Saturday, April 23, 2016

Scraped Knees

I had a dream . . . and in this dream I was my younger self. I had fallen and scraped my knee. I saw myself brush off my scraped knee a little, I began to cry, and then I immediately ran into the house calling out for my father, so that he could treat my wound and make things better again.

As I woke up from this dream, I felt the Spirit of God leading me to write about this dream for the Blog. I felt lead to write about it from the perspective, of how in our lives we often fall down, scrap our knee, and even cry a little, but even through all of that we have a loving Father who desires for us to run to Him, in order to have our wounds attended to, cleaned, bandaged, and healed, so that our very lives can be made better.

The Word of God tells us that everyone has sinned and that we all fall short of God's glorious standard (Romans 3:23/NLT); however, I don't say that to be a discouragement to you, because the Word also let's us know that the godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again (Proverbs 24:16/NLT). God has given us a promise that although our walks with Him may not be perfect, we will get up again.

As a child of the Most High God, you have an eternal promise that you are, and will forever be, forgiven for any area in your life that you have fallen short in (i.e sinned); as long as you are willing and obedient to bring that area before God to confess your sin and repent. For every area that we've ever fallen short in, or will fall short in during our lifetime, God wants us to immediately come crying out for Him. He wants the opportunity to clean the wounds that our sins left behind; to bandage us up with love; and to make room for the Holy Spirit to begin the inner work of healing, growth, and maturity within us. God's desire for each and every one of us is that the confession, repentance, and healing of our sins would ultimately make us stronger. God's type of wound care enables us to be able to overcome that obstacle the next time around, and to help others to not fall in that same pothole that tripped us up.

So why don't we immediately cry out for our Father when we've fallen and scraped our souls? Is it because of the guilt and the condemnation that the enemy quickly brings to the forefront of our emotions? Is it because of the pressure that we put on ourselves to be "perfect" in our Christian walks? Is it because we don't want to have to be honest with ourselves that we've fallen into the enemy's trap, yet again?

At the core of it, repentance is a heart issue. By that I mean it has to deal with our own personal relationship with God. In the natural, when we love someone and we hurt them, we are often quick to ask for their forgiveness and make promises that we will change our actions, and make every effort to not hurt that person again. Why should our relationship with our Heavenly Father be any different? If for no other reason than because of His great love for us, we should be able to run into His arms, cry on His shoulders, confess what we've done that wasn't pleasing to Him or that didn't honor our relationship with Him, and truly have a repentant heart in our promises to change our choices and actions. True repentance is the commitment to make a complete turn away from those things that are not pleasing to God and that don't honor Him. 

In Matthew 18, we see an account of Paul asking Jesus how many times should he forgive someone who has sinned against him. Jesus responds . . . seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22). That's 490 times! Sorry, the accountant in me had to do the math. That's a whole lot of forgiveness, and honestly it is hard for us to wrap our minds around that level of forgiveness when it comes to a natural relationship. But think about it this way, If Jesus' instructions were to forgive someone who has sinned against you 490 times, how many more times will our Heavenly Father forgive us?! We serve a God who is unfailing in His love and faithfulness towards us. How many more times will He welcome us with loving open arms, scraped knees and all?

I am grateful to have a relationship with a God who not only promises that we can get back up, that we will be forgiven for our sins, that He will accept us without question, but also a God who promises, over and over, to not remember the sins that we've committed, because He loves us just that much (Micah 7:18-19, Hebrews 10:17, Hebrews 8:12, Isaiah 43:25).

If there is something that has been weighing heavy on your heart and your spirit, I hope that this post will encourage you to go before the Lord . . . confess whatever it is, accept His love for you, receive His forgiveness, allow His healing to take place, and grow and mature into the overcomer that He created you to be. Someone else is depending on you to win your battle so that you can come and fight  alongside them and encourage them to not give up. Once you've won your battle, you can let others know . . . "if God did it for me, then He will surly do it for you".

"If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." 
1 John 1:8-9/NLT