My pastor recently told the congregation of a kind of conversation he had with the Lord (a long time ago). He was, in a way, telling God to look at what he’d done: at the time, he thought he’d helped people, had done well at this, had been good at that, etc. God’s response to each statement was, “If you say so.”
I had a moment like that this morning. It’s conversations like this which show God’s patience and great love for us – we should welcome that chastisement.
I was praying for the lost this morning (I know…so humble of me), and as I prayed, I saw 3 things: A fog lifted, a veil being lifted from over faces (as in a bride), and a person looking into a mirror held up by none other than me. The mirror showed people their bondage. I thought (again, so humble) that God was going to use me to show people their bondage so they could be free (truly my heart is to show people there’s hope, freedom, and abundant life in Christ, but I’ve got to have it before I can ever help anyone else see it).
As the mirror was held up, it was obvious many didn’t know they were slaves. This mirror was showing them truth, real truth. When they saw their chains, they were able to be free. It dawned on me that the mirror they were looking into was the perfect law of liberty.
“But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”James 1:25, NASB
I said to the Lord, “In me first, Lord. Show me the truth.”
He answered, “You can’t handle the truth.”
It’s TRUE though! If He were to show me my true self in all its depraved glory, I would likely die a million deaths. Honestly, my prayers at times are hollow, empty words just to say that I spent time in prayer. In my mind, I’m constantly catching myself in old habits that are rooted in anxiety which is pride. I’m finding more and more that my own heart is truly deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. And that’s just a few things…imagine knowing all that God knows about ourselves. We’d probably tell Him to smite us right there so we don’t compound even more wrath for ourselves. “Let me quit while I’m ahead, here, Lord. I know I’m just gonna add more.”
You know that saying, “Know thyself”? Socrates said it, it was/is inscribed on the temple of delphi, and is a total load of poo. We can’t possibly know ourselves because, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord ponders the heart (Proverbs 21:2).” Let God be true, but every man a liar.
But, if we look into the perfect law of liberty – the Word, Christ – we can see our chains, how He sees us, AND what we can be in Him if we fully yield. The Word is living and active; it searches the heart, the Holy Spirit confirms it and convicts us of our sin, and slowly but surely (and patiently and carefully) reveals what area of heart to deal with.
Our bonds are sometimes a puzzle. The Lord knows every area that ties us up and what to deal with first so we don’t become more ensnared or become so frustrated we quit. He gives us the strength and endurance to run the race, all the while showing us how to untangle ourselves from sin and bondage to it. If we continue to keep our heart in all diligence, we’ll win the race and enter into His rest.
I hope this helps us all take a look at ourselves through Christ and not overlook or make excuses for the sin we are voluntarily chaining ourselves to. I hope it causes us to more diligently read the Word, pray honest prayers, and really examine our hearts through the lens of the Word and by the leading of the Spirit. And I hope by doing so, the fog over us will lift, Jesus lifts our veil, and we lay aside every weight for the freedom He has for us.
Prayer: Father, hold up the mirror of Your Truth to my face. Let me see myself, my chains, my sin and help me to be willing to surrender to You. Examine my heart, search me and know me, and see if there’s any wicked way in me. Help me to be honest about myself. Bring Your freedom and open my eyes to the life abundant You have in store for me as I submit to You. Thank You for your care for me, Your patience, and Your amazing love. In Jesus’s name, Amen