The Lord has been teaching me a lot lately. Sometimes I think that has to do with the fact that I have a lot of free time at this point to sit and ponder. But also, because there are big changes on the horizon for me, I believe that God is strengthening my patience and tuning my heart to focus more on Him moment by moment.
For the past 4 months, I have been diligent about starting each day in God’s word. What has helped me achieve that diligence is my daily devotional. [Also posting my daily devotional to SnapChat has been great accountability 🙂 ] I received Paul David Tripp’s New Morning Mercies devotional on my birthday this year and have fallen in love with his writing style. I’ve also convinced a handful of people to buy this devotional (shameless plug for a monetary sponsorship *wink wink*, yes I’m talking to you Paul!). Each devotional is in-depth while also being really tangible. Somehow each topic he discusses always seems to be something that I’m working through in my heart at the time. For example, a couple Sunday’s ago the devotional was about the authority of God and then at church later that morning, the pastor preached on the sin of self-righteousness. The Holy Spirit moves in ways we can’t fathom to comprehend so seeing that play out in my morning quiet time is neat.
One word that has been on my heart recently is REDEMPTION.
If I’m being honest, it’s sort of something I tend to glaze over, because guess what? I’m a sinner that too often believes I don’t need saving.
Definition of REDEMPTION: “the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.”
Redemption through Christ means that we get to be made whole again. We gain forgiveness of sins and are washed clean of all our past wrongs and shortcomings when we choose to run after Christ wholeheartedly. Our need for redemption acknowledges our obvious lacks.
We lack perfection.
We lack purity.
We lack trust.
We lack constancy.
We lack humility.
We lack forgiveness.
We lack patience.
We lack mercy.
But whatever we lack is made whole in Christ. Christ perfects our impatient, prideful, mistrusting nature. He pursues our hearts and desires and seeks to fill the void. What a gift to have a God who loves, cherishes, protects, provides, and endures all our messes just for a personal relationship with us! Our ugly, imperfect selves are daily being pursued by a beautiful, loving Creator.
My biggest lacks typically come from a place longing for control and acceptance. I strive for control to the point of meticulous planning and obsessive fretting. I lose sleep over things that are completely out of my hands. I forward-think my life days, months, even years ahead of time. And each time I’m thrown into a new social situation, I secretly pine for acceptance. It’s not enough to simply be included, I want people to truly know and see me for who I am. Sometimes this plays out in me struggling to be my true self in front of others for fear of being rejected. These “lacks” ultimately stem from a heart of mistrust and selfishness. And we’re barely scratching the surface of the long, exhausting list that is “Sarah’s Shortcomings”. What I’m attempting to get at through these examples is this simple truth:
Our hearts NEED redemption.
It’s not enough to simply be a good person, to strive for excellence, or to love your neighbor as yourself. We need the heart change that can only come from Christ Jesus’s redemptive love.
So what are you allowing to rule your heart?
or comfort ruling your heart?
Christ came to fill the void of each and every one of these “lacks”. We don’t have to let the burden of perfection rule our hearts. We are no longer defined by our shortcomings when we join the merciful body of Christ. Join me this week in praying for permeating redemption that only Christ can give. May He seep into the deepest, darkest crannies of our soul and wash away all our worries, strivings, and sins. We cannot do this alone. I cannot do this alone. We need Christ’s redemption and transformational love.
You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! // Colossians 1:20-21 MSG