After spending the weekend with my family, I realized something felt different inside of me. There was some kind of barrier between my relationship with God that was blocking the intimate connection with Him that I was so used to feeling. Where was He? I didn't know what to do with myself, so I began to habitually read through some of my daily devotions in hopes that the Lord's presence would once again feel near.
You see, this situation is something that I have experienced many times before, yet I somehow still find myself oblivious of how I arrive to this point every time I get here. After sitting down for awhile and trying to figure out why I felt so weird about my relationship with God, I realized that I had said and done some things this weekend around my family that I needed to ask God forgiveness for. I had selfishly gossiped about people of my past, and today. I had turned my face from the Lord ever so quickly, by choosing insecurity instead of glorifying Him in all that I do. It had happened quicker than a blink of the eye. There my sin was once again, sprawled out for me to see. My selfishness, my ugliness, the side of me that Jesus died for me on the cross for. The person that I used to be.
I hate seeing and experiencing the "old Jessica", but the truth of the matter is that although I am a new creation in Christ, there is still a deadly disease lurking inside of me that will never go away. Yep, its with me for life, along with the rest of you as well. This disease whirling around inside of me is typically referred to by the name of sin, or in other words everything that is not of God. Let me give you some examples: fighting, hatred, cussing, lustful thoughts/actions, gossiping...you get the point. As much as I hate re-living the old me, thankfully I have a savior who chooses to throw it all away, every single day of my life. The guilt I had felt for my actions is suddenly gone, and I no longer have to carry any shame. All I simply had to do is ask for God to forgive me for messing up, and He puts the matter behind me.
The closer I get to Jesus, the more I want nothing to do with sin. Most importantly though, the closer I get to Jesus, the more aware I become of my own sin. I have realized that a relationship with Jesus means that we must make forgiveness from Him in our lives a daily habit. Even when we feel like we had some sort of "right" to act the way that we did, God's word and his conviction in our own lives has the upper hand, and we when He calls us to forgive, we must do it. It's that tugging, gnawing feeling on your heart, and you know when its there. Please don't ignore it like I did for so many years, I wasted so much precious time. I believe that God puts that heavy-weight feeling in your heart to bring your attention back to Him and to draw you toward repentance. He's not doing it because He's mad at you, He's doing it because He loves you, and because He is acting how a typical father acts who loves his own child that he has to discipline.
At the end of the day, I may seem like I have it all together, but the truth is, I really don't. I'm just a normal girl, living in this fallen world that desperately needs Jesus. I'm a sinner who is unworthy of anything that I receive from God, yet God still loves me unconditionally and tells me that I have amazing value in Him. I love how God uses simple, ordinary people like you and me, to show how powerful He is through our many weaknesses.
"Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful."
1 Corinthians 1:27
How do the each of you make it a habit to acknowledge your own sin? Do you guys struggle with recognizing it right away as I typically do? I'd love to hear what you all have to say on this topic! Lots of love to the all of you my friends! :)
Love always, Jess