One week into our church-wide fast, I am struggling with the reality that I don’t do this well. There continue to be evidences that I default to comforts and distractions rather than seek His presence. As I look back over the years of this annual interruption to routine, I am aware that I enter into it every time with eagerness and anticipation, only to find that I am more needy than I realized. Why is it I get so comfortable with myself, even my weaknesses and foibles, that I forget to remember who He is? The sad estate of the human heart requires constant prayer and daily cleansing.
I say “sad,” but the truth is my use of that word for my condition, dare I say, “our condition,” is also an evidence I am far from being perfected in the love of God. I believe, deep down, we were created for this constant and continuing dependence, and my thinking it is a pitiful condition in some way dishonors the One who made me thus for eternal dependence and fellowship with Him.
Father forgive me my wandering and self-important heart.
The truly sad part is, after all these years with Him, I still wander. How amazing is His mercy and grace to receive me again and again. For me, wandering is not necessarily entertaining sinful activities as much as it is thinking my knowledge of the Scriptures and my diligence to “do good” are gaining me righteousness, making me a better person. When I rest in my own strength, I am, in that place, as disbelieving as the worst of sinners. For I am saved by grace, through faith, and faith is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8)
Romans 8:28-30 says this: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” There’s a lot going on in these verses, but the main thing is He does it all: the calling, the conforming, the justifying and the glorifying. My job is to love Him. And if I truly love Him, I will obey Him.
As I walk this journey of love and obedience, He works all things concerning me together to accomplish His good and perfect will. So then, I will continue in this time of prayer and fasting to seek His face, to know His heart, and to submit my will to His sovereign goodness. When I fail, He does not. When I fall, He reaches out. When I repent, He forgives. When I believe, He rejoices.
Father in heaven, I give you honor and recognize you are holy. I intend to do your will, because I trust you, and because you are worthy of allegiance. I know that you will provide all my soul and spirit require as it pertains to this life and to godliness. Forgive my sin of unbelief, and give me a heart that loves you, so that I will also love others and be quick to give mercy and forgiveness. Keep me from temptation, always giving me eyes to see Jesus, who offers my way of escape from the snare of the enemy. Be glorified now and forever, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Until next week, beloved, seek Him while He may be found.