This is the last post of this 4-part series…
In my time alone with God, my heart-book showed a large deficit that seemed like it would never be resolved. At first, I thought I’d just have to get used to the discrepancy, ignore the mistakes I made, and figure out the best way to live with them while not overdrawing my account. The only problem was that by ignoring it, I’d just continue to make the same mistakes and the deficit would grow larger.
After a while, I got so used to living with the discrepancy that I shrugged it off with little more than an “oh well.” But the truth is, as my heart’s balance continued to decline, so did my hope, and my loneliness and seeming silence from God only grew larger. It seemed there was nothing I could do to fix it.
“But God,” as Paul writes in Ephesians 2, “being rich in mercy” stepped in and loved as only He could do. He came right to where I am so that I could see my accounts differently. He patiently indicated where I tried to fix the errors in my heart-book by myself, thinking I could handle it alone. He kindly revealed that although the major question on my heart was “would God would come through?”, again and again, I failed to wait for His answer. He gently pointed out the idols that I made and trusted in over the years instead of Him. And He lovingly showed me that all along He’s longed “to be gracious to me” if only I would let Him.
Just like the silly mistake of mixing up a “5” and a “2” could lead to a consistent error in my checkbook, I realized that anytime I move my gaze from God to anyone or anything else, expecting it to come through, the balance of my heart-book would become a mess. It didn’t matter who. It didn’t matter what. It didn’t matter when or how long. Every time, the same mistake would result in the same discrepancy in my heart-book – and the shift could happen so subtly! But God is the One Who will work things out in my life. I don’t need to start with myself, or other people, or my fears, or any area of loss in my life or dashed expectations. The starting point for all my questions is found in the holy record of Scripture: the Father and His great love for us.
“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (I John 4:9-10)
It’s because of His love that God has redeemed me and walked me through the errors of my heart-book, helping me to acknowledge, repent, and release them. It’s through His goodness that He’s returning me to my true self, a beloved daughter of God, so that I can live confidently from there, anchored by His deep, deep love. And it’s by His grace that He provided a friend who would simply listen and rejoice with me in this journey, pointing out the beauty that God was bringing through this violent shaking of my world and the stillness of His presence.
How grateful I am that He let the bottom fall out of my feeble kingdom so that I could see the truth clearly! I am so glad that because of who God is and what He’s done, I no longer need to live on a meager heart account.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:16-21)
Through this season, I have learned just how important it is to keep short accounts with God. As we walk with Him, we need to have regular times of deep, unguarded confession as part of our relationship with Him. As the Psalmist writes, we must also make our prayer:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 13:23-24)
I’m finding that it’s the only way to keep the balance of our heart-book in check so that we can remain in step with His Spirit. And the Spirit’s work in us won’t be complete until the day we see God face to face, but thank the Lord that He’s faithful to complete the work of sanctification and growth that He’s started in us (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
So, I have to ask… when last have you reconciled your heart book?
When last have you gotten alone?
Were painfully honest with Him?
Do you really think you’re too busy for this?
So go! Be reconciled to Him and get the figures in your heart-book reviewed by the Master Accountant. He will meet you wherever you are and will be so delighted that you came. He’s just waiting to shower you with His grace. Will you let Him?