Deep Meets Deep
July 12, 2014
Deeper issues. Everything has a deeper issue. We rob ourselves of intimacy with the living God when we become slaves to the bandages we continuously put over our wounds. We’ve learned to bandage our pain and our sin, without a cleaning process. All the while, the wound is throbbing and the infection is spreading. But, we can’t see how ugly it looks under the bandage, so we’re okay. We keep pushing forward with half our strength and half our energy. Sin keeps creeping up. We wonder why we can’t forgive, or why we can’t change our attitude, or why we can’t stop lusting, or why we can’t stop worrying, why we aren’t fully satisfied, or why we are so desperate for approval, attention and love. We talk about how sweet grace is, but if the grace hasn’t led us to change, then we haven’t really rested in it.
The gray area. The wrestle.
I travel. A lot. Along with my travel comes a lot of unexpected experiences. One thing I’ve learned from travel is that you can’t predict it. You can plan, but you can’t expect. Situations will arise that you aren’t prepared for. Conversations will be had that you never intentioned. Struggles will arise. Things can go ridiculously well or completely wrong. My travel experiences have done wonders to shaping my life’s perspective. The longer I do life with Christ the more I realize how much "gray area" there can be in so many different situations. It's intimidating and often times stressful.
Like traveling, I can plan. I can modify my behavior and put pressure on myself to perform. I can take all the necessary steps I need to take in order for things to “work out well.” Or I can risk, I can take chances, I can rest in the reality that I serve a God of GRACE. I can wrestle with Him through the gray areas--make right decisions as well as wrong ones. I can trust that He will carry me through in the good, the bad, and through the wrestle.
God isn’t interested in our behavior, He’s interested in our heart. Changing your behavior is simply putting a bandage over the infected wound. The world tells us to bandage. You're hurt? It's okay, keep going. Go have a drink. Take a hit of this. Entertain yourself with this person to help you forget. Or, just work harder. Spend more time studying, stay at the office later. Bandages--all bandages. Wound is still there, it's still spreading.
We all know Jesus isn't like the world. He forces you to face it. He asks you to stop bandaging, and expose it--give it to Him. My first heartbreak as a Christian was painful. It was painful because I sat there, vulnerable and exposed. For the first time in my life, I didn't run to something to numb the pain. I didn't run to a drink, or a hit, or a guy. I sat in my pain and I took it. I faced it. It hurt, but man, was it liberating. 'Cause I didn't take it alone, I had the Great Physician sitting by my side cleaning and stitching.
Outward sin is just a reflection of what’s going on in the heart. And from experience I’ve learned that you sin in your mind and in your heart way before you sin outwardly. So let’s stop bandaging sin, let’s stop covering open wounds and let’s dig deep. Let’s let life be life and God be God. Allow yourself to be broken and vulnerable. Allow yourself to be human. Take off the bandage, expose the wound, and then allow Jesus do what He does best: renew, fix and heal.
He’s still in the process of cleansing and healing a wound in me right now. But it wasn’t until I realized my own weakness that I was able to allow Him to do so. It’s painful, but it’s necessary. After all, the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart. THAT He will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)
Get out of your own way and let Him heal.