When I first wrote this devotion (on May 4, 2014) I was not sure if I would share it on my blog. It is emotional, it is truthful and it shows me as the sinful being that I am. I quickly realized my blog is called Be Real for a reason and in order for us to grow and change and become closer to God we have to sometimes take a hard, honest look at our lives and realize where we need to spend some time. I have read this particular devotion many times since I wrote it and it is helping me stay focused on the areas I really need to work on right now. Each day, I have tried to remember to pray for the “gentle and quiet spirit” mentioned in 1 Peter 3:4.
Psalm 51:6-13-“Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.”
A few weeks ago in church, a song leader in our church read the words of this Psalm with music playing peacefully in the background. It was a day my heart was heavy and filled with sadness because I had treated people in my family poorly. I used harsh words that hurt them and I was sure not showing Christ’s love with my actions. It is so easy to take out our frustrations and pain on those closest to us and it is also where it can cause the most hurt. After a night with not much sleep, the church service on this particular Sunday could not have been more fitting for where I was. That powerful reminder that we are sinners and we need the blood of Jesus to wipe us clean and make us new again is just what I needed to hear.
Not sleeping well, being overwhelmed with sad emotions, realizing my behaviors are hurting people gave me a much needed wake-up call on that day. Sometimes we have to feel so sad about what we have done so we can take the proper steps to correct the situation.
During the sermon on that same Sunday our pastor read 1 Peter 3:4-“but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in God’s sight very precious.” Awww, how those words spoke right to my calloused heart. And I wrote quickly and boldly in my Bible. “I pray for a quiet spirit.” I even circled the word quiet spirit and wrote “Amanda needs this,” in the margin of my Bible. We are all a work in progress and for those of you who know me well you know that there are times when a quiet spirit is needed. I am so filled with passion and energy that sometimes I come off so intense without meaning to be. How thankful I am that our God is a patient God and He loves me even with all of my shortcomings. And it is only with God’s gracious help that I can begin to work toward that gentle and quiet spirit.
Right after the song leader read the above verses from Psalm, we sang “Amazing Grace My Chains are Gone.” What appropriate timing. From a very young age, Amazing Grace has always been one of my very favorite songs. When I heard it when I was young it would bring tears to my eyes and many times give me goose bumps. This Sunday in church I could not even sing all of the words to this beautiful song because I was so overcome by tears and emotions. I always said I want this song at my wedding, funeral and any other important times in my life. Apparently, this was a pretty important Sunday teaching me some lessons I really needed to hear.
Prayer for the week: Dear Lord, Help me to start each day with your everlasting love. Let your joy fill my body so I can do your will in the place where I am. Please help me to see my shortcomings and ask you for forgiveness. Give me the strength to make changes in my life so I can be more like you. When the devil is creeping into my life, help me to see his lies for what they are. And when he is attacking my life, let me cling to you and the Bible for my shield until that wonderful day when you will return. In your precious name I pray. Amen.
Do you have a daily habit that helps you remember to live each day focused on God?
Is there an area of life where the devil has been bringing you down to keep you from growing closer to God?