“For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.” Hebrews 4:2
I know God loves me. This is a truth I learned in my childhood. I know the Bible stories…the stories of the dreadful first day of sin, the crazy old man who built an ark, the scared prophet that tried to run from God but was swallowed up by a big fish, the baby that was born in a lonely stable in Bethlehem, the healing of the blind, lame and death and ultimately the resurrection of my Lord and Savior. I’ve heard it all. I’ve studied and read it. My Bible is outlined and highlighted, marked with sticky notes. I’ve eagerly written down notes and filled in blanks during sermons and teaching sessions. I’ve written Bible verses on note cards to put them out as a reminder of His Word throughout my day. I’ve taught these truths to my kids and repeated the lessons over and over. My life has been immersed in the Bible.
But do I really get it? Do I completely understand the grace Jesus has lavished over me? Do I grasp how deep my sin really goes?
I tried to sum up some of the things I’ve struggled with in my heart and mind. I decided to write them down to have a visual aid to show myself the crazy ideas and struggles I have dealt with and continue to deal with in my life, somewhat of a “naughty list”. Some are blatant sins. Others are daily struggles I never give over to God or ask for His help. Here are a few…
A cluttered mind
A constant nagging of Satan
Aches & pains
Ugliness in my heart
Surrounded by unseen evil
Being too busy
And that is only the beginning! You would think, looking at my “impressive” résumé above, that the list would be much shorter! When am I going to get it? All the Bible knowledge in the world is worthless by itself! This knowledge must be meshed together with faith.
I am eternally grateful to God for His holy Word. But I want more. I want a relationship that runs so deep that the list above grows shorter and shorter. I want a relationship that invades every part of me. I want knowledge and faith.
The bad news is we all have a list like this and no one will completely overcome their own lists this side of heaven. We will always struggle on this earth. But the good news is we have a day coming when our list will be erased forever…no more to be seen…no more to be remembered!
“…though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:6-9
Usually something happens in my day that the Lord will use to lead me to writing a post. Today I came to a place of complete defeat. I fell to my knees and came to the Lord with a broken heart and spirit. I didn’t even have words to pray but the Lord heard my unspoken and tearful prayers. And after I laid it all before Him, he gave me renewed strength and a peace that passes understanding! My list of faults and failures brought me to my knees. The knowledge I’ve learned combined with a true faith prompted by the Holy Spirit led me to praise, glorify and honor our Lord, Jesus Christ!
Continue to seek His Word! Keep the faith! Endure for a time! And all praise be to God, our Savior, our Lord!!!