This week I’m participating in a Week of Prayer and Fasting at Suburban Church. Suburban joins other area churches that select a week in the month of January to pray and fast before the Lord. This year Suburban’s theme is “Looking to Jesus”. For this week I will share devotional thoughts gleaned from the scripture passages and prayer times our Elders and other prayer leaders will share.
READ: Hebrews 12:1-3
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Today was a long day with lots going on. The goings on were good – an early prayer time, a skype visit with someone I love dearly, Bible study set-up and a sweet time of study with ladies who love the Lord, and then a time of prayer again tonight. There wasn’t much time to focus in on personal prayer and listening to the Lord in His word.
But speak He did. I feel weary even thinking about this, but once again an entangled sin showed up in my life. I’m not weary with or at God. I SO appreciate Holy Spirit showing me this again. It is like a wild vine whose many tendrils weave in and out of my life. I will think Holy Spirit has finally weeded it out and destroyed it, only to have it show up again and again and again. I am sick to the death of it. My mind knows the folly of it. I can think through the genesis of the sin, the wounds that allowed it to take root so many years ago. I know and love and trust God so this sin should mean nothing to me, but once again it snuck in and I blindly succumbed.
I repented today. And God in His mercy showed me another place this same day where He used me and the gifts He has placed in me without my conscious knowledge. I spoke words, but honestly a bit like Balaam’s donkey did. Nothing of me or from me in this, just God using a small thing I said in a recipe He was crafting in another’s life. There is comfort in this.
Hebrews 12:1-3 also brings me comfort. There is a race marked out for me and God is not going to let me go hurtling blindly off course. It gives me heart and courage to realize that I am part of the joy set before Jesus. As I keep my eyes on Jesus, Holy Spirit continues to do the refining work in me that I so desperately need. I will not let my sin become my focus; instead I will trust Holy Spirit to open my eyes as needed so I can repent. I will keep my eyes on Jesus, the joy set before me!
Lord, You have saved me through and through. I’m so thankful that You see me as holy and perfect in Your sight because of the finished work of Jesus. But Lord, I am also incredibly thankful that as long as I dwell in this flesh You continue Your refining work causing me to become more and more like Jesus. Thank You for opening my eyes today and bringing me to a place of fresh repentance. Thank You for the joy and freedom in knowing You will do this in me in perfect love and I need not fear this work. You are SO GOOD!