Honest Reflection – A Little Piece of Me

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Truth is harder than a lie. Dark seems safer than the light. Everyone has a heart that loves to hide. I’m a mess and so are you. We’ve built walls nobody can get through. Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do…

Bring your brokenness and I’ll bring mine, ‘cause love can heal what hurt divides, and mercy’s waiting on the other side, if we’re honest; if we’re honest.

Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not; living life afraid of getting caught. There is freedom found when we lay our secrets down at the cross, at the cross.

Bring your brokenness and I’ll bring mine, ‘cause love can heal what hurt divides, and mercy’s waiting on the other side, if we’re honest; if we’re honest.

And it’ll change our lives. It will set us free. It’s who we need to be.

Bring your brokenness and I’ll bring mine, ‘cause love can heal what hurt divides, and mercy’s waiting on the other side, if we’re honest; if we’re honest.

(If We’re Honest by Francesca Battistelli)

I have been thinking a lot about honesty and reality lately, so it only makes sense that this song would be stuck in my head. When I first heard it play on the radio, I knew that God had intended me to hear it. In writing, I tend to put a filter on my life. That filter conforms to social norms and what people expect of me; I don’t need to be shocking people with too much confession. But I have begun to see the value in transparency, especially with fellow believers in Christ. The truth is that every heart is lost without Christ. Even those who belong to Him can still be blinded by the world and give into the lies they have been told. In a few of my recent posts, I addressed the issue of giving into lies, and honesty compelled me to throw my lot in with the deceived; but though I was deceived and I did give in, I am not defined by those sins and failures. Regrets do not drag me down, they push me to be more and more like Jesus, until I forget my past sins as well as my Savior has. I was once deceived, but Christ shown His light into my heart and life; a light that pierces my soul with hard-hitting truth that purifies and cleanses me.

There are still times when I give in to deception and sin, but the reason I fall is because I have not yet learned to perfectly trust and love the Savior Who gave His life for mine. I am a work in progress, and the only reason I have hope of making progress is because of Christ in me. He knew I couldn’t pay the price for my sins and I could never be perfect, but He placed upon me His robe; His righteousness. Through Christ and His love for me, I am more than a conqueror of all that would seek to enslave me and destroy me. (Romans 8:37-39)

I am slowly learning to rely more and more on Jesus and less and less upon what I sinfully desire. But the first step in this journey was crying out to my Savior, and talking with Him and telling Him about my struggles; and through crying out to Him and coming to the realization that I have been a fool. I have allowed myself to be deceived, getting tripped up in the devil’s lies. Those lies sound so much like truth and they sometimes come from strong spiritual leaders, but the greatest leader I have is Jesus Christ, and He keeps drawing me back to Himself. It is almost comical how He reveals His truth to me even as I pray. When I ask for His help with a certain sin in my life, I confess the root of that sin, when I had never thought of it before; somehow, God’s hidden truth comes out in prayer. Through prayer, I am learning that the sins I struggle with are only the final result, or the fruit, of deep-rooted sin. Even the trials I face are a sin issue; For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12) Though Jesus can cut off the bad fruit and enable me to produce good fruit, sin must be dealt with at the root or it will keep rearing its ugly head, poisoning the good fruit that grows.

A big root of many of my sins is self-centeredness or selfishness. Perhaps all sins find their root in selfishness in some way, but no matter the root, Jesus has a root killer, and this is His root killer for selfishness in me:

What are you selfish for? And what has your selfishness bought you?1 If you are selfish only to gain more money, sleep, or personal time, then anxiousness, restlessness, and loneliness will be what you actually find.2 You cannot buy joy or peace by clinging tightly to what you possess, but you must lay down those things to find your rest. Rest comes only to those who come to Me,3 but you cannot find rest when you give Me only a small part of yourself… Following Me is not a half-way street, it is calling Me, LORD, which means that there is no one and no god above the earth or below it that can take precedence over Me; not even the god of self. In order to gain life, you must lay down your own.4 It is your choice to lay down yourself, your pride, and your lust, take up your cross, and follow Me, or lay down your rest, peace, joy, and cross, and weep. I AM your joy, because I AM the One Who breathes joy to life.5 I AM your rest, because I established rest.6 Every good thing comes from Me, not you.7 You do not make the rains to fall or hold storehouses laden with snow.8 You cannot cause yourself to grow and even the food that sustains you cannot be sustained without My strong arm and outstretched hand.9
I AM holy, I AM good, but that does not mean I wish you to think less of yourself; you are My daughter, an heir to the kingdom, and so loved and precious to Me!10 Instead, I call you to think of yourself less and of the truth more; the truth that, as an heir, you have been called to be a part of My kingdom work.11 My daughter cannot be selfish with her time or her life, because the people need to know the truth that they too can be My sons and daughters, adopted into My family.12 I did not make anyone to be a slave to sin, or to be fatherless, but sin enslaves them, and they live without love; only I can set them free and give them the love they need. You are so loved and precious to Me, and I should be loved and feared in return. But I do not want you to fear Me as a slave fears his master, but as a daughter who is overwhelmed by the knowledge that she is deeply loved by a Father Who will never leave her, forsake her, or let her go down the path of destruction.13 I love you and I call you to cast off yourself and put on Me.14 Love, Jesus.

Honesty is ugly sometimes, but once all lies have been uncovered, along with the root of those lies, then good roots are given room to grow and produce fruits that have the taste and savor of life everlasting.

This post constitutes only one of the many lessons I learn from Jesus daily, but I am not finished learning. I hope that you, too, would cry out to Jesus, talk with Him and tell Him about your struggles, and allow Him to teach you the reality of your sin and your desperate, daily need for Him.

eyeseeyou“In and of myself, I can only change and/or clean the parts of myself that can be seen with the human eye, but God has the power to change and form my heart and soul. Though this “being perfected” is not always a pleasant process, it ultimately brings me joy, purpose, and rest. So, I rejoice in the truth that God is diligent and thorough in His work of perfecting the saints. Furthermore, I am grateful that Jesus has not given up on the most reluctant hearts (like mine), but continues to break down artificial strongholds and build in His sons and daughters a heart after His own.” (From Birthday Suit)

References/Inspirations
1. Romans 6:20-23
For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2. Isaiah 55
Everyone that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has no money; come you, buy, and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do you spend money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul will live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.
Behold, you will call a nation that you know not, and nations that knew not you will run unto you because of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you.
Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
3. Matthew 11:28-30
Come unto Me, all that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I AM meek and lowly in heart: and you will find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
4. Matthew 16:24b-25
If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.
5. Psalm 139:13-14, Genesis 2:7
For You possessed my reins: You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows right well.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
6. Genesis 2:2
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
7. James 1:16-18
Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.
8. Zechariah 10:1, Job 38:22
Ask of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD will make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain; to every one grass in the field.
Have you entered into the treasures of the snow? Or have you seen the treasures of the hail?
9. Luke 12:25
And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If you then are incapable of doing that thing which is least, why take you thought for the rest?
10. Isaiah 43:1-4
But now thus says the LORD that created you, O Jacob, and He that formed you, O Israel, “Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; neither will the flame kindle upon you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for you. Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honorable, and I have loved you: therefore will I give men for you, and people for your life.
11. Matthew 9:36-38
But when [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then said He unto His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest that He would send forth laborers into His harvest.”
12. Matthew 5:13-16
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is from then on good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid; neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
13. 1 John 4:15-21
Whosoever will confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. We love Him, because He first loved us. If a man say, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, “That he who loves God love his brother also.”
14. Galatians 3:26-29, Romans 13:11-14
For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in strife and envying. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

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