Saturday, January 31, 2009

Nocturnal Narcissism

Lamentations 3:22, 23 Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning...

So I have this privilege of being one of the first people in our time zone to thank God for His mercies that are new every morning. I’m often walking out to my car a little after midnight and try to make it a point to do just that – Thank God that I am starting a new day with His mercies in full view.

As I ponder the mysteries of His love for me, it challenges me to greater heights and depths of my journey with Him. Some of it is based solely on scriptural application and revelation, but much of it just overflows from our walks and talks together.

This past Monday night I was heading down the aisle toward home when He spoke to my spirit and said, “You are entering a period of repentance.” Wow. I began to confess aloud my sin and it echoed the halls of a near empty production facility. It made me think how a “house of production” can still be void of life. Sometimes that is me.

Romans 2:4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?

I often make the point that “activity does not equal productivity.” We can do the wrong things and cause set-backs. We can do the right things for the wrong reasons and erase the deed with motive. These are all things that challenge me in my journey. I can win many battles while losing the support of others. So with this simple “word” from the Father my confessions and repentance began to flow, starting with dead works.

Hebrews 6:1 …not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death.

Most of my sin, it seems, is about “self.” Go figure. My confession went something like this: “Lord I repent of selfishness acts, self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, self-gratification, selfish ambition, self-sustainment, selfish pride, fear, lust, envy, gluttony, greed. I need You to fill the places and spaces of my heart that those things occupy. I realized in a moment in time that those things had crept in on me, even in small ways, like a snake slithering into a henhouse bent on theft and destruction – a nocturnal narcissism if you will. It is still all about me.

John 1 Light dispels the darkness.

Isn’t it interesting that no matter how deep the void, or dark the night, the smallest ray of light penetrates it and pushes it back? That is the relavent revelation of God. When He shines His simple Light on my soul, it saves, delivers, and heals. He brings life to the party. His blood filters my sin from His throne, and He makes me feel at home once again.

I know this is simplistic fundamental stuff for we “veteran” Christians, but we need these reminders to curb-check us back to the straight and narrow. It’s easy to let the cares of this life choke out our joy, or the decietfulness of wealth and riches keep us from being fruitful. Our soil can be soiled with rocks and weeds and deeds and me, so we must tend the garden.

Ground gained must be maintained.

As I enter another season of repentance, I am grateful the pursuer has never stopped chasing me. I’ve been tagged again to chase Him back. Like a Dad playing with his kids, He lets me catch Him pretty quickly and we tumble in a heap of laughter and love. What a Savior. What a friend.

Psalm 51

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.

1 comment:

Clark Peebles said...

"Ground gained must be maintained..."

That's a fact; and words to live by. As I read your post, I was reminded of 2 Corinthians. 7:10 tells us; "For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death." (ESV)

Good wisdom for the week to come. Thanks Tim!