Journal Entry // April 2, 2022
Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not spurn them, neither will I abhor them so as to destroy them utterly and break my covenant with them, for I am the LORD their God.Leviticus 26:44 ESV
At times the hand of the Lord seems heavy upon my heart. There is this sense of judgement or punishment that comes from the weight of sin and burden that is being carried upon my shoulders. As the Lord leads me into these dry and arid times of wandering in the desert, it can feel as though the Lord has left me. That the burden of my sin has caused him to spurn me and forsake me. The enemy whispers in my ears that my sin is far too great for the Lord to ever draw near to me. The enemy continually tells me lies. He continues to deceive me. My enemy knows that I am in his land and this enemy wants to assert authority over me. My enemy wants me to curse God and turn from him. The enemy lies and tells me to unleash my burden by turning my back on the Lord, since the Lord has turned his back on me. These lies are powerful in their deception and speak to my heart through pride and self-righteousness.
It is easy to fall into this trap. It’s easy to look at the world around me and see a multitude of people doing just as they please without a care in the world for God or the law of God and seeming to thrive. Their lives look rich and full and enjoyable and peaceable. I look around and I see thousands upon thousands of people living the life that the enemy is proclaiming as the way to happiness. Then I turn my eyes inward and I look at my own heart and I see the ugliness of sin still living within me. I see my heart yearning for these same lies that the enemy is proclaiming. I can see and feel my heart being drawn away, bit by bit.
This life the Lord has called me to is difficult. It is filled with adversity and strife. There is this continual and incessant fighting of my soul and spirit as the world, the flesh, and the devil wage war against me. I lose sight of this so often. I want my life to be filled with a gentle cool breeze of enjoying the presence of the Lord, but I often find it filled with storm clouds and strong winds. My battle with the flesh is real and constant. This battle is intense and grows ever more intense the more I mature in the faith. This battle is meant to remind me of my weakness and my constant need of the Savior. This battle reveals the heart of Jesus for me.
He is here with me… in the battle. At these points of fatigue, I am encouraged to collapse into the arms of Jesus. It’s a wonderful picture. I go out into this world and do battle with the enemies of my soul and I fight. I fight hard. I fight to the point of exhaustion. I stretch my spiritual muscles as I learn to fight in the strength of Christ. As I learn, I get bloodied and I get bruised and I become hurt. But the Lord is there with me. He has not spurned me. He does not abhor me. He will not utterly destroy me. No… that is reserved for my sin. The battle rages to utterly destroy sin my life. The Lord is teaching me to kill sin.
So I keep moving forward. I keep my eyes focused on Christ. I keep looking deeper still into my heart. I keep intentionally looking for hidden sin in my heart. And when it’s revealed, I come to Christ in humble repentance. A humble repentance that begins to put this sin to death. Not negotiating with the sin, but utterly destroying it from my life. Humbly relying on Christ to strengthen me as I find my joy in the Lord alone. Joy in knowing that my God will never leave me nor forsake me. Joy in knowing that Jesus walks this path alongside me. Hand in hand we walk this path that is marked out for me. A path that will lead me to himself in heaven!