Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Leave Me Not to My Own Fruit

Proverbs 1:29-31: Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.

Lately I’ve been thinking about my life, and reflecting back on my earlier years in my twenties and thirties. It’s painful… because those are years I walked away from the Lord and chose to live exactly as I pleased by my own wisdom, rules and standards. I wasn’t about to be “fenced in”. I wince and shake my head as I look back on those days, and try not to dwell on the “what might have been” life had I remained obedience to the Lord and followed in His paths for me.

I also must realize that the past is just that – the past. There is nothing I can do to change one minute of what has been. However, what I can dwell on now is that I am forgiven, and I have a fresh day today in which to change my course and choose His wisdom and ways for me. I can glance back and learn the lessons there, but not allow remorse for my wasted youth to paralyze who I am today in Christ.

When you are choosing to live outside God’s will for your life, the punishment isn’t some lightning bolt from Heaven, or God’s vengeance pouring out on you in a Job-like scenario. I think the worst punishment we receive is that the Lord allows us to eat the fruit of our own ways and be filled with the fruit of our own schemes. I have paid a dreadfully high price for turning my back on Him, but it was at my own hand, not His. He hurt and wept watching my back as I ran away from Him as fast as I could. And yet, like the father in Luke 15:11-31, when I came back broken and worth less than nothing, He ran to me, kissed and hugged me, wept with me, cleansed me, and made me feel priceless and worthy again – a beloved daughter.

Even after that, I am still tempted (and sometimes succumb) to following my own strong-willed heart and “wisdom” (can you spell D-U-H?!?!). Lord, give me strength to follow You, give me remembrance of how my life was without Your loving arms around me, fencing out the pain and hardship of what my choices outside your will reap. Today help me to remember the sweetness of living in Your will, the joy of obedience to You, and the indescribable peace only being wrapped in Your love and path can provide.

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