Tuesday, October 21, 2008

God's a gentleman...

...it's only when we are stubborn that He allows us to feel the consequences of our choices...

For anyone who thinks that God is a big meanie, exposing things in our lives that we'd rather have hidden, this has been on my heart and I really want to talk about it...we've all seen it on TV. Preachers, evangelists, public leaders, pastors, politicians, even private citizens...our private lives exposed in a public fashion, at least the choices we think we make in private. None of the choices we make in secret are truly just that...there is no such thing as a secret.

And when we try to keep things hidden in our lives, things that we think would actually shock others because it would reveal our imperfections, our temptations, our deepest, darkest longings, we actually believe that we've 'got it under control.' We've got it together. I am not trying to call anyone out on their sin. We all know that isn't fun! But that's what I'm talking about here...God first gently tugs at our hearts. It's like a gentle tap...you know someone touched your shoulder or called your name, but you turn around and you're alone. He lovingly will tell us privately, through conviction from the Holy Spirit, that something in our life does not line up with His divine plan for us. Sometimes, when we are listening and not too busy trying to perform, we obey His gentle nudge and experience grace and freedom. Too often at this level though, we take the grace for granted. Or, if we don't, we continue to press forward.

If we ignore His gentle nudge, the next one is probably through a friend, family member, or someone else we love and trust that would never want to damage our heart. God allows them to sense something in our life, not even necessarily telling them specifics, just leading them in a certain direction for prayer, and in their obedience, they talk to us, or just ask us how we are doing. Do we answer? Do we just say, "Fine." What do we do with that? Again, it's God nudging our hearts, convicting us of choices that don't benefit us or bring glory to Him, and, because we don't make choices in a vacuum, He's allowed others to pray for us so our eyes are opened. Do we pretend that everything is fine or do we take responsibility for our choices? Do we confide in our friends or do we try to work out our problems on our own, even when God opened the door for them to walk right into it...to walk with us? If we humble ourselves, we repent, admit our weaknesses and imperfections to those people who know we aren't perfect for all obvious reasons, our hearts are restored to God and healing begins to take place. Again, grace. But will our pride for posing as a perfectionist pose a problem?!

We all know how God has gently nudged us. We, the viewers, are the only ones shocked or surprised when TV announces publicly someones secret choices made in private. I guarantee that the party spoken of wasn't shocked in the least. It wasn't the first time God revealed that person's sin to them, but because the person desired it to be private, and God hates sin in our lives and wants it as far away from us as possible, He'll do what it takes to expose it so we can move on and begin living a life of grace, as He designed.

Only the Enemy of our hearts will tell us to hold onto our sins. Only the Devil will tell us that "it's not that big of a deal...everybody has struggles...no one needs to know about this one incidence...you haven't acted on it, you've only just entertained the thoughts...this is our little secret...hold onto that anger, they deserve your wrath...my choices don't affect others...it was only once, twice, 100 times..." Only Satan thinks it's a good idea to try to keep secrets from God. God, however, knows there is no such thing as a secret. He doesn't convict our hearts to be a big meanie or rule maker. He convicts our hearts because He hates sin and knows its effects on our lives, on our souls, in our minds, our spirits. He tells us, gently at first, because He's not shocked by anything we do, nor is He looking to run the other way...that's us...we do that...He's STEADY.

None of us have to experience public exposure of our sins if we are quick to listen to God's many warnings and gentle nudges. God really loves us that much...Do we really think anyone expects us to be perfect? He knows we aren't, that's what the cross was for...

Before my girlfriends and I became friends, I put this out there: "I'm not looking for friendship that is fluffy and shallow. I want you to tell me hard core truth, even if it hurts. That's the only kind of friendship I'm looking for, so if that's what you want, too, great...if not..." I'll admit it weeds it out for itself, but the women in my life that I love and love me in return know better than to blow sunshine at me. Even if it sucks to tell me that I SUCK, I want them to do that so that I can grow, change, seek forgiveness, seek God's will more hotly. Yes, I disappoint. I make poor choices. I hurt feelings. But the more quickly I get on my knees before God and humble myself to the person I have hurt, the more quickly I experience God's grace.

God said He will expose those things that are hidden, He will bring things hidden into the light. His heart behind it is so we can be close to Him...close to the very One Who created us, close to the God of the Universe that loves you more than life itself, therefore allowing His Son to die specifically for you...

Tell God about it...since He already knows...


  1. Anonymous10:14 AM

    Thank you! I've said this before, but i really do think that you should write a daily devotion. You bring out Truth and make me take a look at what is going on in my life! Thanks again for blogging!
    In God's Grip,

  2. Adrienne,
    You don't know me, never met me, but I've been reading your blog since right before Noah went home. Just wanted to come out of 'anonymity' today and say that I thoroughly enjoy reading it.

    I lost a daughter previous to having my current four crazy kids. She would have just turned 7 and not a day goes by I don't still miss her. The grieving process is both long and short...

    Just a note to say your family is in my prayers, May God CONTINUE to bless you - as I know He already is.

    Sincerely, Erin

  3. So, so true.
    I don't think it's an accident that I read this today, thank you!

  4. This was my first visit to your blog and it is no accident that I came here tonight.
    God has used you in my life through this post. It was as if it was written specifically for me and you don't even know me.

    Thank you for letting God use you in this way.

  5. I have been reading your blog for a long, long time. I love your honesty and unapologetic approach to life. Thank you for this post - it was awesome!!

  6. Anonymous11:16 AM

    We all need a few girlfriends that we can be accountable to. I am the jerk a knot in your tail kinda of girl, but I do it with a sense of humor and a loving attitude. We are not being a real/true Christian friends otherwise. Who needs or wants that! You know these girlfriends know everything there is to know about you and love you anyway! You know when the hard times come you can count on them and they can count on you. I would not have made it thru my brother and sister in law's journey of Luekemia/transplant without them. My Sunday School Class is called "The Bad Girls". We did a Liz Curtis Higgs study and we were all formerly Bad Girls and them name sticked. When trouble comes they have my back. Whatever I need they are there time and time again. It's like your extended family. Makes me very thankful for my girlfriends!
    I have been reading your blog from the beginning and you continue to inspire me with your wisdom and insight. I agree a daily devotion would be wonderful! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!
    Knoxville, TN