“Into Thy hand I commit my spirit; Thou hast ransomed me O Lord God of Truth” (Ps 31:5)
The first thing I think of when I hear this verse isn’t always that they were the words of my Lord Jesus Christ on the cross; more often I relate them to the last funeral I attended. A bit grim I know, but true. But this morning, as I was doing an online study with Beth Moore (lifetoday.org/beth) I heard this Word in a whole new light. Though I could just tell you to go to the site and listen for yourselves (which I hope you’ll do), I had some things on my heart and mind that made these words so very pertinent to my life in the past 3 weeks. ..maybe they’ll encourage yours.
I have recently been tempted (and) fallen in an area that I had once had victory over. And let me tell you the victory was sweet and wonderful and life-giving! I was even turning away from the temptation when it started poking it’s ugly head up in my life. It was amazing to be living out the very life and path God had laid out before me. I thought I had finally learned something (yes please laugh out loud to that statement!)! Then a few weeks ago I walked right back up to that old habit and opened the door (flood-gates is more like it) and said “welcome”. There didn’t even seem to be a struggle; it was like second nature. Then, before I knew it, something other than holiness was taking up residence in my life. My insides (spiritually speaking) began to remind me of the Taiwanese temples dedicated to their many gods…lifeless, dead, but appealing to the human eye. Then the struggle began.
It really wasn’t an epoch moment when I recognized God’s voice of conviction (gentle but stern); for, I knew it would come soon (I hoped it would). The epiphany (a sudden thought of realization – my 9th grade English teacher would be so proud!) arrived at a time I cannot remember, but the Word was loud. “You have left your first love” (Rev. 2:4). Why? How? I dared to ask. And the thoughts that came to mind were: What is love to you? Do you know real love? Do you know My love? When will you deal with your misconceptions about love and start living in it with Me? Do you trust me?
This Word and these questions came as somewhat of a relief to me because I realized there was going to be some greater good coming out of all of this, but this Word and these questions also became a mirror that I had to look into – and there was no relief as I stood looking into the reflection. I felt my soul echo the words of Isaiah, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man (woman) of unclean lips.” (Isa 6:5) I’d love to say that I got on the band wagon and surrendered right away and had God take care of business in my life, but that was not the case. Instead my earnest prayer was that God would stay with me, be patient with me, in essence not give up on me. I won’t go into all of the studies of a prayer like that – whether or not it was theologically correct or not; it was just my prayer.
The frustration and dredge of my stumbling lasted for a little while longer (and I’m not claiming that it’s over, if my past experiences have taught me anything, I’d say I’ll expect a “knock” soon.) Then this morning came. I woke up expecting it to be a repeat of the many days before, when I realized my thoughts had become different. I had a longing, instead, to hear His Word. I wanted to hear testimonies of His greatness. And I did just that. Following this new morning desire led me to that scripture above (Psalm 31:5) and some comments that got me thinking, pondering, praying, and hoping again. Here are some of the insights I gained (“thank you Holy Spirit for still giving me insights!”)…
-committing my spirit to God does have something to do with death – death of myself and then life in Him.
-God desires to rescue me for He has ransomed me! That little girl desire to be Cinderella, has come so very true in my life (and will continue to do so as I trust in Him)
-the Hebrew word for “Truth” there is Emet (pronounced emeth)…this word is made up of the first, middle, and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, sometimes referred to as the very seal of God. God can be trusted completely – beginning, middle, and end – with all of me and my life circumstances. (Hear more on this when you listen to Beth Moore’s lesson at lifetoday.org/beth “The ‘I Am’ over your ‘Was’ parts 1 and 2)
-“Real Love” cannot be found in human devices; no matter how hard I search for a real life example in movies, tv, or others, I will only know true love when I know Him. For love doesn’t begin in being a thing or a character trait, its beginning finds itself being a person. God is love.
-This is going to be a builder in my faith, my devotion, and in my love relationship with God and others, but it will not happen overnight. Even as I’m typing these words I sense a pull in the wrong direction. Will this Saturday end in victory? Or in another mess? in another jaded view of love? I pray the former.
I will end this entry with two prayers…one from a book I’m reading entitled God As He Longs For You To See Him by Chip Ingram and one from my favorite character Pastor Tim Kavanagh from the Mitford Years series and ofcourse from my Lord Jesus Christ…
O Lord God, holy and pure, awesome in majesty, as I consider your perfection, grant that I might
Commit to holy ways,
Think holy thoughts,
Live in holy obedience, and
Reject evil with a holy attitude.
Let me hear the tender conviction of your Spirit and help me remember that you are jealous for your holiness. Because of your love, you see the pain our sin will bring us, and you long to rescue us. So that your name may never be profaned in my life, you have my permission to do whatever you need to do to make me holy. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
-The prayer that never fails…”Thy will be done.”