They say that confession is good for the soul. God’s Word tells us that it is a necessary part of forgiveness. We cannot be forgiven if there is no confession. There are many confessions I’ve made in my lifetime. Some silly. As a girl I used to pray that Bo Duke was in my closet when I woke up. Some not so silly. This morning, for instance, during a conversation with the friends we are currently staying with, I made a comment about my children (with them sitting in the room) that was completely inappropriate and not at all how I really felt about them. Our friend was horrified that I’d even said it. Really, that should’ve been a big red flag in my face. Because in reality, as soon as it was out of my mouth, I knew it was wrong. What did I do instead of instantly apologize? I did what we as humans often do in the face of our mistakes. I tried to justify it. But God wouldn’t let me off the hook. All morning my comment kept replaying over and over in my head, like a record with a big scratch in it. With each skip, each repeat, my heart hurt more and more. Did I make it right? Nope. I stubbornly, doggedly, kept on justifying. Finally, however, I could take no more. I called my children into the room and apologized for saying it. The ironic thing is that they hadn’t even heard the comment to begin with. But I felt better.
We’ve been traveling around to various area churches, sharing with others about our calling to minister for the Lord in Mexico City. In the services, my husband has preached the same sermon, so I’ve had the opportunity to hear them many times. As much as I’ve enjoyed the sermons, they’ve also been painful for me at the same time. I’ve had call to discipline my children many times--one of them just today, in fact. It’s sometimes an everyday part of life. And it’s the only way they learn how to behave, and grow. Just as a mother corrects her children, God corrects His children when they stray. So here’s another confession for you: I’ve strayed. Whenever I read about the Israelites’ tendency to worship other gods in the Old Testament, I shake my head and wonder how this can be. The God of the Earth has selected you as His chosen people and you willingly choose to serve man-made gods?! What I often forget is that I do the same thing. The only difference is that I don’t serve the pagan gods like Baal. But what I do serve is very much a god in its own right. Self. I argue all of the time that I don’t have time for daily devotions. You gave me four kids to raise and educate, God. And I have chores to do. And cooking to do. And cleaning to do. And I have to make use of this writing gift you’ve given me. And I really need to get some exercise in, too, God. And sleep. You want me to be rested, right, God? The list goes on. The sad fact, however, and something that both of us know full-well, is that if I really wanted to spend time with Him, I’d make the time. Just like I make the time to read my favorite book. Or just like I make the time to watch my favorite TV show. As much as I loathe to admit it, I am no better than the wandering Israelites of the Old Testament. If you really think about it, I’m actually worse. I supposedly have Jesus Christ residing in my heart. They did not. They had to have yearly sacrifices offered for their sins. I can turn to God in an instant to have my sins forgiven. I can even (and again, supposedly have) have that sin nature purged from my soul by God in the act of sanctification.
We are only 52% funded. What I’ve come to wonder this week is this: am I in part to blame? I may hold up John 10:10b--”I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly”--and tell people that I want to tell the people of Mexico City about the abundant life in Christ. But how can I do this when I’m not living it? Should God be in any hurry to see us funded and turned loose upon His lost children? I wouldn’t be. What in me is there that would serve to draw others to Him? I’m like a dull mirror at best. Oh, there is some light being reflected. But not enough to light up the room.
I do not doubt that we are called to minister in Mexico City. Not for a minute. Nor do I doubt that God can provide the funds we need tomorrow. But maybe He is keeping us here for a reason. And maybe it’s so that I can really grow to know Him and be afire for Him before we are released.
I want to be that person who draws people to Christ like a moth to a flame. I want them to be able to, in a single glance, know that there is something different about me. Someone different in me. And I want to be afire for Him. I want to hunger and thirst for Him that I cannot get enough of His Word and of Him.
Obviously, there is much I need to learn and change. Please pray for me as I learn to cleave anew to my Father, and that my heart will not be turned again.