Do you ever get stuck in a rut? I know I do, especially in my walk with God. I love to study the Bible and pray, but it takes time and concentration — two things I hoard dearly. A lot of times I find myself having really great devotions for a week or a few days. I’ll spend chunks of time reading the Bible and taking notes and praying, and I always feel so refreshed and motivated. Then I get busy or tired and will hardly pray or look at Scripture for a few days. When I come back I feel like a wreck.
I am something of a perfectionist, and when I mess up in my own eyes, I have trouble forgiving myself. When I quit devotions, even for a few days, I feel like I have let God down. I feel like I have to spend time getting over the hump before I can talk to God about myself or ask for His will or pray for others.
This past week was a down week, and last night I couldn’t stand it anymore. This year I have been getting steadily closer to him, and I really needed to talk to Him. I talked to Him for about 30 minutes, just expressing my frustration with myself and knowing that I need to just move on, but not without addressing the problem. I spent a little time praying for someone from church (who I may write about later), but mainly I tried to address this issue which recurs so often. Then, thinking maybe my problem was forgiving myself, I decided to look up some verses on forgiveness.
One of the first ones I found was 1 John 1:9 —
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
This verse really spoke to me. I know I need to confess my sins, and I had talked to God about slacking off on my devotions. But I realized that perhaps I hadn’t formally confessed them. I also know God forgives me my sins if I ask, but I had forgotten that he also “purify[s] us from all unrighteousness.” God reminded me that He will purify me. Not me purifying myself. He will purify me. And so I confessed my sin, asked His forgiveness, and claimed that promise. Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” I believe that God has forgiven me, that He loves me, and that He will purify me and strengthen my walk with Him. I know He will help me live for Him every minute and hour of the day. And that’s a really good feeling. :)