The Pull to Turn

Journal Entry // December 20, 2021

those who have turned back from following the LORD, who do not seek the LORD or inquire of him.”

Zephaniah 1:6 ESV

It seems as though the last few weeks of my reflection time have been heavily focused on perseverance and patience as I wait upon the Lord to deliver. As I have reflected on this the past couple of weeks, I have mainly been concerned with understanding that God is faithful and true and will fulfill his promises at their proper time. This passage presents a different perspective on why perseverance and patience are so vital to my faith. It’s not that God will leave or forsake me, rather the concern is that I will leave and forsake Christ.

I can feel this pull at times in my heart. I can look back over the years and see how I was beginning to pull away from following Christ. I keep thinking back to Paul’s urging us not to be double-mindeded. I look back over the years and see this double-mindededness taking hold in my heart. I can see more readily in hindsight how often I neglected my relationship with Christ and pursued a relationship with the world. I thought that I could have it both ways. That I could follow Jesus and yet still be captivated by my flesh and the world.

It just doesn’t work that way. Paul warns us that you cannot serve two masters. Your heart will always choose one to serve. And that’s what was happening to me. My heart was leaning away from Christ and into the flesh of my self-righteousness. I was beginning to turn my back on God. I was beginning to stop seeking the Lord. I was beginning to not inquire of him. I know this now. I know that I was beginning to turn away from Christ and follow the ways of this world, because the world had captured my heart.

Yet the Spirit was still at work within me and compelled me to cry out to Jesus for rescue. I remember the moment as though it happened yesterday. I remember repenting and turning from serving masters other than Christ. I remember mourning over my sin and the pain I was causing in my broken relationships. I remember asking Christ to rescue me from the bondage of sin and to teach me how to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

He answered that prayer. Shortly afterwards he broke me. Still too fresh and painful at the moment. But he broke me completely and is in the process of rebuilding me. He stripped everything away and left me with only with a foundation of faith in Christ alone. That’s all there was and that’s all I learned to truly rely on. Even now God is still rebuilding. He is slowly building me back up. It still hurts. I still mourn.

He rescued me from the edge of the cliff that I was perched upon. I was staring out into the abyss, blinded by my own pride and arrogance. He rescued me. He saved me. Now I see the folly of my heart. I see the waywardness of my walk. I see the thousand small decisions that were turning my heart away from Christ. Now… I see Jesus in everything. I still sin. I still battle that same self-righteousness in my heart but it’s different. I know it’s different now.

I better understand the love that my Father has for me. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. I know who I am in Christ. I am a beloved child of the living God. Not perfect by any means, but humbled. Humbled and weak. Completely reliant upon Christ for each and every breath I take. Thankful for each and every breath I take. Thankful that my Savior rescued me. Thankful that he would not let me turn my back and stop following him. Thankful to be loved completely and thoroughly.

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