Sometimes we pray and pray and then pray some more, but do we know what we are asking Jesus to do for us?
I am often praying for forgiveness. Forgive me for this, forgive me for that, forgive my sin from yesterday, forgive my sin from 15 years ago, etc. This morning I was praying for forgiveness for something yet again, and I thought to myself or He said, “I have forgiven you, and I will forgive you again, and I will continue forgiving you as many times as you request to be forgiven, but when will you release your sin and give it to Me?”
When will I release my sin, when will I give it to Him? He has already accepted it, He has already died for it, but have I let it go and actually given it to Him by accepting His forgiveness?
Have I become comfortable wallowing in my sin, remembering it, begging forgiveness and then returning to wallow in the comfort of being an unforgiven sinner yet again? I am not sure…. maybe? I am not saying that we shouldn’t be praying for and begging for forgiveness often and more than once, but I think I have been missing a very crucial part to this prayer, a prayer asking Jesus to help me release my sin, give it to Him and enter the unknown territory of forgiven sinner by accepting His forgiveness.
Sweet Lord, sweet Savior, sweet Jesus I am in awe as I see Your amazing work more clearly than ever before through more specific and focused prayers. I want each beat of my heart to be filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for You and I beg You to please keep opening our eyes to our sins so that we can beg forgiveness, repent and release our sin to You!
Oh how swift and sure the sword of truth flies…
For my 2 or 3 readers (you know who you are), please know that I would love to live by my words, but unfortunately I am still a poor and wretched soul speaking/writing as I would love to live, but failing 99.9% of the time to live this way and only succeeding when His divine hand intervenes to act through me.
I am a hypocrite and I am a gossip and I have brought pain to those I love all the while arrogantly believing that I was actually helping. Oh how painful it is when the sword of truth pierces our heart. I am not writing this to wallow in my failures and pain though, but I want to take these failures and this pain and glorify our sweet, wonderful, and faithful Lord.
Since Lent began I have been praying for a clean heart and oh how quickly He began to work!
Being a hypocrite and a gossip were not even on my radar. It never occurred to me that these titles are mine, that they are on my resume, that they apply to me, but He came through and sent His sword of truth flying directly into my heart, piercing through the hardened layers to awaken me and show me that oh yes these titles do apply to me, they are mine and I fall hard into these categories.
Yet, I do not despair, for our Lord has opened my eyes to these sins and there is no better way to begin repenting for a sin than first realizing that the sin is ours.
I know His work is not done in me and sweet Lord for this I am so thankful!
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Some believe that Jesus told Judas Iscariot to betray him.
In the Gospel of Judas, Jesus said, “But you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.”
If this is the case, then Judas acted out of obedience and faith in Jesus and he was given the strength to follow through with Jesus’ request. Imagine for a moment being Judas once things had been set in motion and he was outside the loving gaze and light of Jesus. Imagine the torture and suffering he put himself through questioning his actions, wondering if he had acted within the will of God or made a mistake. Imagine the tortured thoughts he experienced as he second guessed his actions under the criticism and hatred of those who had once called him brother, his fellow disciples.
It is so hard to keep our hearts and our heads clear and open to God’s message, and then once we are bogged down with fear of a mistake or acting selfishly rather than within His will, we pull yet further away from Him and our faith is so quickly drained from us.
I think it is in these moments of fear that we have to breath deep, and know our faith is being tested. The moment our faith begins draining from us, is moment that we must hold tight to it and thank God for our current suffering, questioning and lack of confidence in our actions or words. We must continue to reflect even more on His perfect plan and remember that sometimes acting within His will might not be comfortable. If we have stepped off the path, there is a lesson within each step and we must remember that He loves us so much that He will not let us stray far before He begins nudging us back on track.
I said something a few days ago that I so deeply regret, that I can now actually appreciate why some people take a vow of silence. I am not sure if I was on track or off track with what I said, but even through my regret I am trying very hard to be thankful for experiencing these feelings of regret, for the increase in my desire to be pleasing to God (through silence if necessary) and for yet another opportunity to empathize with Judas.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for everything.