Let me make myself clear. I have not “arrived” in my faith. When I write about Jesus, it’s not because I’m an expert on scripture or because I’ve mastered clean living. It’s definitely not to brag on myself for “living right.”
The truth is, I’ve always been nervous about sharing God’s work in my life. The shame of my sin, past and present, caused me to shrink back from God’s glory. I’m so afraid of being called a hypocrite. I worry someone might say, “She calls herself a Christian, but I was at a party with her once. Three margaritas in, she was using the eff word like a comma.” Or, “She may have had her own apartment in college, but I know for a fact she stayed at Aaron’s place more than her own.” Ouch. Then there are my more current issues, like coveting and jealousy. I envy that gorgeous, fit mom of six well-dressed kids under the age of seven (who all slept through the night at three weeks and who would never dream of hurling a wooden choo choo train at their mom’s face, even if they were just being playful). She’s the woman with the sexy wavy hair and full makeup in Chick-fil-A, who eats waffle fries with abandon and never gains an ounce. She’s got an immaculate home, terrific sense of fashion, and somehow finds time to volunteer at the homeless shelter each week, even though she homeschools her entire herd of offspring. Yes, sin is still a strong force in my life. I could devote a lot of space to my shortcomings, but I’ll move on so I can get to the really juicy part.
In the summer of 2015, I began the process of casting off the chains of sin and shame. I experienced such radical revelation that I could no longer bear to sit on my hands. The Lord basically grabbed me by the shoulders, looked me in the face, and said, “Wake up!” This happened through a cascade of events that were really tough (I’ll share a little more next week via A Letter To My Son). To waste a single opportunity to declare His goodness is to waste the blood shed on the cross for me. I’m not doing Jesus any favors by ducking my head and zipping my lips. In fact, in doing so, I’m depriving Him of the opportunity to demonstrate His sovereignty. If Paul’s sin (persecuting Christians) wasn’t too much for God to handle, then neither is mine. And neither is yours. One of my dearest friends recently introduced me to Psalm 51, a heart-wrenching song of repentance.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
Friend, if you are allowing shame or fear to keep you from experiencing God intimately, I strongly encourage you to read this psalm and put an end to that right now. My prayer tonight is that the Lord would guide us in genuine repentance, creating in us pure hearts, and renewing our spirits. Thank you, God, for the blood of Jesus that paid the debt for our sins.
Are you letting shame or sin hold you back from experiencing God? Let me know how I can pray for you- it would be my honor.