Edit: This post is as all over the place as my thoughts tonight.
“Oh God of grace, thou hast imputed my sin to my Substitute, and hast imputed His righteousness to my soul, clothing me with the Bridegroom’s robe and decking me with jewels of holiness. But in my Christian walk I’m still in rags. My prayers are stained with sin. My penitential tears are so much impurity, my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin. My receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness. God I need to repent of my repentance. I need my tears to be washed. I have no robe to bring to cover my sins. I have no loom to weave my own righteousness. I’m always standing clothed in filthy garments. And by grace I’m always receiving a change of arraignment (or clothes). I’m always going away into the far country and always returning home as a prodigal. Always saying, ‘Father, forgive me!’ And You’re always bringing forth your best robe every morning and letting me wear it.”
I borrowed that. I’ve been filled with such restlessness and I know it’s because I’m not resting in God’s sovereignty. I’m trying to do His job. I know what needs to be done and what I need to accomplish it, but it’s neither according to His plan nor in His timing. Or maybe it is, but I’m clearly in the way, trying to act out of duty rather than Love. This particular devotional from God at Eventide stuck with me the other day: “Remember, if you look to Me for everything, and trust Me for everything, and I do not send the full measure you ask, it must not be thought that it is necessarily some sin or weakness that is hindering My Help from flowing into and through you. In some cases this may be so, but it may be simply My restraining Hand laid on you as I whisper, ‘Rest, step aside with me. Come apart and rest awhile.'” And do you know the image God gave me? Don’t laugh. I had an image of when a young animal needs to be disciplined and they are held down by the scruff of the neck until they understand the balance of power and reach a state of calm. I had such peace over this! But also I laughed because I am out of control. Lately I feel as though I’ve worked myself into a frenzy trying to do what I think needs to be done. It is not my plan. It is out of my control. Thank the good Lord for that.
My accountability partner and I are praying that we would understand Christ’s love for us and that we would know how to love Jesus as we should, re: Ephesians 3:14: “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” It is so hard to subtract the self from the equation! For what reasons do I love the Lord? Why do they all deal with what He has done for me? How do I begin to know him in such a way that I love him for who he is, not what he does. So glad grace flows from heaven in buckets. I’m in sore need of it. All the time. All the time. I feel the spirit’s leading me to meditate on grace. To study it and understand it that through it I may come to value more fully “The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” and that I may be granted the strength to comprehend the love of Christ. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed with how much I have to learn. But God is faithful, amen?