Semper Reformanda

...some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help.

[Friday, July 24, 2009]

Meditation: Phillipians 3:15-16

Taken from here.

“Let those of us who are mature be thus minded; and if in anything you are otherwise minded, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” Philippians 3:15-16

How incredibly difficult it is to see ourselves as we really are. Though we see the strengths and shortcomings of others quite easily, to look honestly in the mirror at our own lives is not easy at all. Those who wrestle with addictions are very familiar with the power of denial. We all tend to deny to ourselves what we don’t want to admit. Though the people who love us the most keep warning us; though sermons and songs and words from scripture keep confirming those warnings; though deep in our hearts we know those warnings are probably on target; if we don’t like what we are hearing we will deny to ourselves what we know to be true. The promise the Apostle Paul makes to us in this passage is that God will reveal to His children those ways of thinking, patterns of behavior, attitudes, character flaws, etc., that need to change. What an awesome promise that is. God will break down the walls of denial we build around our hearts if we will let Him.

How do we let Him? Three words: faith, courage, willingness. Faith leads to courage, courage leads to willingness, willingness leads to God. Here’s how it works. To have FAITH in the love of Jesus means that you know that no matter what you have done or haven’t done, no matter how you have failed or succeeded, no matter how good or bad you have been; God loves you with an incredible love. Romans 5:20 tells us, “…where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” There’s nothing you can do to make God love you more or love you less. Jesus’ death on the cross has shown us once and for all the depth of God’s amazing love for us all. When you have faith in that love it gives you COURAGE. When you know how loved you are you have the courage to look honestly at yourself because you know that no matter how good, bad, or ugly you are, still you are loved!!! You don’t have to be afraid of what you will see if you let go of your denial. Have you really messed up? Still you are loved. Have you hurt someone terribly? Still you are loved. Are you selfish, prideful, greedy, judgmental, etc.? Still you are loved. When you have faith in Jesus, that faith gives you the courage to see what you haven’t wanted to see, and that courage leads to WILLINGNESS. With courage you can find the willingness to let God break your denial. With courage you can find the willingness to hear whatever God is saying to you. With courage you can find the willingness to let God speak to you through your spouse, your parent, your friend, your preacher, or even your own conscience. With courage you can find the willingness even to make changes you haven’t wanted to make, knowing that God’s love will be with you as you make those changes.

Denial is a terrible thing. Willingness to listen and to change is an awesome thing.

Prayer: Dear God, please strengthen my faith in Jesus so that I may have courage. I want to be brave enough to hear what You are really saying to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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