Thursday, 20 April 2017

#24 by Susan L.

  "I am becoming conformed to Christ." Romans 8:29
  Maybe. Only I keep getting in the way.
  Which points directly at sin.
  Now it gets uncomfortable.
  And so it should because when I am convicted of wrong-think or wrong doing, it means the Lord is working on me. Admitting to imperfection is a humbling process but it's so good because the Holy Spirit is encouraging me to become a better person. The admission of sin is a gift of opportunity to understand and vanquish my enemy.
  Not that I am a bad person. None of us are. Nobody is strictly good or bad. There is an internal war between the good and the evil that resides in all of us since Adam bit the apple.
  A life with Jesus as Lord is not the same as renting a dumpster bin and purging the house of everything that is unwanted in the course of a weekend. God's refining is a gentle process that unfolds over time. There's two reasons. Too much change over a short time doesn't sink in and is impossible to maintain. Too many demands squash the give and take of a developing relationship with our Abba Father and His Son.
  Demands also squash the gift of grace. Expectations squash a life of expectancy. The only squash needed in my life with Jesus is the kind that's baked and serve with salt and pepper.
  I lived with someone who, over the years, set the standards and rules for how I was to live and behave. The abuse, and this is abuse because it fed the chronic fear of making a mistake and having to face the consequences. The "rules" regularly changed, only compounding my fear. It kept me off balance as well. I never knew what the day would bring. The control was so subtle and so much a part of our one-sided relationship it took me several years after the break up to fully understand how oppressed I was.
  Thank You, Lord for setting me free in so many ways. I can't say that enough! 
  Following Jesus isn't about oppression. Oppression, and its partner, suppression have no place in His kingdom. That's why Jesus died, to break the power of the law.
  I am a willing partner in the refinement process because there's no need to change because the Bible says I have to. I want to change to bring a smile to Jesus' face.
  Letting go. It's all about letting go. Again and again and again.
  Why would I even want to hang on to bitterness, hatred, suspicion, fear, and judgement? This might be the easier path but I may as well swallow a vial of strychnine because these things are poisonous to love.
  And there it is. Love. I want to love better, deeper, more passionately. I want my actions to be a demonstration of love. I want my words to bring life and hope and freedom.
  It seems I want to be more like Jesus.
  Lord? Open my eyes to the sin in my life that stands in the way of fulfilling the calling and the destiny You have in store for me. Thank You for the gifts of forgiveness and grace. Teach me how to be more forgiving. Teach me to be full of grace. Make me strong so I can embrace living life as one justified, just-as-if-I'd-never sinned. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen!
  "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom 8:38-39

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