“The Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people but they paid no attention.” 2 Chronicles 33:10
This verse caught my deliberation while my husband Nathan read this morning. Five years ago the Lord was speaking and speaking clearly to me about the trouble I was in…
I paid no attention.
I didn’t want to let go of a temporary and false comfort. I wanted to clean up my act but hold on to what was not mine to have…trying to convince God my way would be better.
God did not allow me to have what I wanted. Instead, His jealous longing to love and protect me, stepped in and changed my life and marriage. He gave me what I needed… what was best for me…and others.
If all I would have seen in that season was only my sin and felt only my guilt, I would have despaired. But if I would have continued to deny the truth about the condition of my heart, demanding my own way, calling it “peace”, I would have caused more hurt and damage. Stacking up more regret.
Real truth and grace come as a package…always together… bringing completeness.
When God comes for us, we see the selfish yuck of our sin and we see His arms open to embrace us.
Just. As. We. Are.
In His loving and firm hold, He offers the gift of repentance that allows us to see clearly again. He gives us the courage to confess our sin without excuse and be healed. He humbles us and teaches us to be good, for others and our own peace.
Our Pastor presented this truth to me recently when struggling with residual shame from those horrific moments so long ago. I was longing to be “made right” in the eyes of all those I had offended…yes, still after five years. He explained the difference of being right by people and being right for people, namely the church.
My eyes were opened reading his words and…
…the few shame ashes demanding to stay attached, were blown away by the breath of God in one small paragraph.
Only God by God can I be made right (righteous) and only by me can I make personal choices that are right for others.
So…when in doubt, “Is this choice not only good for me but for others? Does this choice take into consideration the benefit of those who will be directly or indirectly affected? Will my choice lead others to more joy, more comfort and more encouragement?”
Sounds simple… maybe it is…when we are living in daily grace. (Daily grace = God’s enabling power to love Him, others & ourselves)
Daily grace is forsaking those things that hurt others- whether it’s behaviors or secret judgments or outright meanness.
Daily grace is making no excuses for our immaturity but confessing our need for His wisdom.
Daily grace is receiving His comfort in the most painful of rejections.
Daily grace is unashamedly confessing, “I will be okay not knowing all the answers in this moment and resting in the now presence of Jesus.”
Daily grace is taking a few deep breaths and letting anxiety be swept away in God’s sovereign and tender care for all our needs.
Daily grace is facing discipline from whatever means God brings into our lives, knowing His love and faithfulness will produce godly character in us, leading to joy.
And though there a million more things daily grace provides…
Daily grace picks us up when we fall, heals us and places our feet back on a straight path…
Where we learn from the consequences of not paying attention…where paying attention to what He’s saying becomes our greatest comfort and joy… and where living from Heaven on earth finally becomes possible.