Monday, February 22, 2010

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

The Lord has been counseling me through many means this past dark night.  I have been struggling with indwelling sin: frustration, condemnation, and the fear of man.  He has used many a means of grace…brotherly accountability, fellowship, circumstances, but mainly the ministry of his word and the ministry of my wife.  In this night I have been wallowing in my self-absorption, my pride, and my pretense.
  In this time my wife has been selflessly ministering to my needs and counseling me with her love.  She has been doing this in the midst of caring our child full term (her 9th month) and I am sure while suffering with much pressure and physical ailments.  I say this to my shame because I have not nurtured her and cared for her lately like I should be…yet she serves me.  My Pastors have shown much love to me in the preaching of the word and personal attention to my frustration.  In the darkness of my mind the word of God has pierced my hardened conscience with the light of Christ.  He has revealed that I have forsaken my identity and inheritance in the gospel.  I have forsaken Christ and what he has done at great cost to himself.  He has given me his fullness, beauty, power, and strength.  I have not looked at him because my idol has been myself: my reputation, my academics, my needs, my life.  I have so been focused on what others think (or what they should think) about me that I have lost sight of who I am, in Christ.  While working on schoolwork late this night I was listening to messages that proclaims the glorious gospel and affected the preachers to model it. Jeff Vanderstelt reminded me that if I am saturated with the gospel, with who I am in Christ, then I no longer need to live for man’s approval, it is ridiculous to think so.  CJ Mahaney reminded me that when I am concerned with impressing others I have no desire to serve them but only to take from them.  He reminded me of this while confessing his own sin before he preached.  The Lord has used his wonderful means to break into my soul and show me my pretentiousness and my pride.  What a merciful God he is to show us such things.  I have been losing sleep because I am proud.  I have been lacking joy because I am proud.  I have been struggling with sin because I am proud.  I don’t want to live in pretense; I don’t want to live in darkness separated from the life of God.  I want to live in light, in mercy, in grace, in joy, in love.  I want to rest in peace.  I don’t want to be something that I am not.  I do not want to be a good, well thought of person.  I want to be in Christ.  Only the poor sinners can be in Christ.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:3

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