Journal Entry // November 18, 2021
The more they increased, the more they sinned against me; I will change their glory into shame.Hosea 4:7 ESV
I am generally drawn to passages that remind me that my flesh is weak and my capacity for sin is vast. I think I am drawn to these because I so easily forget the simplicity of God’s truth about my heart. For me, this passage in particular is heavy with personal history and feelings. This passage is one that strikes me right in the heart and causes me to wince when I read it. It’s such a simple verse, but so very true about the nature of my heart.
I can look back over the last five to ten years and see the hand of God working in and through me as I served him. The Lord was blessing my life and ministry with success after success. I was growing in my faith and deepening my understanding of Jesus. I was seeing advancement in my work and the fruit of ministry was evident. God truly did bless me with success in life and faith.
But there was this darkness within my heart. A darkness I both knew about and a darkness that I was unaware of. Looking back I can see how I coddled the sin in my life. I can see how I was unwilling to truly give over these few particular areas of my heart to Jesus. These “minor” sins has always been there in my heart as long as I could remember and I don’t think I was ever really willing to give them up. So I sinned and I sinned and I sinned some more. As this verse says, the more God blessed me the more my sin increased against him.
But I was blind in a lot of ways to the depth and power of sin in my heart. I can see clearly now the depth and magnitude of sin’s grip on my heart. I can see now that my sin was not just minor points of darkness in a heart shining bright with grace. No, my heart was covered over with stone. Hard and impenetrable. My prayer became for God to break my heart of stone and draw me close to himself.
And my steadfast loving Father was so patient and kind to me. He answered my prayer. He revived my heart. He has brought me to a point in my walk where I can truly say that my heart has been reformed and transformed. Not perfect by any means but maturing. How did God bring me to this point? Humility and shame.
To reach this point the Lord broke me and exposed me. My sin and shame were set on display for all to see. My heart was broken through the process. That heart with a stoney outer layer was broken and the living heart was breaking through. God humbled me. He humbled me before my peers and removed me from the world I had built everything upon. God brought me to a desert. And in the desert I met him and grew ever closer to him. In the desert wandering I learned obedience. I’m still learning obedience. And I pray I will never ever stop learning obedience.