Gracefully Truthful

Adoring,Broken,Confession,Forgiven,Freedom

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This Week's Journeys

Ephesians 2:4-5

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!

Prayer Journal Entry

Lord, each of these studies have pricked my heart, convicted me of sin, and urged me to repent and walk more closely with You. Some have pierced deeply. Spirit, I praise You for Your holy conviction that is meant to lead us to repentance! Thank You for being a God who is jealous for my love and worship!

Forgive me for rushing ahead when I need to slow down and surrender my schedule. Forgive me for wrestling control away from You through clenched fists that insist on my own way as I foolishly attempt to fulfill my dreams, my agenda, my schedule on my time instead of Yours. It is hard to realize that, even if I think I am living correctly according to your Word and ways that, perhaps, I have even made an idol of my Self by my good works.

Thank You for all the blessings You have given me, supremely for Christ’s atonement through His blood, which freely covers my sins, these I’ve listed and more, when I come to You with true repentance.

Thank You for Your many provisions. Help me see these gifts with clearer eyesight now and to remove that which has become an idol as I attempt to trust Self, Schedule, and Stuff over You, the Only One worthy of ALL my worship. Help me courageously tear these down and love You all the more!

Give me grace and wisdom for these things in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Worship Through Song

Journal Prompts

JOURNAL ONE

Have you ever tired of waiting? Perhaps you’ve wished for time’s slow process to hurry up, and maybe, in attempts to either arrive faster or achieve more in the time you’ve been given, you attempt to “move things along”. I think we all raise our hands here! We all wait, but we don’t all wait well. Lesley’s Journey Study on Monday considered the once-barren Sarai and her long wait for a child, eighty-five years to be exact!

I can definitely relate to Sarai’s impatience. I don’t know anyone who likes to wait, let alone for nearly 9 decades. I have not attempted Sarai’s particular grasp for control, but I have certainly attempted to manipulate people in my life to achieve the outcome I desired at the pace I felt most advantageous. Culturally, what Sarai did by gaining an heir through her slave was common place, but, with her eyes on society and her prize of a son, she missed the point of God’s timing.

Lesley contrasted Sarai’s impatience with David’s steadfast waiting on God to fulfill His promise of David ascending the throne of Israel. David chose the right response and waited, modeling for us that it’s always worth it to trust the Lord’s ways over our own. (Proverbs 3:5-7)

Trust requires relinquishing control, which isn’t easy, especially if you enjoy the power of control. When we trust ourselves, Lesley and Mandy reminded us that we end up in trouble, allowing all manner of idols into our lives.

This Journey Study includes a brief look at Psalm 106, which points to God’s faithfulness, even in Israel’s (or dare I say “our”) unfaithfulness.

God is still Sovereign and all-powerful, and we need to trust His ways and His timing in the everyday schedule of our lives.

JOURNAL TWO

Wednesday’s Journey Study and Thursday’s Digging Deeper were convicting, challenging studies for me to read and take to heart before the Lord. With a convicted heart, it’s easier to look around my home and realize I have too much stuff, even if I have justified it as “good”, or even “necessary” stuff. I wonder how much freer I would be if I began sorting and purging even just small portions of “accumulated things”.

Turns out, I can justify keeping pretty much anything I want, even allowing my accumulations to grow into an idol I’m unwilling to part with. Christine is right to remind us of the burden “things” can carry, and the space they take up in our hearts that ought to belong fully to the Lord. Christine’s testimony opened my eyes to the freedom that can be found in having less when she said, “Little is much when God is in it.”

What are you hanging onto? Perhaps the Lord is calling you, one small step at a time, to begin tearing down an idol you didn’t realize you loved.

When we choose not to spend energy on being anxious over our possessions and purchases, we are freed to spend more time connecting authentically with the Lord and others.

Maybe you aren’t tempted to sin by gluttony, constantly upsizing or upgrading. Maybe you aren’t tempted to keep accumulating all those things you might need someday. Our temptations look different, but undoubtedly, the idol of “things” is used by the enemy to trap us all.

Change doesn’t happen overnight, but one day of intentional decision followed by another and another, leads to redirecting our hearts. We can each choose to fight against the idolatry of stuff in our lives. Let’s choose to welcome the conviction from the Lord, repent of sin, and begin destroying our idols!

JOURNAL THREE

If you missed Meribeth’s Journey Study yesterday, go read it! As you read, can you recall instances when you’ve thought more of yourself and less of God? If so, join the masses! All of humanity loves to love ourselves!

It’s easy to live in a heart space where we walk confidently into “doing” all the “right” things. Before we realize it, we’ve worked ourselves into worshipping an idol handcrafted by hours of our self-righteous labors.

When our works and checklists overshadow an open heart of humility and awe before the Lord, it’s a signal flag to stop and ask the Lord for a corrected vision to see the idol we’ve been worshipping.

Love of Self puts us on a pedestal of our own making and we are generally quite particular and protective (read: “arrogant”) about each point. Our hard work, our good deeds, our generous contributions each have an inherent danger of puffing up our hearts if our eyes are not focused solely on loving Jesus.

I don’t generally think of “jealous” as a positive attribute, but Meribeth in her Journey Study and RacheI in her Digging Deeper explore God’s righteous quality of jealousy. It’s His jealousy for our worship and intimate relationship that motivates Him to keep us from becoming enslaved to idolatry of any kind.

As believers in Jesus, we like to think no one could steal our attention away from worshipping God. Thankfully, Meribeth helps us see the painful truth that, often, the one getting the most attention, can be ourselves, rather than the Almighty. Ouch.

He is a jealous God. We are sealed on His hand through faith in Christ.
He wants to be sealed in our hearts without competition of idols that lead us into sin!
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Tags :
confess,Devoted,forgiveness,idolatry,repent,worship
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March 4 - March 22, 2024 - Journey Theme #129

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