After discussing Lent with several people a couple weeks ago, I decided to follow Lent this year for the first time. I didn't want it to be legalistic practice, but a time to have self-reflection and to prepare my heart for Easter and to remember what Christ has done. I have been going through a Lent devotional which has been convicting and helping me to reflect in a deep good way. One of the recent daily devotional shared a suggested prayer to pray. It says "Lord, I am willing to be left alone with my sin, so that I can be transformed. I prayed that prayer which kind of scared me to do.
These last few weeks have been interesting in that God has been revealing sins in my life. I have been convicted lately of how selfish I am. I so easily get caught up in what people think about me. I want to be noticed, I want people to like me, and I don't want there to be conflict. I feel guilty and dwell on the fact that maybe I am making someone unhappy and they won't like me anymore. When I write this out, I know this may seem like elementary thinking, but this is what has been going through my head. As I reflected on why I feel this way, I realized that it is because I place my identity in what others think about me. My prayer has been that I would be freed of these thoughts and my hearts desire would be to place my identity in who I am in Christ. He has continually shown me that I am a precious daughter of the King and that He loves me so much, but at times I struggle to rest in that. I also have been realizing that I approach Jesus and Christianity in a selfish way. I was listening to a podcast by Britt Merrick, and he was talking about how we read the Bible selfishly in trying to get something out of it for ourselves and make us feel better instead of learning about God's character and what He wants us to learn from His word. This is something that I realize I struggle with and have been reflecting on, especially as we talked about the Bible a couple Saturdays ago. Also, this weekend Darin spoke about Judas and how he followed Jesus for personal gain. Darin said " We pursue Jesus for what He can do for us, but we should pursue Him because He is God. " That statement hit me hard. I think many times I turn to God in expectation for Him to make me "feel better." The message also spoke about how Judas felt remorse, a sadness over what he had done and so he hung himself. However he never turned from his sin and repented. It finally hit me that I have been feeling remorse over the sin of selfishness that God has been revealing to me, but I wasn't repenting of it. I wanted God to just make everything better so I could "feel" him again and not feel distant, but I wasn't willing to come to repentance. I was just sitting in self-pity.
God I don't want to live in my selfishness any longer but I want to turn from it. Forgive me Abba of my selfishness and pride and help remove these areas of my life that are not pleasing to you. Help me to view my identity as your daughter and in who I am in You and not in what the world thinks of me. Thank You Jesus!
Sunday night during worship I got this picture of a child being playfully turned upside down to remove the junk hidden in his pockets. I started laughing to myself as I though about how this is what God is doing to me. Lovingly, He is removing the hidden sins of my life. Thank you Jesus!
Another area that I was convicted in on Sunday is one of gratitude. I was feeling bummed before Sunday service about not feeling enough gratitude from my brother for throwing him a birthday party. He thanked me and was appreciative but I wanted him to be ultra-grateful since I had put a lot of work into it. Dannah and I were talking that day and she read me an insert from the Charles Finney paperwork you guys went over a few week ago that I missed. She read the part about ingratitude toward God. I then realized that I expect gratitude from others for things I have done, but I barely show gratitude for God for all the amazing things He has done in my life. So Sunday night was just a time of conviction, repentance, and thankfulness. I am still processing all that He is showing me and know it will be a process as He reveals more to me. I am grateful for this time and know that He is transforming me. I want to be open and receiving and humble and ready to repent. I am so grateful to be a child of God and to be forgiven! Thank you Jesus! :)
I know this is a big post of all that I have been convicted on but I know that God is using this time to bring transformation. Thank you for letting me share and pour out my heart with you guys. I am so grateful to be in Circles with you all and to see the transformation God is doing amongst our group. :)