8/28/18 | A Broken Spirit

You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Psalm 51:16 – 17 NLT

Sometimes, I think we believe that the easiest way to gain favor with God, or to relieve our guilty conscience, is to offer some sort of sacrifice or offering, either of our time, energy, or finances. By spending time at church, or donating goods to the poor, we hope to gain God’s pleasure over us and expel any hard feelings regarding our failures.

But although we are asked to do those things as we become more like Christ, that is not in itself what God desires. What good would such gifts or offerings do him? He is God of all. He does not need stuff from us.

Look at it this way,

I believe we can still break God’s heart to this day. When we put our work, our family, our friends, our worry, our comfort, our entertainment, even our ministry, before God. When we put our one on one relationship with God on the back burner, I believe it hurts God’s heart. (Crystal Dill, The Mark of Moses)

The only thing God doesn’t have is our heart. What he wants more than anything is for us to give it to him. What he desires from us is a broken spirit. This means that we realize how we’ve grieved God with our sin, and in turn it grieves us deeply because what we truly desire is a relationship with him. And so we come to him broken and filled with regret. But what is so beautiful is that he will not reject a broken spirit.

He draws near to those who mourn over their sin. Those who know that they need God. Those who know that it’s not by works alone but by faith in Christ that they can be made right.

Those who are broken in spirit, he will not reject. Put the pretenses aside. If you are mournful over your sin and you simply want to be close to God again, then go to him directly to be reconciled. For that is what he desires.

7/31/18 | A Safe Haven

The other day I wrote the following in my journal: It’s too strong for me. I wrote this over and over again because I didn’t know what else to write. I had reached the end of myself and had to admit that some things are just beyond me. I needed help to know what the next step was.

There are many times when I find myself thinking a situation to death. I explore all the possibilities, good and bad, and come up with what-could-be results for each one. But if this brings me relief of any kind, it’s short lived. All my thinking and imagining can only get me so far and offer me so much comfort.

Before getting ready for work, I found this passage and read it aloud to myself:

Psalm 18:16-19

16 He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
    from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
18 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
    but the Lord supported me.
19 He led me to a place of safety;
    he rescued me because he delights in me.

What I need is for the Lord to rescue me from these powerful enemies, support me, and lead me to a place of safety.

It’s time to look to him for help. He will surely answer you. He will speak if you listen. Why? Because he delights in you. The Lord will reach down and rescue you. He will support you in your distress. He will lead you to a place of safety.