I recently did a “soul wash” as Leslie Ludy (setapartgirl.com) calls it with the guidance of the “Cleaning the Sanctuary” download on this link: http://setapartgirl.com/resources/cleaning-the-sanctuary . Let me tell you, I have never done anything this intense when it comes to my own repentance experiences. What this was was an exhaustive confession guide where you focussed on cleaning out your heart as best as you know how by going through your entire past of un-repented sins. It was very extreme, but it was necessary for me. I don’t think I’ll do such an involved analysis again, because it would just turn into self-deprecation if it were repeated and repeated. But because I had never done something like this before, I believe it was a necessary step towards truly falling in love with Jesus. The really good thing that happened after was that I was reminded about how true repentance is not just about saying “man, I’m sorry I did those bad things,” but it is about turning from the sins that bind us. When we are resolved to shed Light on our lives, we see clearly! (big surprise there. You turn on the light: you see.) I saw clearly what the actions that I need to take, after I had dusted and mopped out all those secret rooms in my heart that I hadn’t let Jesus into.
To sum up my default fault: I have a core lie in my heart. It is that I am alone and that I 1. need to satisfy myself or 2. need others to satisfy me. I have a hole inside me that I desperately try to fill with things other than Christ, which is idiocy. All things pass away here on earth, while He is everlasting. But such is the nature of our flesh. We turn away from the Light, and we don’t see. Ignorance defines us while we are in the darkness.
There are a few things I resolved to do as a result of my repentance, which I believe are in accordance with walking with Jesus and turning from my sin. There were some people that I felt led to make an effort of reconciliation with, for one thing. I figured that if any bitterness lived in my heart, that would stop me from growing the good things in my heart. When you let a wee weed remain, it does not die by itself. It only grows. Which is why I made such an effort to kill as much as I could see in there with the Glorious Poison of Repentance! (bwahahah! That was a bad visual, I know. But I am sure that – to sin – repentance actually is a deadly poison.)
Now some ongoing things to do:
- Limit myself to one cup of coffee a day. I was challenged that if I were relying on something to sustain me, it could be an addiction. I don’t think I’m addicted to coffee, yet. But three (or four, or five, or seven?) cups a day is excessive, and it affects my functionality. This change is a small practical way to turn from dependance on things other than God.
- Limit myself to movies only on the weekend, from Friday to Sunday. I was disrespecting God with my time. I would not spend any time with Him during the day, but spend hours watching videos and movies. This is sinful because of the low priority I put on my relationship with God. Not cool.
- Prioritize my time with God over my time with friends, and put a higher priority on homework. This is the “wanting other people to satisfy me” bit. It is lovely to be loved by friends. But again, I was valuing them over God. They filled my Loneliness hole. But as nice as my friends are, they are not God, therefore they don’t deserve more time than Him. And when it comes to homework, obviously I should put priority on that. Procrastination, begone!
- Think before I speak, so as to not be the centre of attention. I rather adore entertaining people. But I tend to grow dependent on getting attention. I remember long ago when I was very young and my friends would come over. I would be dragging them around and being loud and funny (or at least I thought so) and just running the whole show, with me in the spotlight. My mother would take me aside and scold me saying, “You don’t need to act different for people. Stop performing!” And I would say, “What? This IS me! I’m like this all the time!” which was true, but now I see that the life-long trend of performing and acting to get attention is flesh-me, but it is not what redeemed-me is. My actions should reflect that God is the one I seek approval from.
Whew. That is a high goal to attain to. There are a few other things on the list of goals, but I didn’t feel it was necessary to include them.
Anyway. I think that what I am trying to say is that repentance is worthless without an effort to turn towards God. I so desperately want to be turned towards Him and not the world, so I’m going to give it a go. And though I know I am aiming high, I’d rather try to attain something too hard for me and fail than make all of my goals easy. How would I grow if I could do everything already? I wouldn’t.
So if you feel inclined to, please pray that I would be quick to flee from temptation, running away from the darkness and towards the light. Even if it means being strong and courageous by not compromising on my coffee intake limitations.