Wednesday, April 6, 2016

quiet time

This post will be simple and to the point.  Last night in Bible study (we're studying the Sermon on the Mount by Jen Wilkin), Jen said something so very profound to me.  That is, that sin starts in our hearts.  

I've noticed that I've been a bit in a slump the past couple of days, and I honestly didn't realize this until a sweet friend texted me about it last night.  Even though I didn't pick up on it, she did and she took the time to ask me about it.  That text led me upstairs to my bedroom floor, where I just laid down on the floor and poured out my heart to God.  (Sometimes praying leads us to complete submission to God and how better to do that, than to lay prostrate on the floor?)

It turns out that I hadn't been having my morning quiet time.  On both Monday and Tuesday, I had to be up and out of my house or ready earlier than usual, and because of that, I hadn't spent time with God.  

As I reflected back on all of this, God convicted me again on how I spend my time.  So before bed last night, I asked Him to forgive me and to help me to honor Him with my time more, starting with today.  It was much easier to get out of bed this morning, and the time I had with Him was sweet.  

I read from Psalm fifty and fifty-one this morning.  How fitting chapter fifty-one was, especially.  The title of that chapter in my bible is "A Prayer for Restoration".  I'm just going to write it out...wondering who else needs to read this chapter.  God doesn't do anything by accident. 

Be gracious to me, God, according to Your faithful love; according to Your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion.

Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.

For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me.

Against you--You alone--I have sinned and done this evil in Your sight.  So You are right when you pass sentence; You are blameless when You judge.  

Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me.

Surely You desire integrity in the inner self, and You teach me wisdom deep within.

Purify me with hyssop, and I will clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones You have crushed rejoice.

Turn your face away from my sins and blot out all my guilt.

God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not banish me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to the joy of Your salvation to me, and give me a willing spirit.

Then I will teach the rebellious Your ways, and sinners will return to You.

Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing of Your righteousness.

Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise. 

You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it; You are not pleased with a burnt offering.

The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.  God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.

In Your good pleasure, cause Zion to prosper; build the walls of Jerusalem.

Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on Your altar.  

Sin starts in our hearts.  When we don't daily seek God and pray and read His word, our hearts quickly become hardened.  We must continually ask Him to give us soft and teachable hearts, to keep them broken before Him.  I don't want to give too much credit to our enemy, but he is definitely at work the most when we are apart from God's word.  He wants us to be too busy, too tired, up too late the night before...because when we are not properly rested, he operates much more easily than he does when we are awake and fully aware and spending time with God.  

One thing I ask often of God, is that He will convict me when I sin and that He will always give me a teachable and repentant heart.  I want Him to show me my sin, because I always want to be aware of when I'm walking down a slippery slope.  Though I recognized none of this on my own yesterday, God used my friend to reach out to me.  He has actually used her a few times in my life, for similar circumstances, and I thanked Him for her friendship this morning.  

I wrote all that to challenge you...God doesn't do anything by accident.  I pray that, like my friend's text last night, that God uses these words to speak into someone's heart.  Thanks for reading.

Love to all.  

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