Alone, my heart cannot tell me where I’m going

How can what I do under the guidance of Your hand be pure and without spot? How can my thoughts and intent be in agreement with the holy purposes by which You dictate my obedience? Only You can convert my heart through Your Word; it’s truth takes hold of me and instructs me in the way of Life — the way that none can travel but with You.

How can a young person live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
train me in your ways of wise living.
I’ll transfer to my lips
all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
I attentively watch how you’ve done it.
I relish everything you’ve told me of life,
I won’t forget a word of it.

Psalm 119:9-16

When wrong is righter than right

I don’t know why I didn’t realize until now that perfectionism was such a pride thing. But, when a sin so consumes me like that, it will naturally keep me from recognizing anything that is apart from sin — anything that is holy.

When I make a sin like pride my shelter I need no other. And being so confident that this is the only place for me, I will behave defensively toward anything that threatens my position and respectability in remaining there in that hiding place. When this is how I carry out my life, how can I be surprised that the ways of God should regularly seem to be against me?

Holy Hide-n-Seek

Kittens hiding within the bricksGod can’t be found. What is He doing? Why hasn’t He been in any of the places that I have looked?

God is confusing. He doesn’t show up when we think, He lingers around longer than we would like, and He sometimes steps on our feet when we greet Him. What’s up with that?

Do these things make God inconsiderate or undesirable? Does His seeming lack of good manners give you reason to move away? Did He seem an unlikely refuge when you turned your back on Him?

Perhaps asking these questions makes you feel uncomfortable. But, if God is perfect and intentional in all He does, then it could not be an accident that He has put Himself off on us as He has. There is no need for you to distance yourself from Him with a protective veneer of politeness.

Since God knows everything, and is the premier expert in predicting your every thought and move, He no doubt expected you to react to His behavior exactly as you have. But, what may be worthy of considering is that He knows more about you than you know about Him and therefore He had some excellent reason for whatever elusive or intrusive measures He has enacted in your presence.

The marvelous personality of a holy God is wrapped up specifically for you in everything He does and says. He presents Himself to you for your enjoyment. Doubt the biblical nature of what I say? Read Matthew or John and you will find verses like:

“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.” (John 15:11)

Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” (John 10:6-10)

Not only did He choose to make Himself known to us in such a way that we would enjoy Him, but also that we would recognize that in Him we are absolutely full. If such were the experiential case of our lives, we would have no reason to doubt that God is our deepest craving and delight. The world would have no opening to tantalize us with empty things; God would have us “heart and soul.”

And God is important WHY?

If you’re wondering why God exists, or what is the point of all His works, you are in good company. The whole of His creation must ponder such questions when at their most honest and vulnerable.

What do we know of God, and what difference does it make? we ask. And how can we not ask it? Is this not the beginning of wisdom — to question what we know, and to seek to verify for ourselves what is true? To deny such questions and to forge ahead with such doubts so deeply ingrained in our consciousness would be quite an error on our part.

Oh, that we would have the courage to seek God’s truth! To desire that knowledge of Him — and not solely about Him — that will lead us to realities we’ve lived ignorant of our entire lives. Thought the end of this quest be a mystery, may our desire to test the reality of what we’ve heard and thought, be enough for us to move ahead.