As I have sought the Lord for revival in my life, I find myself different- broken, but better. Over these last two weeks I came face to face with the reality of who I am, and mostly who I am not. The Lord allowed me the opportunity to see myself in the mirror and examine the areas of my heart that were displeasing to Him. In brokenness and confession I laid myself bare before Him and in mercy and grace He raised me up to walk in freedom with Him. I have learned that surrender is not one time, but is a continual process of dying to self every minute of every day. The greatest joy besides salvation has been the realization, that apart from Christ in me, I am nothing. It is my daily prayer that I will not forget that freedom in Christ comes from death to self. Psalm 116:15-16 says it best, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. O Lord, truly I am your servant…..you have freed me from my chains.”
Now, as I walk in these days, I find myself calling on the Lord for His help. The song “I Need the Every Hour” has become so true for me, only I have changed it to “I Need the Every Minute.” Satan would like nothing better than to recapture my mind and bind me again in his deception. Enticing me to believe that “I am fine” just how I am, that it is “everyone else who needs to change.” I never want to go back to the pit in which I’ve lived for so long. It became so normal, I didn’t realize I had made it my home. I felt comfortable there, decorating it with my pride, my selfishness, my turmoil, my bitterness. Feeling content to stay because others I know have a pit too so why should I be any different? But, as a Christian, I am different. When I accepted Christ as my savior I was set apart. He called my name, He redeemed me, and He gave me freedom in the cross. But I have not lived in that freedom, I have not lived set apart, nor have I lived like the daughter of the Most High. Instead I have lived in bondage to the deceiver, hidden in a pit of darkness leaving me right where he wants me - ineffective and powerless. I give all praise to the Lord because by His mercy and grace He didn’t leave me there; instead He called out to me and told me to shine in the darkness and not to be hidden and consumed by it. Isaiah 60: 1-2 says “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you.”
In the process of this journey, there is always the risk of falling victim to the bondage of past failures. And as I look back over the years, my heart is filled with regret, especially where my children are concerned. I see the many misplaced priorities and missed opportunities through their lifetimes and now that they are older, I realize the years I let slip by, that can never be reclaimed. My boys are now young men and I can only pray that my feeble attempts at teaching them godly principles when they were little will someday produce in them a harvest of godly fruits as they go out and face the world as leaders, husbands and fathers to the next generation. It is a humbling and frightening thought to know that I had a divine assignment in helping to raise men that will impact their generation and our future. Unfortunately I did not fully rely on the power of the Lord in completing the task of equipping them for their future. Instead I allowed them to fall victims of seeking worldly ambitions and pleasures and justified it with the lie that as long as they were involved in church and church activities they would be o.k. I expected my spiritual life and my desire for godliness to be enough to draw them so I stayed more focused on my own growth and failed to focus on cultivating a desire in them to grow spiritually. In Deuteronomy 6 the Lord says to “Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength” and it was my desire to do that, but I didn’t fully grasp the importance of the next part that I now see as so vital, “ …to impress them on your children. Talking about them when you are at home, when you are walking along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Woe is me. I humbly admit my failure of equipping them spiritually. I allowed them to fall victim to the lie that their value was measured by worldly standards -by how well they performed academically in school, how well they fit in socially and by their accomplishments in the many sporting activities they were involved in. In and of themselves these things are not bad but when they became the focus and priority set in their lives, these things robbed them spiritually. I didn’t realize then that I was making poor choices for my children, I truly wanted the best for them, but now I can see that my priorities were misplaced. I made sure they were well studied in science, history and math but at the end of the day if it was too late, their Bibles stayed on the shelf. A quick prayer may be spoken at bed time, but it was usually from my lips and not their own. I would break commitments or reshuffle my schedule in hurried attempts to make ball practices and ballgames on time but on Sunday and Wednesday nights if they were too tired to attend church, I would excuse them and let them stay home. Again I must say, “woe is me.” I can’t steal back those days and I must face the consequences of these misplaced priorities in the lives of my children, but from this day forward, I have committed to lift their names daily to the Heavenly Father. The greatest gift I can offer them now is to surrender them to God’s faithful hands to shape and mold them into the men He wants them to become. He loves them more than I do and I trust that He can undo what I have done. I believe in my heart that He will call them, they will hear and they will choose to follow Him for the rest of their lives.
All of us have things that we would like to do over. In our humanness we will never get it all right, but instead of making the mistakes that others have made why not learn from them so that the mistakes are not wasted? It is my challenge to every Christian, to allow God to lay you bare as He searches those deep hidden places of your heart, to give Him the freedom to set you free so you can live the victorious life He has called you to. For those of you who still have young children, please realize the divine assignment you’ve been given in raising the next generation. If you have not already began setting their hearts toward heaven, or if you have become complacent in doing so, start today. The Lord has entrusted their hearts and lives to your care and the battle for their souls is harder now than ever before. We live in a society that entices them to seek immediate satisfaction which grows them into self-centered, self-seeking, worldly adults. If we are honest, many of us have sacrificed our children to the world in order for them to gain a temporary promise, and have not been willing to make the necessary sacrifices for them to gain their eternal promise. Jeremiah 19:5 says “They have built the high places of Baal(the world) to burn their sons in the fire as offerings to Baal (the world) – something I did not command them to do.” We as parents fall victim to this deception also and must first be willing to guard ourselves from worldly influence and pleasures and recognize our need for the Holy Spirit every minute of every day in order to overcome the battle of the flesh. I pray that all of us can gain full freedom from self and realize that true satisfaction comes from a life that is totally surrendered to Christ and from a heart that is set toward Heaven. May we begin today making the necessary sacrifices required to properly instill the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ into our lives personally and into the hearts of the next generation? It is our duty, it is our calling, it is our divine assignment.
May I thunder in the desert, and prepare for God’s arrival! Lord make my roads ( my daily life) straight and smooth, a highway (my life) fit for YOU! Fill in the valleys (the low and dark places of my heart) level off the hill (all of my pride) Smooth out the ruts (all bitterness) and clear out the rocks (all the junk that has gotten in the way) and may YOUR bright glory shine that everyone will see it. Yes, just as God has said.
(Isaiah 40:1-5, the Message) (My emphasis)
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This is a very good article. You are a king and you speak alot like king David. Therefore you must be great before the Lord so take courage and be the citizen of Heaven that God wants you to be. Amen. God bless you.