Day 1 - It's not about me.
First of all, I am excited that a few of you will be joining me in these 10 days of prayer! Karen and Vertina, I hope your time with God these next days is refreshing and powerful. I know it already has been for me in just day 1. Can't wait to hear from you at the end.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts; See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" Psalm 139:23-24
Be careful when you pray this. God might show you things in your heart that you didn't know where there. After my first day of prayer, I have concluded that it's not about me. Of course this is a truth that I think I know and have "mastered," but, unfortunately, that is not the case.
I repent of thinking life is all about me; what I need, what I want.
If I am really being honest with myself, the real reason it is hard for me to accept my circumstances with joy is because it's not what I want. What I want is for Jimmy to be home every night for dinner and for him to be with me when I go to bed each night. And when life doesn't happen that way (like this week), I get frustrated and complain. Instead of trusting God and His sovereignty in bringing me into this lifestyle, I question Him and why He would give me something that I don't want.
I repent of thinking my life is my own.
Who am I to tell God what I need and what I want? He bought my life when He died on a cross to pay for my wrongdoings and now I belong to Him. He has every right to direct my life how He wants to, and if that includes some nights at home alone, then so be it. "You are not your own; you have been bought at a price." (1 Corin 6:19-20)
I repent of withholding part of my life from You.
Somewhere along the way, I decided that there were areas of my life and my heart that I'd rather God not mess with. Maybe I decided this out of fear, maybe out of pure selfishness, or maybe just without thinking. But either way, I have not been surrendering my all to be used by God however He pleases.
In church this morning we sang a new song. I have never heard it before, but I jotted down some of the lyrics:
"I give myself away, I give myself away so you can use me.
My life is not my own, to you I belong.
I give myself to you."
Later, our pastor played a song by Misty Edwards called "You Won't Relent." One of the repeating lines from the song goes as follows:
"You won't relent until you have it all. My heart is yours."
Seems like this is the theme for me today. As I prayed and contemplated these things, I could not help but think about Jesus. If anyone ever deserved anything good, it was Jesus. He lived an absolutely perfect, blameless life. He is God in the flesh! He deserved to be worshiped and adored and praised! Yet it says that He, who being in very nature God, did not consider His equality with God something to be grasped. But He made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And He humbled Himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! (Phil 2:5-11). Jesus deserved EVERYTHING, yet He didn't grasp for His equality with God and demand it. He became a servant.
And here I stand: deserving nothing but death for the sin in my life, and yet grasping and demanding equality with my husband and others and standing on my rights. How backwards... how do I let this attitude creep in when I am commanded to have the same attitude as that of Jesus. I'm sure it doesn't help that we live in America where everything is about our rights and what we deserve.
So my prayer today is that, by God's grace, I would walk in true repentance of these selfish attitudes and begin to have the attitude of Christ described in Philippians 2. I am grateful that I am not being asked to do anything that Jesus didn't already do. Although it is very hard to admit that these attitudes have even been present in my life, I am grateful that God has shown me the true state of my heart so that I can change. But apart from Him, I can do nothing (John 15:5). So I am asking Him in His grace to grant me true repentance and to uproot these wicked, haughty attitudes from my heart and bring about true, deep humility that pleases Him.
"God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6) Oh Lord, humble my heart that I might be the one to whom you are giving grace, not opposing.