God is so good, friends! 🙌 It’s funny to word it this way, but the LORD really saved me yesterday! He delivered me in a mighty way!
I had been walking in bondage for a few days (or even longer) — increasingly bitter bondage, to the point that life was becoming very bleak.
It was bondage that started with truth. But then I took the truths I was learning too far to the point that I was making constricting rules for myself over and above what the Word of God requires, and I was judging others for not being as “holy” as I was trying to be.
In other words, I was being just like those 1st century Pharisees who opposed Jesus — cleaning up their exterior, while inside they were full of filth, and judging others for not being like them. The Lord Jesus called them Hypocrites! Fakers! Actors!
That was me.
I normally am filled with the joy of the LORD, but I was bleak and black inside. I didn’t want to talk to people or celebrate their success. I wasn’t genuinely interested in other people. Nor was I happy about life. I was just stuck, obsessed, confused, addicted to learning more about a “holy life” — which was really just me “rejecting the righteousness of God and seeking to establish my own righteousness” (Romans 10:3).
Again, it all started off with good truths — it is good to be holy before the Lord! He commands us to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16)! But we can’t add to or subtract from what He says or make up our own requirements — we need to follow His way — no more and no less.
Being in this state of increasing bleakness for many days, I knew that I was not right — not right in myself, not right with the LORD, not right with other people — and eventually I got so desperate that I knew I needed to fall on my face before the LORD and repent and seek Him.
So that’s what I did!
I went to my room and shut the door, as Jesus advised in the Gospels (Matthew 6:6), and cried out to my Father. I told him all the awful (sometimes seemingly-“holy”) addictions I’d plunged into and all my woe, and (observing the Fruit Of The Spirit poster on the back of the bed) told God I wanted Him to produce love and joy and peace (and so on) in my life — ’cause right then I had next to none of those fruits in my life.
Finally, as I was confessing my sins and repenting, telling the LORD I didn’t have to have things my own way but that I was willing to do things His way, I eventually told the LORD I was sorry that I had made one of my obsessions my “God” — and as soon as I said that, my whole world became lighter.
A weight lifted off of me.
I could breathe again.
I could see again.
Joy returned to me.
And I thanked the LORD for being so kind to me and saving me! 🙌
I have not been the same since! I now feel like it is my choice whether I use my phone or not (before it was like an awful addiction). Now I have joy in my life and can have fun again. 😊
Now I can do simple things like ask people what they’re doing for Halloween, without feeling like I need to judge them right there and then for participating in the holiday.
(No, I don’t believe it’s a good holiday, but there’s a time and a place to say something about it — there was no need for me to be so critical that I couldn’t be happy for someone else who doesn’t know any better enjoying dressing up as a cow and getting candy.)
Suffice it to say (and this may come across as a strange statement), I am SO thankful that the LORD makes life so terribly miserable for us when we are going astray!
Can you imagine… What if your body never alerted you with pain when you touched a hot stove, or when you hit your head on the underside of a table, or when you got your hand caught in the door? If there was no physical sign of the damage we were causing to ourselves, we would just go on and on hurting our bodies, completely oblivious to the destruction we’d eventually incur.
In the same way, I am thankful that the LORD is kind enough to warn us when we’re going astray — even when we’re going astray under the guise of holiness!
The devil is very sneaky… Just as the LORD can use evil things for good, so can the devil use good things for evil — taking us just a little too far down the rabbit hole so that real, simple truths get bogged down with tag-along half-truths that make the whole package a self-righteous perversion.
So I am glad that the LORD makes us miserable in sin. He’ll do whatever He can to “discipline” those He loves so that we’ll turn back to Him and His good way.
As Jesus said,
“Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. Be zealous, therefore, and repent!” (Revelation 3:19)
Thank You, God, for Your incredibly wise and gracious kindness that gives us every opportunity to get out of the pit! — Indeed, thank You for stretching out Your very own hand and pulling us up when we but acknowledge our sin and turn from it in Your presence!
Thank You for saving me in such a real way, yet again, according to Your wonderful mercy!
Friends, let’s bless the LORD and praise His Name! 🎉 He is good to His people! 😀