It’s Been Such a Long Time

(The song from “Boston” is running through my brain now…. No relation to this subject.)

For those of you who know me, you know that the devotional, My Utmost for His Highest has long been a staple of my Christian life. I like the “chewy” old wording that makes me slow down and have to look up definitions, because I used to assume that I knew what certain words meant until Oswald used them in a way that didn’t make sense. He had a mastery of the English language of which I am jealous. I rate the entries by daggers, not stars, more in a mental way than actually on paper. This entry is one of those 5-dagger, heart-stabbers. It gets me and convicts me every. single. time. OUCH!

At this stage of life, I’d really like to think that I have moved on to some more elevated plane of understanding or growth. Maybe less of a struggle with sin, particularly basic ones. “Can I just be done with this already!!”, goes through my mind a lot. Honestly, I thought I died to “that sin”, but no… it’s apparently alive and well in the back of my heart and mind. Over the years, whatever the besetting sin in my life on April 10th of that year was has changed, but the wisdom and help have remained constant… a necessary help in times of trouble. The struggle is the same. The process is the same.  The help God offers is the same.  If I choose to die to myself and let my sin be crucified, I am free.

I’m always challenged by Oswald’s directness. I can’t squirm out of the issue. He nails it accurately from every angle so that I am forced to face it squarely. “Either you will do the thing or you won’t!” Gahhhh! My flesh reels, ie. “behaves in a violent disorderly manner”. No one else can do it. I have to do it myself and truth be told, I don’t like dying.  If I could just “manage” the sin and keep it tightly hidden away so it’s not a problem or noticeable, that would be fine, right? But that isn’t freedom. My life then becomes trying to keep it at bay rather than being done with it for good and that is the real issue.

Are you ready to have the great moment that Oswald talks about here? Let God sift through your heart and show you what you probably don’t want to see. Then you have to steel yourself for the next step, which is to go through with it. Sometimes I think about it and imagine going through with it, even right up to the edge and then I back off because it’s going to hurt. It will hurt everything that is not of God in me.

And on the other side, God is waiting…