This month my heart bares the marks of endurance, patience and more so posture. Posture can be defined as a state or condition at a given time especially with respect to capability in particular circumstances (Merriam-Webster). This week I want to take time and express my thoughts on this word posture. My heart has been shaken, broken and stirred the past few months. It is like the shaking in an unveiling of the weakness of my heart. Unmasking all my fallible attempts at ‘being better’ at certain areas of my being. In a moments shaking I am left gravely exposed and forlorn.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and test the mind,… (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
Let me take a moment to paint the context of this. For the past year I have walking out sobriety within an area of my life and like a flood circumstances and moments in my life shook my steady progress. Like a flame set to a piece of paper all my attempts and ‘progress’ turned into ashes. Like a pile of dust lying at my feet. I became undone. More than anything else I wanted to soothe the ache of my life and my failure in the comfort of the things I deeply clung to in the past. The familiar ease of my pain and the emptiness that followed became my comfort again. All I wanted was to hold onto the woman I once was because I ‘knew her’…this new me became more and more unfamiliar to me. I had taken a wrong turn and was unwilling to stop, make the U-turn and set my heart upon the truth that I was changing and becoming more of who I am made to be.
We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive – C. S. Lewis
The hardest part about recovering from the old self is….the recovery process. Submitting myself to the steps of humility and seeking to find solace for my mistakes in Jesus. I once heard these words and it hit me hard, I believe these words have kept me grounded:
‘The desire to quit and walk away is the one thing in life that will take us out of the race.’
I believe this to be so true. At any given time in my walk I can throw in the towel and lose every inch of who I can truly be. This desire to hide and walk away from all the blood, sweat and tears I have put into pursuing Jesus and finding transformation on the inside will forever take me out of the race and the prize of my eternal inheritance in Jesus. It is far easier for me to just quit. This is why:
- I would not need to entrust myself to the unconditional love of the Father and the Son. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10). It is far easier for me to accept his hatred of me than to believe that he loves me through my weakness. Pride dictates that I am unworthy of being loved eternally because I am this broken. The idea of an eternal merciful, loving and gracious savior offends me.
- I would need to admit that I am weak and broken every time I fail. I would need to admit that apart from the Lord I literally cannot make it. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9) The constant humility of being within the Lord at all times is hard pill to swallow…pride won’t have me surrender all of me to this label of being ‘weak’.Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
- I hate process. Process takes time and I deeply want an instant fix. I once heard these words: ‘You see months, you days…I see eternity’ – Laura Hackett. It rings true to the core of me because I want to be healed now…I want the fix to happen over night even though I spent a lifetime sowing brokenness. I don’t want to embrace the hard work of weakness accompanied with labor…it offends me that I have so much work to do. More than anything it offends me that love and restoration requires my partnership. Sanctification is a process, that takes time…time is the only thing I have to give in exchange for my restoration. The word sanctification implies that of a process, so when we use this word within a sentence, we say ‘being sanctified’…which implies constant movement…because God chose you as the first fruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. (2 Thess 2:13)
If anything I am learning and unpacking all my preconceived ideas of myself and that of God. I do find that my knowledge of him is rooted in the accusation that he will shun me. In these lies I find truth that because he loved me…he became flesh and paid the price for my sins once and for all. Now as I partner with him in the transformation of myself and cling to the truth that he is far more superior that I. Only in him am I able to see the power to change for good. I have these things to bear in mind:
Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 7:18-8:4)
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. (Revelation 19:11-13)
Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great. Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure –
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are the true words of God.(Revelation 19:6-9)
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor;he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (Isaiah 61:1)
There is a deposit of eternity made within my spirit that connects me to the inheritance of freedom and liberty living on the inside. As I renew my walk each day I find strength in the truth that some day I will be a spotless bride. This is my joy, this is my reward…to be with Jesus and to know that I never gave up in the end. This is the heart posture of a bride…she beholds and gazes upon the beauty of Jesus, agreeing with his word and humbly asking him to change her as she walks through this life. Only then will she be found to become that beauty.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)