To whom will I bow and serve today? Christ or Self? There really are only two choices aren’t there? That was something I saw this week as we continue to pray through Psalm 139.
“And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psa. 139:24).
Flesh vs. Spirit.
Old vs. new.
Death vs. life.
We were rightly reminded this past week that we cannot serve two masters.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other…” (Matt. 6:24).
I don’t want to live in the grievous way any longer. I don’t want to continue in my old ways. These ways only lead to death. They have brought pain and anguish to myself and my loved ones and probably people I’m not even aware of! I want to walk in the way everlasting, following Jesus, my Lord and Savior, who died for these sins I continue to walk in. I want my life to bring glory to the Lord and not self.
In order to follow Christ, I must turn away and leave Sinner Self, putting her to death. Jesus is the one who said, “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27). This is why this study, Heart of a Woman, is so helpful.
I am finding that it is somewhat easy for me to sit with like minded and caring women and confess that I am “prideful.” However, I see that it is entirely different to openly confess the details of how my pride manifests itself in my actions and words. Pride keeps me from being vulnerable and from trusting the Lord or others. Pride even keeps me from wanting to carefully observe my actions and words. It hurts to see the truth. And yet it is the truth that sets us free.
The truth is, there is not only no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, there is no shame! He was condemned so we could be free. He took our guilt and our shame!
“Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor, they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy” (Isa. 61:7).
We must choose by faith to believe the truth of God’s Word and not our feelings! The truth says that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
And James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
Let us boldly approach the throne of grace to find mercy and help in our time of need and continue to ask our loving Father to show us the truth of these grievous ways that remain in our hearts so that we can confess them and repent of them and receive forgiveness and healing. Let us continue to ask our Father to help us really see our actions and our words as well as the thoughts and feelings that led to those actions. And all the while, fixing our eyes on our Savior who loved us and died for us.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:1-2).
Learning to Live in the Garden of Grace