The verse that moved me today has a word in it that I wrote about a few months ago. I was concerned that I was repeating myself, so I checked and decided: firstly I am not rewriting the same blog and secondly, even if I was repeating myself (which I pretty much do all the time anyway), that’s OK, if it needs repeating to me then let God please keep repeating it until I learn.
The verse comes in the midst of the letters Jesus is sending to the 7 churches, this one to Laodicea. To summarise He is telling them to buck up, stop messing around and get serious. He tells them to lose their worldly riches and buy spiritual riches, to buy white garments to hide their nakedness and to get ointment so they can heal their eyes to see clearly. I guess there is a whole other blog in those three items, but I was touched by this verse.
19 “Those I love I also correct and discipline. Therefore, be shamelessly committed to Me, and turn back
Those I love I correct and discipline. Thank goodness for that. Thank the Lord He corrects me and keeps me on the right path. Thank the Lord that He disciplines me by showing me a better way and when necessary (which is too often) He nudges me over on to it. The strength of the nudge varying according to how well I hear. But it was the second part of this that struck me – repent shamelessly.
But, surely I have to be ashamed to repent? I ought to be ashamed of my sin otherwise, why would I repent in the first place. The other blog said I don’t need to be ashamed anymore because He has covered my sin. I am shameless before Him. That’s still true, once I am redeemed, forgiven, made righteous then I no longer need to feel ashamed. But I had a flurry of thoughts here about the problem with shame.
If I come to God with shame or more likely don’t come to Him because I am ashamed it’s actually pride. I obviously think I can make it on my own and am ashamed of failing because I failed and I shouldn’t have. It’s hard to repent when I am carrying the weight myself. I feel like Jesus is saying here “you are relying on all the wrong things, including your own righteousness. I know you, I know humanity, you need Me, you need the Holy Spirit. My forgiveness is available 24/7 and it never runs out. It’s also completely free – there’s no tab.” If I could never forget that: He keeps no record of wrongs. His mercy is like an everflowing river.
Of one thing I am certain: my soul has become calm, quiet, and contented in You.
Like a weaned child resting upon his mother, I am quiet.
My soul is like this weaned child.
If my pride makes me ashamed then I can’t relax like this. I can’t trust God to love me, to care for me, to like me. I want to be like that child, I want to be able to come to Him and remain with Him and know that I know that I know He loves me and is for me. It’s a narrow path and we walk carefully but joyfully on it. Right now I am centred on it but in an hour or 5 minutes or a day who knows what I will be tempted or assaulted by? Fixing these things in my memory and mind and heart help me stay straight because the Holy Spirit has them to use when those times come.
Shamelessly committed, I read this quote from Samuel Rutherford and I pray it will be true for me.
Since He looked upon me, my heart is not my own. He hath run away to heaven with it.