A new year, a fresh start! Jesus, I’m so glad to be alive, to have this chance to walk with you this year and to be on this adventure with my wonderful husband. Thank you! A new year always bring hope. Resolutions are made. The focus is put on the future, as it should be. There is an innocence about us that believes this year really will be different. Then sometimes, when the first mistake is made, all of our expectations come crashing down. The problem is described in this wonderful quote: “Everywhere I go, there I am.” I’m still me. Alone, I am needy and helpless.
David says in Psalm 4:3, “Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.” Even if I can only say, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner,” I know my heart is in the right place and that He hears, for only good soil produces the fruit of repentance. Let me say that again, for I sense the Spirit is leading: Only good soil can produce the fruit of repentance. (See Parable of the Sower, Matthew 13).
“Good soil” is not evidenced by being sorry for failing in some way, like the self-inflicted, demonic-led pain I experienced a few days ago, falling in “the pit” again. This type of sorrow is completely self-focused and is based on lies. But it is hard to get “self” out of the way when your natural life has been built on good works! Sinning grieves your heart because you have failed, and you can’t face the shame and the thought of your own unworthiness. This was the same sorrow and shame that drove Judas to suicide.
Godly sorrow is the pain you feel for knowing you have grieved the heart of God. It is rooted in truth. The truth is if we belong to him, we are declared worthy because He is worthy. This is what Peter experienced after denying Jesus. He was sick at heart at the enormity of denying the One he loved so much, and because his focus was on Jesus, he was able to be forgiven and restored by Him. Peter’s heart was good soil.
Lord, this is what I ask for in this new year. May I see all things in relation to you, for you are the center of all things. Sometimes I feel so immature as a believer, yet you tell us to come to you as little children! Holy Spirit, give me the mercy of your conviction so that I will operate in truth and keep my focus on you and on our relationship. I know that is when I can sit at your feet and be lovingly restored.
I’m seeing the skin of a snake that has been shed. I sense that the Lord has taken that skin, that layer of my heart that the enemy has held captive, and has torn it away. And the place that has been torn in my heart is now the circumcision that must take place so He can have all of me. “Know that I have set the godly apart for myself!”
Wonderful, merciful Savior, you hold my heart in your hands. All of life comes down to this: What do I do with you? You knew me when I was formed in my mother’s womb. I came from you, and I will return to you. So what do I do with you in the remaining time I have in this life? As I pray, I feel the slightest butterfly flutter of my heart, and I hear the words, “Dance with me.” Yes, Lord, with your leading, I can do that.
To my husband: Because of the way you love me no matter what state I’m in–happy, sad, angry, or full of shame–I’m understanding at a deeper level just how much Jesus loves me. Thank you for loving me with His sacrificial heart. How blessed I am to have you as my bridegroom and Christ as my bridegroom God! I love you desperately.
As this new year begins, reflect on these words by Sarah Young in Jesus Calling:
“I, your Prince of Peace, long to pour Myself into your neediness. My abundance and your neediness are a perfect match. I designed you to have no sufficiency of your own. I created you as a jar of clay, set apart for sacred use. I want you to be filled with My very Being, permeated through and through with Peace.” (December 31)
The invitation of a lifetime awaits. May God bless you abundantly 2015 as you dance with your Prince!