Isn't that how it is? When we get honest...share our weaknesses, our despair, our failings.
We share them simply,
we share them heartfelt,
we share our weakness in fear...
and somebody who hears, prays...and God answers.
This study in Galatians is going to be life changing,
IF we let it....
IF we listen,
IF we listen closely to the Spirit,
IF we hear.
You see Galatians is about God alone, Christ alone, Faith alone. Paul is forceful, even angry about getting the gospel right so God gets the glory...so all the honor and praise and glory go to Christ for what he did on the cross.
And we get it wrong...
we want to add something...
we want religion....
we want a list...
we want to look good...
we want to do faith right...
we don't want to be needy...
Trouble is when we aren't honest our sisters can't pray. Sisters, our faith sisters, don't know they need to pray.
When someone has cancer, or an at-risk pregnancy, or a child who just died, or a parent who is in the grip of Alzheimers, we pray. We know what to pray for because we see their pain, their fear, their deep need. We ask for them because we know that God tells us to "ask."
But when it is sin someone is dealing with, we don't necessarily want to know. That can get messy. But when we don't know that someone is struggling with something "sinful," we won't be praying.
So last week, in preparing the lecture for the first lesson in Galatians, I was hit by truth--about my sin.
How in the world can we know grace, really know and understand grace, if we don't sin. After all if we don't know/acknowledge our sin, how can we admit we need grace? But since we do sin, and like Luther said, we won't stop this side of eternity, we need grace. Oh, how I need grace.
So how do we get there? God does it once again.
Sometimes we begin to think we have arrived...we are doing things pretty well...we don't sin much...and then God allows sin, brings sin so I have to turn to him. I can't stop on my own, it will take his power, his strength, his presence to deal with this sin.
I have to realize, hold on to the fact that I need grace more than ever.
I need to realize that I cannot do this alone.
I must depend on Christ alone.
I must depend on his sacrifice for me on the cross.
You see I am forgiven. Yes, I was FORGIVEN of all my sins at the cross, and now I live knowing that there is nothing, absolutely nothing I can or can't do that will separate me from the love of God because I am justified in Christ.
Thank God, in realizing my total dependence on Christ, I understand more about grace.
So...how do I know someone prayed? Last week I shared my sin, the thing that keeps me going back to Christ, to the cross, to grace because I know I'm forgiven, I'm redeemed, and yet.........I struggle. I desire change but I can't change me.
And then today at aholyexperience.com, Ann said something that I needed. Something huge for me, something very freeing.
"'It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for...the masses.' Christ left the ninety-nine for the one."
You see, these last few years I find myself getting really frustrated with Larry and all that he can't do and sometimess I get plain angry. Oh, I know....believe me I know.....he can't help it. He does the best he can but the slower walking, the bathroom trips that I need to take with him, the cleanup times when I don't, and on and on and on get to me, and I sin.
The truth is, I'm selfish. I want to spend time as I choose...isn't it easier to labor for the masses instead of just for one behind closed doors? But Ann's blog today is what I needed to hear. I printed it off and plan to read it again and again and again.
She wrote that because someone prayed after I was honest. Thank you...
We want you to get all the glory because of what you are doing in our lives and the lives of our brothers and sisters in you. Help us to not just listen to our sisters but to pray for them; to bring them before you asking you to use their sin, their fears, their weaknesses to draw them to you.
Oh, God, we thank you that you put us in family to share our hurts, our struggles, our failures. Continue your work of sanctification that will make us like Jesus when we see him in heaven.
And Lord, please help others to pray for me.
This was taken in September at a 35th wedding anniversary party for my sister and her husband.