The Blessed Woman moves Toward God and Away from Sin
Jeremiah writes that God will search our hearts. He will test the mind. He will give to each man according to his ways and according to his deeds.
I can’t speak for you, but I tremble at the idea of God knowing the depths of the wickedness in my heart. He knows those thoughts that I’d never speak aloud but run through my mind. He knows those desires that well-up and reveal the wretchedness of my soul. He knows how I ruminate and that it proves that I am not focused on what is good, pure and right but instead have fixated on fear and anxiety. Apart from Christ, I land in verse nine with no hope. Apart from Christ, I am the cursed woman with a heart of stone, rebellious with misplaced trust, utterly deceived by my wicked heart. But with Christ, everything changes. The faith that saves is faith rooted in Christ. The object of your faith matters.
We cannot place our trust in rule-following or legalism. We must place our trust in the gospel. We might know the gospel for salvation. We might know how the gospel makes us right with God, justifying us before the Father. But we also need to know the gospel for our sanctification. Sanctification is the process of God making us more like Him; it is the process of God making us holy. God doesn’t just give us a list of expectations and say good luck. He calls us to holiness, and then, through the power of his Spirit, gives us everything we need to obey the command. Sanctification takes the entire remainder of our earthly lives. It is never complete. It is ongoing, and it requires our participation. We work out our salvation in co-operation with the Spirit that lives inside of us. We actively pursue obedience and press on toward the goal of Christlikeness (Phil 3:13-14). We chase holiness. These roots in Christ should produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit in trials. These roots are what holds us when everything around us is shaken, illustrating whether or not we walk by the power of the Spirit in the truth of the gospel or by the power of our sinful flesh.
Our flesh is at war with the Spirit, and it is a battle of sanctification that we will fight until the Lord returns or He takes us home. That means our struggle with sin doesn’t necessarily mean we are not saved in Jesus Christ. It might, and we must ask the Lord to reveal to us the condition of our souls and if we have truly repented, but a struggle with sin continues even after we are saved in Jesus Christ. Believers will struggle, but we are to be progressively set apart from sin. We are to be continually moving toward God and away from sin as we apply the gospel to every part of our lives.
Prayer: Lord, reveal to me the true condition of my heart. If I am trusting in anything but You, I want You to expose the folly of ways and lead me to repentance. Lord, my heart is deceptive and desperately wicked, but You have the ability to give me a clean heart and a desire to serve you and love you more. I invite your Spirit to work in me. Search my heart and test my mind and reveal any wickedness in me.
Don’t miss the final installment of The Blessed Woman. Click here for day eight, which tells about the day trees crashed around me and … you’ll have to click the link to read the rest.