I want to make excuses for not posting on our Severe Mercy site last week or that I almost didn’t this week. I want to tell you it’s because I have a job now and I’m trying to get used to my new normal. I tried to explain this to God. The God who created the Earth in six days and rested on the seventh. He seemed not to respond so I’m not sure He was really into hearing my excuses. So, after some deliberation with Him this morning, He gave me the idea of posting some of my previous writings.
This one is vulnerable.
Today’s posting is from Day 20 of a 31 day devotional I’ve written for those who DESIRE to be free from the chains of adultery. Though it’s specific for adultery, many of it’s truths will apply to all bondage. Should you know someone in this pit, I share my devotionals via e-mail.
Day 20) I want to share a story with you on day 20. It’s a story that still brings me to tears when I think about it. It’s my story but it’s really the story of a Man who is more passionate for us than any other human being. His passion is pure and His motives are unpolluted. Every thought and action towards us is for our well-being and His glory. That Man, Christ Jesus, gave me a precious experience right in the midst of overwhelming grief and shame. Here’s the story-
It was another Sunday morning that I did not want to go to church, at least not the one Jesus had told me to go to. Within a few minutes of being there, a lady my husband knew from the community came up to him and began talking to him, completely ignoring me. In fact, my husband cut her off at one point and asked her, “Have you met my wife, Kandace?” She glanced over at me, mumbled something and kept talking to my husband. My husband saw what was happening and he cut the conversation short and escorted me into the sanctuary. As another bucket of shame poured over my head, my husband spoke comfort and truth to me, as he usually did. However, later that day, a revised version of that encounter entered my mind. I knew Jesus was saying, “Watch this because this is the way I feel about my Bride!” As the replay began, I saw Jesus standing next to me as this lady came up to Him and started talking to Him. He, as my husband did, said, “Have you met my wife, Kandace?” But, He didn’t stop there. He proceeded to look at this woman and said, “Isn’t she beautiful?” As He asked the second question, I could see Him looking intently at me. I knew in that moment, as He was looking at me, He was asking me a deeper question, “Do you believe Me, Kandace, or are you going to believe the lies of the enemy? Because I see your beauty, even when others won’t.” I was undone yet again.
If you are a child of God, He not only sees your beauty right in the midst of your mess, He is the one who made you beautiful. When we sin, we live a lie. We are acting and believing in ways that do not reflect the beauty we have been given in Christ. Sin brings confusion. It will confuse us and others. It will cause us to question who we are and it will cause others to question who we say we are. The truth is, we all sin. We all miss the mark of God’s holy perfection in some way to varying degrees. Some sin causes more pain and some sin is more visible. When we are convicted of sin, we need to repent quickly. We need to come into agreement with God right away so that we do not end up in deeper bondage. And though adultery is one of those sins that cause deep pain and can become visible, even a hidden thought of judgment, lust, anger, pride and jealousy can lead to deeper bondage if we do not repent quickly.
Though God sees us through the blood of Jesus and our beauty is secure in Him, we can still grieve His Spirit when we sin. True repentance leads us to see God and ourselves rightly. You can rest assured you’ve truly repented when you stand in awe of His great mercy and you bow in worship at His precious feet for the joy of being forgiven.
Your verse for the day:
“and let the beauty of the Lord God be upon us………” Psalm 90:17 (KJV)
This request in Scripture was uttered by Moses. The same Moses who declared to the Lord, “Show us Your glory, Lord.” Not only does the Lord want to show You His glory but He wants to show you His glory (His beauty) within in your own soul.
I love the way J. R. Miiler describes it in his article entitled The Beauty of the Lord:
There is a beauty of soul which makes the plainest face radiant, and the homeliest features lovely; which shines like a star in this world of sin. It is for this beauty that we are taught to pray, “Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us.” It is not the beauty which fades—when sickness smites the body; or which is lost in the withering touch of years; or which blanches when death’s pallor overspreads the features. But this is a beauty which grows lovelier in pain or suffering, which shines out in sorrow like a star in the night, which transfigures the wrinkled and faded features of old age—and which bursts out in death into the full likeness of Christ!
It’s safe to say you are fighting to believe that you are still beautiful in the eyes of God. Add to that the response and words of others and it might be safer to say you feel the ugliest you’ve ever felt. But here’s the gospel truth, your sin does not make you ugly. The very essence of Beauty Himself took on your ugliness so you could wear His beauty. This truth will not make you want to continue in your sin. This truth will be the wings of grace that lead you to your eternal home safe and secure in the arms of the Beautiful One.
Your assignment for day 20 is to go look in a mirror. Stay looking while you reflect on the beauty of what Christ did for you over 2,000 years ago when He who knew no sin, became our sin, so that we would become His righteousness.(2 Corinthians 5:21) That is beautiful my friend. He is beautiful and as His child, you now wear that beauty. Don’t let others tell you anything different. Mourn, repent of your sin and allow God to teach you but don’t get stuck in condemnation!