After spending a restless night warring against my failings, I found myself literally on my knees at my bedside, confessing my sins and asking God for the forgiveness He freely extends to all who come to Him. I was broken and fretting and apologetic . . . and guilty.
Guilty is not a word I like to use to identify myself, but it can be one I cling to for all I’m worth. Once I’m aware of the inward truth about myself, I see my sin blazing brightly and it breaks my heart. How is it that I have walked alongside my Savior for so many years and still struggle with such basic temptations? Why do I so easily stumble into a trap the enemy has set to snare me? And worst of all, why do I respond in a way that invites others to become prey with me?
After sending a facebook message asking for forgiveness from friends whom I unwittingly, yet knowingly dragged into my sin with me (an oxymoron to be sure, but I’m fairly certain I had both a conscious/subconscious struggle going on in my mind at the time), I began scanning through my newsfeed. My scrolling stopped abruptly when I came across the following post:
Godly sorrow produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret. – 2 Corinthians 7:10
I know my sins. Only God can blot them out. Having inward truth about myself opens my ears to joy, the joy that accompanies salvation. A humble heart is the only basis for outward acts which are truly acts of worship.
My heart resonated with the truth of those words staring me in the face, baring my heart wide to God’s call of humility and repentance. I’m so thankful for godly sorrow, even when it causes me to lose sleep at night. I’m even more thankful it leads to salvation. The “without regret” part still catches me at times, and maybe that is why God chose to place two simple words in the very next post beneath this preceding challenge:
I know my sins. Only God can blot them out and open my ears to the joy of His salvation. So I must choose to accept His merciful grace and go on to forgive myself, striving to surrender my failings into His capable hands in hopes of choosing wisely the next time I’m confronted with temptation.
If you are struggling with a weakness or find yourself stepping headlong into an act of sin, I encourage you to look up and to fall down. Allow God to get your attention and draw your eyes toward inward truth, especially in those moments when the truth within is less stellar than it should be. But don’t stop with just recognizing the truth; humble yourself with godly sorrow so He can lift you up and restore you to a place of righteousness.
Then move on.
Confess your sin, accept the forgiveness, rise from your knees, and live a life of worship recognizing His sacrifice of love that has cleansed you. Forgive yourself and lean heavy upon Father’s grace.
It is enough for this moment.
It will be enough for the next moment, too.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. – Hebrews 4:16
Finding grace when I need it most . . . that’s the treasure of belonging to God. Even at my darkest times, He shines His love brightly upon me and draws me near.
Forgiving. Redeeming. Restoring.
And sending me out once again to bring His kingdom to earth.