Plowing deep

July 5th, 2011

What concerned me first was the apathy.  Why weren’t the appropriate emotions there?  Where did this thick skin come from?  When did I stop caring enough?

It couldn’t be explained away as post-traumatic adoption-stress disorder.  Heh heh.

I read my Bible, but I didn’t long for it.

How could I regain a tender heart?

That was Part One.

Part Two was the book of First John and the prayer that God would break into my heart with His love in whatever way He needed to.

I guess Part Three was the migration backward to II Peter.  I wasn’t seeing the changes I hoped for.  Still the same half-heartedness.

The word “godly” kept jumping out at me until it was all I could see when I opened the book.

I wanted to know:  What does it mean to be godly?

Wouldn’t that just be a combination of all the virtues, including perfection?  Why is such a comprehensive virtue in a list with component virtues?  What is godliness?  How do I get it?

I prayed that God would break my heart with whatever broke His heart.  I prayed that He would make me care about what He cared about.  I asked Him to show me what godliness is and to produce it in my life, no matter what it took.

And He began the process of peeling back the layers and showing me the ugliness of the sin that is in my own heart.  I was increasingly concerned with others’ sin against me; too little concerned about my sin against others.  He is plowing deep and showing me how despicable my sin looks to Him.  He is making it impossible for me not to grieve over my own sin.

This morning, it dawned on me.  I want to know what it means to be godly?

What if God was just like me?

What would the world be like then?

O Lord Jesus, forgive me.

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.”

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.  For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil that I will not to do, that I practice.”

O my crucified but never wholly mortified
sinfulness!
O my life-long damage and daily shame!
O my indwelling and besetting sins!
O the tormenting slavery of a sinful heart!

Yet thou hast not left me here without grace;

The cross still stands and meets my needs
in the deepest straits of the soul.

The memory of my great sins, my many
temptations, my falls,
bring afresh into my mind the remembrance
of thy great help, of thy support from heaven,
of the great grace that saved such a wretch
as I am.

There is no treasure so wonderful
as that continuous experience of thy grace
toward me which alone can subdue
the risings of sin within:

Give me more of it.

~from The Valley of Vision

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2 Responses to “Plowing deep”

  1. Corey says:

    Oh, how I can relate to the thoughts conveyed in this post.  This is what makes John 17 such an incredible passage of Scripture.  Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ praying for us! Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!  Amen…

    The High Priestly Prayer
    1When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
     6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
     20“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

  2. Marilyn Osborn says:

    ….very thought provoking….thank you,
    M

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