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
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!