14 Nov
Hearing Hard Hearts - Week 49, 50, & 51

Most of this documented year has been about my communication with God and the struggle I have to grow in intimacy with our Creator. I’ve shared thoughts of process, ways of technique, and the trials that come from refinement. Talking quite a bit about the troubles I have in listening, I began to wonder if it’s my own self that hinders the opening of my ears or the trust I have in His unfailing love that keeps me in a stagnant place. Do I presume so much on God’s grace that I’m unwilling to give up worldly things of enjoyment because I’m already forgiven or does that unwillingness keep me from being truly forgiven? Either way, I have to admit, it doesn’t sound great. 

God has been asking me to reach out to someone who acted unfairly in our friendship at the beginning of this year. Someone I haven’t talked to in 8 months and someone who I feel should be the one contacting me. The Lord has impressed this request upon my heart in many ways. He’s done so by giving me their favorite Scripture, by sending me phone calls intended for them, and even by allowing me to walk right next to this person somewhere unexpected, unnoticed until it was too late (but was it).

I’ve resisted and rejected what Holy Spirit has been prompting me to do because I shouldn’t have to. Because it makes me feel like I’m apologizing for something I didn’t do and because I’m uncomfortable thinking about the potential conversation that comes next. Each time I’m reminded about the situation, it upsets me. I stomp my feet, throw a tantrum, and then “forget” about it until the next time Christ invites me to do His will. If I keep asking God to speak to me and then ignore Him when He does, what kind of follower does that make me? Is it true that I’ll only listen if it benefits my immediacy? 

I’ve ignored God in other ways as well. Though He hasn’t directly called me out or convicted my heart of the sin it’s living in, I know my body is His temple. I am not my own and yet I partake in activities that mussy up His dwelling place. I sometimes take pain medication, not because I’m in pain, but because it gives my body a euphoric feeling of relief. I get to turn off the pressures of the day and melt into the design of the drug, justifying it as a glass of wine, reasoning away the suggestions of wrong, giving into the excuses that say it’s okay. Struggling with the greyness of my activities, I wonder how much I desire to live in the divine if I’m choosing alternatives that take away from His Spirit inside me, diluting the soberness of mind we’re called to maintain. I’ve said more than once that I wasn’t going to do it anymore, I’ve told myself I’ll say no the next time it’s offered, I’ve asked friends to monitor my behavior in this activity, and yet… It hasn’t been that long since I last self medicated. 

Unfortunately this list continues with premeditations of potential sin. I sometimes think about the act of intimacy and the next time I’ll be put in a situation to deny my own desires. While I’d love to say I’m certain in my decision of denial, I play ping pong in my head to once again give way for the excuses that say it’s okay, and then look forward to that wanted connection. It’s baffling really. 

How can I say I want nothing more than His kingdom when I ignore His calling? When I partake in “abuse?” Or when I get excited about something I know He’d advise against? Do I want to live my life in the way it was designed? Or do I want to craft my own way of living that casually invites God to bless others and myself as some kind of back burner genie? Lord, please help me to understand because I very much relate to the writings of Paul when he says, “the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.” (Romans 7:19) With that, let’s not pretend. It’s not the activities I don’t want, but the hypocrisy and disobedience I’d like to separate myself from. 

I’m sure that I want to live a life that brings glory to Jesus, allowing Him to use me with a courage of fearlessness, inviting Him into all aspects of my life, as He continues to mold me in His likeness, but I also believe that calls for sacrifice I haven’t quite given yet. I hold onto these rebellions in the form of control, aiding to lies the enemy gives in order to thwart God’s plan. 

Christ has been so unbelievable kind to me, gifting me with an abundance of my hearts desires. However, “when someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” (Luke 13:48b) Am I fooling myself to believe I could ever live as God’s child, His bride, His love, if I continue to overlook the will He’d have for me? Am I at ease saying where I am is enough? Or do I really want more? 

It’s these questions that I take with me into the last week of this project and they bring tears to my eyes, being terrified of the answers. Searching for the truth in my heart, one song comes to mind… “Change my heart oh God. Make it ever true. Change my heart oh God. May I be like You.” These things that I profess are easy to say, but Jesus I pray that You continue to aid this broken vessel. Let me love You more as I renounce the things of this world. Let me run towards and seek after all that You’d entrust me with. In your name, my King. Amen!

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