Journal Entry // March 25, 2022
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!Luke 13:34 ESV
The unwillingness of a stubborn and prideful heart to embrace the very thing that it desires. This is the picture Jesus paints for me as I read his lament over Jerusalem. The very people of the city who thought they were doing the will of God by punishing those they felt were false prophets and teachers. The very people who would adamantly defend their actions as holy and just and righteous. These are the very ones that were putting down and killing the messengers from the God they wanted to serve and honor. The very thing they were seeking, to be obedient to God and find his favor, is the one thing they were rejecting in their pride and arrogance. The question naturally arises in my mind, “Are you not just like Jerusalem?” Yes. A lot of the time I am just as hypocritical and ignorant to the Spirit of God moving in my life.
I find this truth a bit too accurate for comfort. As I look back over the last five years or so, I can picture moments where God sent a person or an article or a teaching into my life that was challenging my blindness to sin. These “prophets” sent by the Lord to me were meant to awake me from my slumber and to rouse me from my stupor. What did I do with these “prophets,” the same as Jerusalem did in their day. I killed them and stoned them. Maybe not physically, but mentally and spiritually. I disregarded the message Christ was speaking to me. I was offended by the Spirit moving in my heart. I took these moments of discomfort with seeing my sin properly and shut them down. In my pride, I could not see these messengers as coming from God himself. In my self-righteousness, I believed that I was doing right.
In the moment, I was blinded by my sin and I was unable to truly acknowledge the state of my heart. I had believed the lies of sin for so long, that these lies became the “truth.” They became the truth that was slowly replacing the True word of God. I was stuck in a pit of despair, but believed I was in an open field of righteousness. So insidious was sin working in my heart that I refused to come to Jesus when he was calling me. The very thing I was praying for. The very thing I was longing for. The very thing that would have shattered the falsehoods of my unbelieving unrepentant heart. I was rejecting my Savior.
Yet, in the faithful steadfast love of Christ, he did not leave me alone. He did not cast me aside as an unfruitful mess that has no hope of change. The Spirit was still working in my heart and the Lord kindled the fire of faith within me once again. He answered my prayer, when I cried out for help. When I could sense the wrongness of life and the weakness of my heart, I collapsed before him and asked for deliverance. And Jesus brought deliverance. It cost me everything that I was then placing my hope. Things I didn’t even realize I was hoping in. He took them all away and left me only with Himself. He humbled me. He brought me to repentance. He gathered me to himself just as a hen gathers her brood. And it is beautiful. It is the single most difficult experience of my life, but it is the single most important moment thus far. His steadfast love sustains me as we continue to shine the light of his gospel into the deep crevices of my heart. He continues to reveal sin and bring me to repentance. And I continue to find his mercy and grace. There is an abundance of mercy. An abundance of forgiveness. An abundance of grace. He loves me and abides with me. An he’s teaching me to love him and abide with him in truth and faithful obedience.