Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's Been a While

So it's been a while. For a lot of things. A while since... I've gotten a full night's sleep, because we've been blessed with the opportunity to bottle raise yet another litter of kittens (well, only two of them this time, but they still eat often). It's been a while since... I have been able to think of Gramma without regret, guilt, and sadness. It's been a while since... my husband and I have spent very long laying in bed talking. It's been a while since... we've prayed together every night. It's been a while since... I last wrote here.

Meanwhile, something's been bothering me. I'm not ready to write here, yet. But it pertains to the book I'm reading - "Driven By Eternity." I do want to write about it - and I want to share it. However, right now, I'm just not ready.

Today, a paragraph really jumped out at me from the book. It's found on page 78 (and for the sake of not stealing, this was written by John Bevere):

"It is complete ignorance for a Christian to disdain an individual who has not received Jesus as their Master for his or her lifestyle. This person's spiritual DNA is to sin, and that is just what he does. What is freaky and completely unnatural is a "believer" who habitually or willfully sins..."

The paragraph goes past that. But I got hung up on that. First, on the the first sentence. It IS ignorance - or hatred - that cause a Christian to disdain anybody who isn't a Christian for what they do. How can we expect any different?

The second part gets me though... the part where it is freaky and completely unnatural is to sin willfully or habitually after being saved. Why? Because I am saved. I often don't feel like it, but the Bible says if I believe in my heart and confess with my mouth, and Jesus is my Lord, then I am saved. But... I have committed sin. Willfully. After being saved. I've even done some things repeatedly. When I was in high school, I fell. Far, and hard. I was so far from God - in my heart. He never left me - I can see that now, when I look back. I was so deep into destructive and hurtful (to others and myself) behavior, depression, unforgiveness and hatred that I (thankfully) can't recall it well enough to even imagine it. That's not what bothers me, so much, though.

Why? Because on May 8th, 2002, a good friend and her family took me with them to a "new church" they'd found recently. At that service, God intervened in my life in a radical, undeniably tangible and visible (and provable) way. When we got there, I was overcome by the atmosphere of worship and love for God. I repented then and there. The rest... well, that's a story for a different day. Suffice to say, I wasn't the only one blessed that night, and I wasn't the only person touched by the changes just in myself. I look at that as my "coming home" after clearly fitting the description of the prodigal. I was the one who was out with the pigs, wishing I could stomach the corn cobs because it was the best I could do for myself. Not literally (I've never been in a pig pen in my life), but figuratively. Spiritually.

But since then? I've willfully sinned. I've lied. I've spoken badly about people. I've been hard toward my husband. I've been selfish. There is one particular instance, which I won't discuss here in such an open format, that stands out. Why? It was deliberate. It was willful. It was a sin of commission. It was outright rebellion. And the consequences? Let me just say the ripples can still be seen today. God didn't punish me for it. But doing so opened the door to the devil to wreak havoc in my thoughts and life. And that bothers me. Mostly because it opens the door to doubt... would I have done that if I was really saved? I know the answer deep down - yes. I'm saved. Redeemed. Spiritually re-born. But I'm still stuck in my body. Flawed. And my soul (mind, will, and emotions) is flawed. I know that. And I know we all sin. But... it bothers me to know that I could so openly rebel against the God who sent His SON to die for me.

Before this makes less sense, and before I get more tired, I need to go to bed. But I'll endeavor to write more frequently in the weeks to come.

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