As we, here in Iowa, experience this winter thaw, so too, my heart does. I feel spring coming to this physical realm and to my spirit. We have had winter solstice now and this means each day is longer, lighter.
And I am seeing God's promises revealed in perfect timing with the seasons.
I am seeing things with new eyes and with joy. He has shown me that as I proclaim His promises, they will come to pass. And He has shown me the power of His name.
I can literally feel my heart being turned to clay. Last night, I was thinking of how easy it is to harden one's heart but how difficult it is to soften it again. I know this because I have had a hard heart. And I have built walls, high, of protection, of defense, impenetrable, and in doing so, I erected an obstacle between others and me, between God and me, which took a long time to tear down. In fact, the work is probably still not finished.
The more I seek God(and this blog has been a huge step toward that for me,) the more I can feel Him molding me. I find myself longing to be in His presence and a desire to devour His word. In all honesty, I have not ever before felt in love with the Bible. But I have found it to be true that the thirst comes, once the discipline has been formed. So much of what He is showing me is unexplainable and really only discerned by heart knowledge. And still, my heart burns to be able to share, release His goodness.
But last night, praying before sleeping, I felt very strongly God warning me, if you will, to heed what the Word says about the cross offending. (Galatians 5:11). And I felt very clearly, that this was not intended to cause distress. I myself, am to work diligently to not offend (Romans 14:21), I am to be a peacemaker (Matthew 5:9) but Christ (Matthew 10:34) came bearing sword ....and yet, still, leaves His peace with us (John 14:27).
The more in love I fall with Him, the more I want to proclaim His name. And, too, the more I adore,the more I understand that being a follower of Christ demands a certain boldness. But the more I walk into this courage, the easier to fall into doubt. Because as we thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6) and acquire the hunger, so the enemy grows ravenous (1 Peter 5:8).
When I proclaim:
"I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, first for the Jew and then for the Gentile." Romans 1:16
Then immediately, I will feel accused.
But then comes,
"There is therefore
now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)
This is my son's Bible verse that he is memorizing and it came to mind today to overpower the fear that was creeping in. So, I learn again, the importance of binding the scripture on my heart.
I am not under condemnation. I have been set free. But my life is not perfected. And this life is both a blessing and a curse. And God is a mystery which we are to seek to understand. God was man and He is God. He was and is and is to come. Wow.
I think God loves paradoxes. Isaiah chapter 11 is the chapter which talks of the little child who shall lead them and of the wolf dwelling with the lamb. We are to be cunning as serpents but gentle as doves (Matthew 10:16).
A paradox is something which appears to be contradictory but may in fact be true.
It's baffling and intriguing, God's word, God's hope, His promises, His very life.
My prayer today is that I never stop seeking or learning and that I allow my heart to be soft and confounded again and again and that His power would always eradicate my fears.