Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fruit (10/10/05)
TITLE: Rebellious Heart
By Michelle Fout
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I was tired of opening my Bible to see words of reprimand waiting for me. “Couldn’t he say something nice to me for a change?” I whined as I opened my Bible that morning. I stared at the words in dismay as the glimmer of warning flared up a dread in my heart. The Lord was speaking and I was not listening. “Ok, Lord, here I am” I said slipping off my prayer chair and onto my knees, “I will listen now, please, open my heart to your teaching.”
I could not stop the tears from flowing as He opened His Word into my heart. It was a lengthy message about my first love for Him growing cold and distant. It held warnings of the dangers ahead with such a rebellious, deceitful heart leading me. I stayed on my knees until the flood of scripture slowed to a trickle then I stretched out face down on the floor. I agreed with my Father that my heart was in a bad state and needed forgiveness and healing.
“Oh Lord, I am so tired. I am doing too much. I need a break.” Unconsciously I slipped back into whining; a behavior that had become an unattractive feature in my character. I laid there and reviewed the last year. I was so tired and there had been so much work that had born too little fruit. Unsurprisingly, I felt burnt-out and resentful that those in the church seemed so unappreciative of all my hard work. A pat on the back, a thank you, a phone call would go a long way to encourage me in my “work for You, Lord.”
“I asked you to do one thing and one thing only. Do not tell me I have overburdened you when my grace and strength was sufficient for the task I required of you.”
I felt the slam of His axe fall on the rebellious root in my heart; it hurt as only truth can. A year ago I had asked for an opportunity to serve the Lord. I had convinced myself I wanted to express the love He had poured into my life through an act of service. I had not waited on the Lord’s timing –the scriptures He had spoken to me had convicted me of that. I had known what I wanted that service to look like and had proceeded with my own plans to make it happen.
The truth began to dawn. The fruit was not there because the work was from a wrong heart. The work I had undertaken had very little to do with obedience to God or love for others. “It wasn’t for you was it God? It was for me, to be seen, to please man to bring myself a good name,” I choked the last words out around a lump of shame in my throat.
Conviction and godly sorrow weighed upon my heart as I turned my mind, my will back to the face of God. I said the words I needed to hear, words that summed up my life. “You are right Lord, I am wrong.” I released a long breath and continued, “Forgive me for setting my eyes on earthly things and needing approval from anyone but you. Forgive me for seeking glory for myself. I should have done what you were asking me to do but I didn’t want to Lord. I thought it was too hard and I was too unfaithful to trust you. Please forgive me. Thank you for protecting those around me during this time of rebellion. I am so grateful that no one was hurt. Your loving kindness and mercy has gone before me, thank you. Your Word says that you can work out everything- even my mistakes- and make it all good. Redeem this season of rebellion Father, please let there be a some kind of harvest that glorifies You.”
I stayed face down on the floor as I felt His Presence of Peace finally and gently begin to restore my unfaithful, rebellious heart.
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