Thursday, August 1, 2013

How To Repent and Move On: Getting Back on The Horse

I love God with all my heart. He has really made Himself known to me in amazing, fun ways these past few months. I fell in love with Him even more when I read (Hosea 2:14-20 [NET]) where God speaking of this woman who'd totally ignored what God had offered her and went instead to worship other gods and leave her husband in the process...God says,

​​​​​​​However, in the future I will allure you; ​​​​​​I will lead you back into the wilderness, ​​​​​​and speak tenderly to you.
​ ​​​​​​From there I will give back your vineyards to you, ​​​​​​and turn the “Valley of Trouble” into an “Opportunity for Hope.” ​​​​​​There you will sing as you did when you were young, ​​​​​​when you came up from the land of Egypt.
​​​​​​​“At that time,” declares the LORD, ​​​​​​“you will call me ‘My husband’; ​​​​​​you will never again call me, ‘My master.’
​​​​​​​For I will remove the names of the Baal idols from your lips, ​​​​​​so that you will never again utter their names!”
​ ​​​​At that time I will make a covenant for them with the wild animals, ​​​​​​the birds of the air, and the creatures that crawl on the ground. ​​​​​​I will abolish the warrior’s bow and sword ​​​​​​– that is, every weapon of warfare – from the land, ​​​​​​and I will allow them to live securely.” ​​​​​​​I will commit myself to you forever; ​​​​​​I will commit myself to you in righteousness and justice, ​​​​​​in steadfast love and tender compassion. ​​​​​​​I will commit myself to you in faithfulness; ​​​​​​then you will acknowledge the LORD.” (personalized)

How could you not fall in love with a God like that? You want to be perfect for Him, you want to somehow make Him realize that you're worth it, that you're worth Him. I'm no different, I worship, I sing, I write songs, I sign up for ministries and auditions, I tell people about His love, I try.

The bittersweet fact is that we'll never do enough or be enough. God doesn't call us to perfection, He calls us to love:

(Matthew 22:37-38 [NET])
Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.

It's bitter because humanity drives us to seek perfection, when we don't reach that mark, we feel like failures, and it sucks! It's sweet because God loves us back and knows we can't reach perfection on our own, if we love Him, if we give our lives to Him in every way that He asks.

Despite this love, I still fail to live up to the mark

Looking at 2 passages in the Bible,

(Phillipians 3:10-16 [NET])
My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already attained this – that is, I have not already been perfected – but I strive to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus also laid hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Therefore let those of us who are “perfect” embrace this point of view. If you think otherwise, God will reveal to you the error of your ways. Nevertheless, let us live up to the standard that we have already attained.

I love verse 15, "Therefore let those of us who are “perfect” embrace this point of view."

1. Paul says he hasn't yet attained perfection, but rather than let this fact slow him down, he strives to attain what Jesus called us into.

2. He keeps his eyes forward not behind. We can choose to reach a certain point, stop, look back at the screw up and let it wreck us, or we can move forward and strive toward the prize which is encountering and experiencing God

(2Cor 12:7-10 [NET])
...Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me – so that I would not become arrogant. I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

 3. If a giant in faith like Paul needed to be kept humble, how much more should we make sure we are too? The moment pride gets in the way, we let down our guard, and we don't do what we're supposed to and we fail.

4.My grace is enough for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.

Let's jump back to:
(Luke 22:31-32 [NET])
“Simon, Simon, pay attention! Satan has demanded to have you all, to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

5. Turn back and strengthen your brothers.

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