Soon, I will begin teaching/facilitating a women’s Bible study class on Sunday mornings at our church. We will be working through the book Respectable Sins: the Sins we Tolerate, by Jerry Bridges. I am studying the scriptures that he points us to regarding subtle (and not so subtle, yet acceptable) sins in our daily lives.
In the midst of this learning, I also continue my journey for unconditional joy. Can the pursuit of holiness actually produce joy in my journey? Is it actually possible to find pleasure in obedience and surrender?
I believe wholeheartedly that the Bible answers these questions with a firm ‘Yes!’
But what I am also discovering is that joy WILL come as I walk in faith and obedience. Yep, the old song gets it right … To be happy in Jesus, trust and obey. I think that for a long time, I was pursuing joy, not Jesus. And there is a difference. I prayed for joy, I read books on joy, and I really wanted joy. But I was still allowing circumstances to affect my attitudes, mostly because of the ‘respectable’ sins I have allowed to creep into my life. You know the ones – anxiety, discontentment, judgementalism, selfishness, sins of the tongue, etc.
In other words, I was defeating myself because of disobedience!
Now I know that God’s love is unconditional and His mercy is forever, not dependent on our faithfulness to Him. But shouldn’t that kind of love – the kind described by Paul in Ephesians as wide, deep, long, and high – cause us to trust Him enough to pursue Him … and obey Him?
So that is where I am. Learning to lean … Lean into Him to receive His merciful love, and lean on Him for His strength to overcome the sins I accept too often in my daily life.
Love so amazing and love so divine demands my soul, my life, my all!