When was the last time I took notes in church? I don’t mean writing down prayers or jotting that one verse that was quoted, but actually writing outlines of what was spoken on and how it applies to my life? I will have to find my notebook in order to remember the last time I took notes. It was apparently long enough ago for me to be uncertain as to where my notebook is.
I know who I am. I know that pride knocks at my door daily and often just sits and chats with me, but my forgotten notebook stands out as an emblem of this prideful heart. Daily, I read the words of God, listen to sermons at work, read spiritual books, and write down my thoughts, but when a pastor speaks, my pen still writes my words rather than the message being given. But there is something that lies deeper still beneath this pride I’ve kept, it is a rebellion against authority, thinking that I know better, so why would another’s words matter? This condition of my heart is crippling, because I shut out the full blessings that could be received if I only submit to be taught.
In general, my memory is poor, where I must read passages of the Bible multiple times before they finally sink in. When I listen to messages at church or camp, I would not be able to remember what was spoken on by supper time. Without taking notes, their words, the message that God called them to speak, falls on my deaf ears. I like to think that I am a bottle in the smoke, but there is no smoke that surrounds me, and no reason for me to be so closed off. This shell is pride, and it has been patched and reattached so many times that now only bitterness leaks out, no light.
Dear Jesus, throughout this year, I have seen and felt You working on this prideful heart. You have brought to my attention the depravity that pride brings to my life. And more than just my life, but pride hurts my relationships with people around me. Pride sucks me dry, until meaning in life is summed up in likes, comments, follows, and views. I don’t need the books I read or the posts I write, unless those books are Your Word and those posts are Your Word. I don’t need the technology that I chain myself to. Abba, all I truly need is You, and You, in Your infinite wisdom and grace, can use so much of what is in my life for my edification and growth. Please give me discernment of truth, that I would measure everything to Your Word. And let me not grow in pride and ignore the lessons You teach through Your sons, daughters, and lost creation. I sit here at Your feet, listening to the Words You speak; fully realizing that I have no answers. My ignorance appalls me, but You are gentle with this heart of stone, wishing to make it a heart of flesh. Sprinkle clean water on me and I will be clean; from all my filthiness and my idols, I will be cleansed. Give me a new heart and place a new spirit within me. Remove this heart of stone from my flesh and give me a heart of flesh. Place Your Holy Spirit within me, and cause me to walk in Your statutes and keep Your judgments, and do them. (Ezekiel 36:25-27)
I love You, LORD, and I daily lift my voice to worship You. Through pain and sorrow, through rejection and stumbling, through prosperity and good health, through poverty and sickness, may Your praise ever be on my lips. It is by Your grace that I have anything. It is by Your grace that I am sustained. It is by Your grace that life exists. Out of Your grace, You have humbled this heart. Please continue Your work in me. Do not leave me unfinished. I wait for You, Jesus. Amen and Amen.