Warning: If you pray for God to move in Your life and You really mean it, He will.
But be prepared not to like some of the things He shows you! The journey to holiness is tricky because we have to face issues we’d rather avoid. There are certain ungodly attitudes and behaviors we can no longer gloss over and excuse away. We’re content with our baggage, and letting go can be mighty uncomfortable.
Two years ago I started earnestly praying Psalm 139:23-24:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any offensive or wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
I was unprepared for what He pinpointed in my heart! Areas I didn’t realize were a problem, things that didn’t bother me much, situations that didn’t seem that bad, responsibilities that could be excused away, blame that could be placed on others.
Yet God cares about every detail of our lives, and He wants us to care too.
So many Christians go through life thinking they’re doing just fine. We don’t lie, cheat, steal, or cuss, so that means we’re good Christians, right? We go to church regularly, we occasionally read the Bible and we spend a decent amount of time in prayer. Isn’t that what God wants from us? Nope. He wants something entirely different.
He wants relationship, and He wants to move in our lives. That means we have to put effort into getting to know Him.
When we seek Him often, we begin to think less of our ourselves; the things of this world don’t matter as much to us. We begin to shed our old, self-centered habits and become more like Him. God can’t get near sin; when we spend time with Him, sin is exposed and we have to deal with it. We want to deal with it.
A while back I heard a pastor say that when we read scripture, we should constantly take an honest look inside and ask ourselves “Am I really like that?“
For example, the Bible says to be compassionate, forgiving, and non-judgmental. We are to believe the best about others despite their mistakes and allow them the freedom to grow in Christ. We are to give generously to those in need, even when it’s inconvenient. We are to treat others the way we want to be treated.
I thought I was doing all that – until I realized God had been trying to show me where I was not.
God will tell us where we are out of balance. But we have to want to listen.
Shedding our sinful habits can be downright uncomfortable! Some days I’m tempted to say “No more, God. This is too hard or too painful. I’ve had enough. Just let me be!” But I know He loves me too much to leave me that way. He wants the best for me, and that means I have to let go of the junk, little by little.
How about You? Have you been praying that He test You and challenge Your wicked ways? Someone please tell me I’m not going through the ringer all by myself!
Are you brave enough to ask God to show you where you need to grow?