Some seasons in life can seem, well... "off," don't they? It's not that anything is going wrong necessarily, but life feels labored. I know these times. I know them in my flesh - it is weak. And so, I wonder why...what makes me this way?
I woke up after five and a half hours of sleep from a horrible dream. Mind you, in a pastor's mind, it indeed was horrible. At a special service at church, I preached far too long, got lost several times in my notes while trying to cut the material on the fly, and then realized I'd printed the wrong notes! I left the platform in disgrace, returning to my office defeated, near tears. Yup, that's a terror to anyone who does public speaking!
I arose, scratching my noggin, and headed for 3 items...my Bible, my notebook, and a hot cup of coffee. All three in hand, I sat and opened God's Word, praying to find Him in my semi-awake funk. It was there, saddled next to my bookmark, where I left off from our previous time together... His encouragement for me.
"But what if we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then find out that we are still sinners?" (Gal. 2:17a NLT) That was it! I was drawn immediately to why I was "off." Plain and simple, I am a sinner still. Oh, yes...the Bible doesn't call me that anymore after coming to Christ. I know I'm a "saint," according to the New Testament.
But here, I found the reason behind my feeling. Mine was the sin of omission. I looked down at my prayer journal and found four days had elapsed since I spent time with my Savior. I had missed our intimacy together for far too long, and was deflated and defeated. I try to keep our times together regularly, but I missed it lately. Laziness, other activities, whatever. And I began to sense guilt. I had missed what He wanted to say to me.
Did He use my dream to somehow awaken me to that fact? I cannot say for sure. But I do know He spoke as clear as day to me in His Word. I could almost hear His voice through the Apostle Paul whispering in my ear His truth: "For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God's approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me." (Gal: 219-20a NLT)
And then came the encouragement: "So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Gal. 2:20b NLT, emphasis mine) He loves me! He knows I can never please Him by trying, only by being crucified to self with Him, Him in me!
I sensed so much relief today! I understood in my mind the truth, and that led to my guilt departing as my heart ran toward Him! Oh, I am filled with joy this morning, and my coffee cup isn't even drained fully! I am eager to start this adventure of life anew with Him! I am blessed to know He lives with me, and that my only response is to trust Him!
This week, I gave a friend some counsel that I will be wise to heed myself this morning during our special church service: "I have found the further I am from hearing Him, the more I need to worship." Yeah, that's for me! And I pray it is for you.
Do you sense something "off" in your life? Is there a weakness in your flesh? Why don't you run to worship Him, even when you don't feel like it? Trust in the Son of God who loves you and gave Himself for you! Lift your hands toward heaven and rest in His amazing power and presence! Amen and amen!