So, sometimes I have to be reminded who I am. I have a problem with pride, and this problem sometimes begins to manifest itself in my spiritual life. I read once that Satan likes to take things that have been consecrated for God and turn them into counterfeits as a means to allow sin to creep into our lives. My pride has a tendency to do this in conjunction with my relationship with God. My positional righteousness as a result of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, and I might stress not as a result of anything I’ve done, ends up looking like self-righteousness because I think I’m above certain sins. “Let every man take heed lest he fall,” as Paul would say.
This problem ends up being a blindspot in my life. I act in sin without being consciously aware of it, because my pride tells me “oh, you’re a girl who loves God, wants to glorify Him, and is in seminary. YOU couldn’t possibly be struggling with this sin, you’re closer to God than that.” However, I don’t know if you caught it, but that logic is all about ME. And you know what’s interesting about me? Nothing. I can’t do anything right. It’s only by God’s grace and the Holy Spirit acting within me that I’m able to do anything remotely noteworthy.
This brings me back to my original point. Sometimes I have be to reminded of who I am. Scripture would call this a time of testing, where God allows you to go through the refiner’s fire in order to reveal the impurities.
I have being flirting with fire for a while now. What’s more is that God clearly spoke to me through His Word with wisdom for this situation. Yet, I continue to flirt with fire. So, now I’m right in the middle of it, and the fire is revealing that maybe there are more impurities there than my prideful self-righteousness would allow me to admit.
This brings me back to my point about blindspots. How do you deal with blindspots when you drive a car? You have a mirrors. Same goes for your spiritual maturity. You can never truly deal with blindspots in your spiritual walk without the aid of mirrors in your life that reveal those areas you don’t see on your own. One of those mirrors is Scripture. Another one is the relationships with fellow believers that God has put in your life who edify, encourage, love, and correct you when necessary.
God has given me some amazing friends who do not shy away from the responsibility to be my mirror when it’s necessary. And as I’m going through this fire, their friendships are necessary for reflecting these areas in my life where I have a propensity to be blind. Tonight, the contribution of my mirrors has been desperately needed. As I’ve been going through this time of testing, my actions/responses/reactions/thought processes have felt very foreign. I have not felt like myself at all, and my head has felt a mess. When I told this to one of my friends tonight, she reflected very poignantly,
“you’re feeling every pothole in the road because you’re traveling outside of God’s will. God spoke to you about this situation, and His Word has not changed. You know what you need to be doing, you’re acting out of that, and as a result you are feeling it. The Holy Spirit isn’t going to let you get away with disobedience.”
What she stated simply echoed what God spoke to me through His Word today. As I read through Proverbs 2, I was encouraged about God’s provision for those who seek His wisdom. He promises that He is “a shield to those who walk in integrity” (v.7), and He watches over the way of His saints (v.8). It is comforting for me that, although I fall and my flesh tries to navigate my path away from the “path of uprightness,” God does not let me go that easily. He continues to guard me with discretion and understanding.
Finally, I want to leave with this prayer from A.W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God. It concludes his discussion of following hard after God, and it aptly expresses my heart right now…
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satsified me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.