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Monday, February 29, 2016

If I Allow

“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy” (Psalm 126:5, NLT).

How often have I looked at this verse about my prayers being for others?  Yes, it is His promise that those prayers I cry out for others will one day bring the promise of joy. It is also His promise about me. When I get to the point where I allow the Holy Spirit total access to my selfish heart is the moment He can change me. Tears shed in brokenness bring the joy of freedom from whatever has controlled my life. Only the Holy Spirit knows what really controls my heart. Only He knows where to take me on this journey of spiritual honesty—if I allow.

Spiritual surrender in the life of one person can spark a revival of heart that can spread like wildfire, but one person can also hold back the Holy Spirit from moving at all. Grudges halt His presence. Bad attitudes remove His anointing. Unforgiveness sparks rebellion and not revival. Do I have a bad attitude that I haven’t released to Him? Do I hold a grudge against someone that inhibits the flow of His love in my life? For all the years that I have attended our church, intertwined within each message has always been the truth that I need to allow the Holy Spirit to transform my life. I need to allow the Holy Spirit to change me to be more like Him. I need to allow Him to control my attitudes, and allow Him to spiritually grow me into what He desires. He calls me to live a righteous life not as an outward appearance that others see, but from a changed heart that only I know. To have this deepest intimacy with Him means that I allow Him privilege to every part of who I am.

David allowed God into the dark places of his life. “Have mercy on me, O God,” David cried, “because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice” (Psalm 51:1-4a, 7-8, NLT). These verses reveal the heart of a man convicted by the Holy Spirit. The thought of his sins separating Him from God was overwhelming. All He could do was surrender that which was controlling and destroying his life.

This is what the Lord wishes for me–to be convicted when there is something wrong in my life. I may not have done murder or adultery as David did, but perhaps I have murdered someone’s hope by holding on to unforgiveness. Perhaps I have longed for something that is not my own. Perhaps I have allowed the things that keep me from His presence to control my life instead of His love that can transform me. God disciplines the child that He loves. It is proof of His love for me (Hebrews 12:6). My response to His loving discipline is repentance. If my heart is truly broken, my attitude will change. Whatever God might ask me to yield to Him will not be done because I “have to”, but because I “yearn to”.

If I never want to lose the intimate heart fellowship of His presence, I will allow Him to reveal my heart to me every day. I may not like what I hear or what I need to face in my life, but it is in my surrender that I am changed by His grace. “Give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice,” David prayed. My joy will not only be for what He has done within my heart. It will be for those for whom I have sown in tears. It is in my surrender that He can do more than I can imagine.

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