Friday, January 15, 2010

Brutal Honesty, Beautiful Reality - Introduction

While my husband and I have both walked through some dark times, we can also look back and see the overwhelming, countless ways in which the Lord has so richly blessed us. From attending a Christian college (the context in which I first really believed and embraced God's sovereignty), to having a college pastor fervently pleading with us to find our satisfaction in Christ alone, to being blessed with the opportunity to attend one of the greatest seminaries in the country (not just based on academics, but because of their commitment to the authority and sufficiency of Scripture), we are truly blessed by the formative seasons we have been given. After years of being in such contexts, and now that the flurry of graduation and holiday festivities have passed, there is a sense in which things have come to a grinding halt. I no longer have the comfort of a context in which I can depend on the wisdom of others. My heart has been laid bare, and I have been forced to examine myself for who I really am removed from the godly influences on whom I have so often relied upon.

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I was given a strong dose of brutal honesty a couple of weeks ago when my husband and I had a very candid conversation about where I am in my relationship with the Lord. After becoming so comfortable with relying on the wisdom and teaching of others, I was faced with the painful truth that my relationship with God has lacked any real intimacy; I have become more content in relying on the words of men rather than relying on Him. And while godly influences are good and encouraging, I had to confess that I have become increasingly less dependent on God Himself. Even good things can so easily become idols, taking over His rightful place on the throne in our hearts. This lacking of real intimacy and trust has very practical implications, ones that are difficult for me to admit, which leads me to this post...

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I will be devoting the next several posts here to a four-part series on this "Brutal Honesty, Beautiful Reality" I have been grappling with in recent days. It is much easier to vaguely admit that we are all sinners rather than seeking real heart transformation and repentance that only come after specific confession of specific sin. Even I, a young woman who has been in wonderful churches and who has now received a masters degree from a leading seminary, need to be faced with the bitter reality of my own sin so that I might taste once again the sweetness of being satisfied in Christ alone. You might be shocked, you might be encouraged; I have no idea how people perceive me on a daily practical level. My hope is the latter, that you will be encouraged and compelled to examine your own heart, asking yourself the questions that might be difficult to face depending on where you are really at in your own relationship with Him.

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Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
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The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
I the Lord search the heart and test the mind... (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
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Be killing sin or it will be killing you. (John Owen, Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers)

3 comments:

Amanda said...

fantastic post. I think most all of us, especially me, can relate. I have been trying to keep Shane's song of "press on to know Him and press hard in to Him" at the forefront of my mind. Blessings sweet friend! Thanks for being honest!

Colorado Dreamin' said...

I appreciate this series of posts so much. God has been talking to me about some things along those lines and your posts are an encouragement to keep seeking Him though these times and all others.

Ashley said...

Love your honesty and transparency!