Category Archives: Repentance

Following God when You Don’t Want To

Sometimes God calls me to things I don’t want to do.  Sometimes His Word gives me a command I don’t want to obey. He is calling me to that now. In these instances what should we do?

1. Confess- I had a wise man tell me once the starting point of any change is “admit what isn’t there.” I need to tell the Father that little or no part of me WANTS to do this. I must confess my apprehensions, fears, self-protection, or any other underlying factor I can process.

2. Surrender-Next I must be honest and tell God I am surrendering out of pure duty in this instance knowing overall that He loves me and wants to glorify His name–which IS the BEST for me, regardless of whether I feel something will bring happiness or not.

3. Ask-Finally, I must ask that He change my heart’s desire to WANT what He is commands or is speaking to me to do. Help me move from duty to desire, Father.

Too often I skip #1 and try to self-talk myself into saying  “I DO WANT THIS” when I know I really don’t. Self-talk doesn’t work. Jesus was honest about not WANTING the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane. If He can be that honest, so can I.

This is an endless process, because He is always speaking and His word is always piercing me, it will be required 1000’s of time over the course of life. Sometimes we DO want what He commands and it is very easy for us. Most of the time, it isn’t. Help us, Jesus.

Thank God I Am Not Like Them

Many times we are tempted to think we need less grace than someone else, after all my sin is so much more respectable. Even addicts often look at others with addictions and have the internal dialogue, “Wow, I’m glad my problem isn’t as bad as theirs.” How foolish and ignorant we are. But this is nothing new.

Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
 (Luke 18:10-14 ESV)

Before we look down in condescension on other wretched saints engaged in the beautiful fight, we should heed Richard Baxter who wrote:

He that hides one rebel in his house is a traitor to the Crown, and he that indulges one sin is a traitorous hypocrite.

One traitor in the house calls for as much need of grace from the King as does housing 100. Both acts carry the same title– traitor.

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
(James 2:10 ESV)

It is as if the Law, a reflection of God’s holiness, is set before us as a large pane of glass that is the shatter resistant safety type. If I were to take the smallest of hammers and attempt to break out the tiniest of pieces the whole pane would spider web shatter just as if I hit it with to the same degree as if I hit it with a sledge.

But grace is available, which God desires to pour out upon us in bucket fulls.

. . . but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
(Romans 5:20 ESV)

Hallelujah and Amen! Keep fighting.


Never Too Late, A Lesson for Thieves

It’s never too late to start heading in the right direction. Seth Godin

See also, the thief on the cross, in the last seconds of life.

And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:32-43 (mouseover)

Whether I have one breath left or a little over half my life, it is never to late to start. To fully engage in the beautiful and brutal fight. My particular fight involves addiction among other things. Yours? I must start with no guarantee of outcomes–restored marriage, etc–whether I will engage or rail against my circumstances. I have life in my bones, Lord, so remember ME this day in your Kingdom!