What good is teaching if the teacher himself is disobedient? If my view is that all should share the Gospel with exuberant joy and unbridled fervor, then shouldn’t I act upon that view? Absolutely! If a politician takes a stance on an issue of political interest, but does not act upon that stance, they are immediately slammed with being hypocritical and lose a decent amount of support and influence.
Last night I laid awake way after I had wanted to be asleep and felt God challenging me in a number of ways. I’d like to share them with you and I pray that this would benefit the Body of Christ, regardless of whether or not I lose face. The following passage from Micah is my prayer as I share these confessions…
“Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
the LORD will be my light.
9 Because I have sinned against him,
I will bear the LORD’s wrath,
until he pleads my case
and upholds my cause.
He will bring me out into the light;
I will see his righteousness.
10 Then my enemy will see it
and will be covered with shame,
she who said to me,
“Where is the LORD your God?”
My eyes will see her downfall;
even now she will be trampled underfoot
like mire in the streets.” (Micah 7:8-10)
Confession #1: Let’s talk about the number one sin that men struggle with: LUST
If you’re a guy, then you understand entirely. If you’re a woman, then I’ve learned recently that this struggle is real for you as well. Although, truly, I can’t bring myself to believe that it would be to the same degree. Regardless, it is prevalent. It is real. And it is something that I struggle with. I have been taught well, resourced well, and given some of the best counters that Christian society has to offer: “Bounce your eyes…memorize Scripture….use accountability software….” Yet, even with all of these excellent tools and resources, the Evil One still manages to make me fall.
Confession #2: Evangelism
If you’ve been a reader of mine over the last month or two, you will have read “Shock and Awe”, a powerful story about God at work within Starbucks. I was presented with an opportunity to pray for and share my faith with a random stranger who desperately needed Jesus. Many of you responded with enthusiasm and excitement over my service of the Lord. However, I am saddened to inform you that other than a few minor encounters with friends, I haven’t shared my faith within anyone outside my comfort-zone since then. Today, I boldly stated on social media the following:
“What is the worst thing that could happen if you shared your faith in Christ with the next person you saw? Rejection? Why would that matter? You are ACCEPTED in the Kingdom of God! Christ reigns!…Also, the Great Commission is a command from God, the One whom we proclaim (right?), so you AND I need to stop treating it like a suggestion.” (My Facebook, March 12th)
The above statement is 100% true. Yet, I have not lived in light of it. I, myself, am scared and see myself as incapable of effectively presenting the good news to my peers. How ridiculously hypocritical of me…So, I will be working on sharing the love of Christ with others this week, so please pray for God’s grace and sovereignty over this aspect of my walk with Him. I cannot be selfish and with-hold such a valuable and precious revelation from those God brings me into interaction with!
Confession #3: Lacking Faith in Grace
The title of my blog is “Embracing God’s Grace”. I fully believe the grace of the Lord is REAL. Very real. I am a strong advocate of its’ power to wash over and redeem the lives of those I encounter each day. In fact, I do everything in my power to accurately teach on and encourage my friends in this area. As I know the LORD’s love, forgiveness, and ability to redeem and heal is so evidently available to them.
I bring your attention, however, to the fact that I often believe it is not available to me. There are days when I am convinced by The Accuser that I am unworthy of such a beautiful and divine gift. “How could someone like you, Justin, still be used by the LORD? Your efforts to shine light upon His Kingdom are worthless.” Are these lies? Certainly. Do I still buy into them sometimes? Unfortunately, yes.
I felt led by the LORD to confess these things to my peers. Why? I am not sure. It certainly removes pride from my heart, as I am NOT proud of what I’ve told you. Also, bringing things into the light removes the darkness, and can be used to strengthen the Body of Christ. Which is my end goal, certainly.
Also, by bringing these things to the light, I hope to strengthen my walk with the Lord and take further steps toward obedience that I may be a more effective servant of His!
I request that you would all consider lifting me up in prayer as I seek the LORD’s will on my life over many things. And of course, over the redemption from the aforementioned confessions. And finally, feel free to bless me with any insight that you may have, or share with me how I can join in praying over your current struggles.
Humbled By His Sovereignty,
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)