When We Should Never Say No
So many introverts are list makers. The ISTP is most interested in organizing facts, the ISTJ's are most high functioning when life is in order, and ISFJ's love accuracy and balance. It's hard to achieve these things without a good list.
I am an avid list-maker myself and take after a proud line of list-makers. When my aunt gave me my grandmother's bible, I found several lists tucked away between the pages. Most of the tattered papers listed bible verses and one of them pointed to a verse I ran across very recently:
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleans us from all unrighteousness. (NKJV)
This Lenten season, I've tried to spend more time in confession than I usually do, taking the time to listen and let the Holy Spirit convict me. (For more on Lent read my post on DEVOTION.)
However, one day during my morning prayers, I found myself checking off my wrongs like a grocery list:
I got really angry at drivers again today - check.
I was completely gluttonous about those chocolate Easter Eggs - check.
I caught myself and decided to allow the Holy Spirit to check my heart. And my heart got a thorough review.
Confession to breaking the rules is a good start, but confessing to real sin, that's what's breaking my heart this Lenten season: doing the opposite of what God wants me to do.
I've had to ask myself, What did God ask me to do today that I chose not to do? Do I realize how my disobedience separates me from Him?
When was I not meek, patient, humble, joyful, kind, giving, gentle, merciful, pure or righteous? When did He ask me to be these things when it really counted, and I failed Him?
My confession cannot simply be a list of wrongdoings, but should be a Holy Spirit inspired meditation and outpouring of my heart - a declaration that I have separated myself from God and I now come boldly to the cross because I desire to be closer to Him.
My confession can declare my acknowledgement of my choices that separated me from Him - that I have heard Him and said, "No." My true confession will declare that I have sinned.
To those of us who love lists, God gives us so many lists by which we can check our heart. We can ask ourselves, when have I felt God nudge me in this direction and I said no? Then, we can make confession, ask Him for mercy and love us through change.
Start with these lists:
Ephesians 6:10 - 18: Are you using the Armour of God so HE can ward off the enemy, or did you stubbornly fight a battle alone?
Galatians 5:22-23: Did God put someone in your life recently to show the fruit of the spirit but you showed them the door instead?
Proverbs 31:10-31: Have you compared yourself to others, or who God made you to be? Are you walking in the strength of the Lord, or are you doing more than you were called to do on your own strength?
James 3:17: Are your decisions brought carefully to God or are you plowing through busyness to get to the next agenda item?
The Bible is full of righteous fruits that instruct us how to link our heart to God's. Each time we say no to our redeemer, we sin and the more we separate ourselves from Him, the more we need to make confession to Him.
I invite you to come to Him today and acknowledge the true sin of separating ourselves from Christ, because each time we come to Him, through the Holy Spirit, He is just to forgive us and cleans us of all unrighteousness.
Thank you for joining me at The Introverted Believer. Keep watch for IBCON - The Introverted Believer Conference. Complete this survey in four minutes or less and help me make this a great conference!