remember that I have the righteousness of Christ to cover me. Thanks be to God! I thank God that He loves me, not because I am perfect, which I will never be, but because I am saved by grace and covered with the blood of Jesus.

    Our dear Father knows our hearts want to be what He wants us to be. He will do His good work in us. Thank you, God!

    Sheila, thank you for you comment on my blog. I will be praying for you today. We have victory in Jesus!

    Love, Hope

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  2. Stumbled across your blog today. I appreciate this line of thought that I'll share with you:

    God looks beyond our imperfections and sees our potential. To illustrate: People who love works of art will go to great lengths to restore badly damaged paintings or other works. When, for example, in the National Gallery in London, England, someone with a shotgun damaged a Leonardo da Vinci drawing worth some $30 million, no one suggested that since the drawing was now damaged, it should be discarded. Work to restore the nearly 500-year-old masterpiece began immediately. Why? Because it was precious in the eyes of art lovers. Are you not worth more than a chalk and charcoal drawing? In God’s eyes you certainly are—however damaged you may be by inherited imperfection. (Psalm 72:12-14) Jehovah God, the skilled Creator of the human family, will do what is necessary to restore to perfection all of those who respond to his loving care.—Acts 3:21; Romans 8:20-22.

    Yes, Jehovah God sees the good in us that we may not see in ourselves. And as we serve him, he will make the good grow until we are eventually perfect. No matter how Satan’s world has treated us, Jehovah God values his faithful servants as desirable, or precious.—Haggai 2:7

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  3. Cassoulet Cafe your comment is beautiful! Thank you for taking the time to pass such encouragement along to me and others who'll read it.

    Earnestine, I'm so thankful for that assurance of God's unfailing lve too!

    thanks ladies,
    sheila

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  4. Sheila,

    "I'm pressing forward into 2009 as though I'm walking across the Grand Canyon on an invisible bridge. I can't lean any of my weight on my ability to get across, I can't lean any of my weight on my ability to get others across, I have to rest completely in the invisible promise of salvation for every step, because He who began a good work in me is able to complete it.

    I couldn't have penned it more eloquently...it's really what all "seekers" want and know that we cannot do it on our own....I have to copy this and put it in my Bible for the new year.....it just touched my heart so....

    Peace and JOY this Christmas season and Peace and JOY in the New Year to you....It's an unfailing God we have....what a beautiful, straight from the heart post...

    lori

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  5. Awesome! Thank you for sharing and convicting. This made me think of The Message translation of 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, which my husband came across recently and it's modern wording just hit our hearts in a different way. He originally pulled it up in light of our experiences last month with fire and robbery but as I was bemoaning my weaknesses the other day he reminded me (my husband... well, God using my husband) and the words were just so refreshing:

    "Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

    "My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become."

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  6. yes. I can so relate! I have felt the weight of my own sinful heart and failures as well. How many times a day do I feel like giving up? countless!!! Yes. Satan is an accuser. I hate who I am...apart from Christ. Life does seem heavy.

    thank you for sharing. We're in this together, girl!

    Also...
    Thank you for being interested in the new feature on my blog "What are you learning"?
    I am excited about it, and am prayerful that it will encourage many to be in the word regularly.
    If you would like, you may copy and paste the picture that I have on the post that I put up, introducing the new feature..and you can put it on your sidebar and link to my blog. I would love to reach as many as possible with this.

    God bless!

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  7. THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!!!!

    HAVE A GREAT TRIP!!

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  8. Oh wow. I can't even begin to tell you how this post has touched me. I so feel you all the way. As much as I study or preach about my love for the Lord, I still fall. Sometimes I fall hard and I feel so deep in that sinful hole that I know I can't come out. But everyday is another gift from Him to try to make it right. He knows our heart and he knows our love for Him. I just have to pray that today will be better. I take it one day at a time, celebrating the good days and wondering what I could/should have done different with the bad. I'll pray for both of us- that we can overcome our stumbles and be an example to others.
    Blessings,
    Jennifer <><

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