Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Confession Session

Bryan and I have been having some good talks lately. We’ve been digging deep and getting a lot of things off our hearts. (Does your communication with your spouse ebb & flow like ours does?)

Anyway, we have been on our knees confessing our inadequacies and our tendencies toward self-sufficiency. Aaaaghhh. We are both such DIY people and once again we’ve found ourselves beyond the steps the Lord’s laid out for us and we’re shoutin’ over our shoulders, “Come on Jesus, catch up and help us!” (Do you ever get into that mess?) Like I mentioned in a previous post… we are trying to get back to the heart of what’s really important to us, back to a healthy, spiritually nourishing and emotionally nurturing family routine.

We’ve been asking Jesus for His wisdom. And His strength to simply LISTEN to His Voice and then obey. We need His wisdom for training up our babes and for gearing up for homeschooling. We need His wisdom on how to teach our high school kids and His direction in planning for the school year (teaching/serving/fund-raising/fun activities, etc). I need His wisdom for managing the home front more effectively… meal planning, living frugally, being a good steward of my time.

And THEN… THEN we need hearts of humility to die to self. Cuz once the flesh is dead, then the spirit can joyfully obey. Oh, don’t you wish that one day you could just die to self and that the nasty ol’ self-centered, selfish part of you would just be put down, for good. And so the next day and the next and the next, you’d be free! I do… But it doesn’t work that way. (That’s how God draws me to Himself. He desires relationship. He wants to relate and interact with me and I need His strength and His fellowship to put off the old girl that keeps trying to overtake my spirit. It’s a moment by moment struggle for me. I’m thinking that if He fixed me once and for all, I’m such a DIY-er that I’d tend to be like shooop, gone, thanks Jesus, seeya in Heaven. But for whatever reason, God wants to hang out with me, kickin’ it with Kell. And for goodness’ sake with YOU, too! Amazing.)

Anyway. So we’re pleading with God to grant us repentance! And we’re both crying out, “Help me to die to self!” That’s what we talked about Sunday, me and my man. One of the passages of the Word we are clinging to and praying over each other these days is from Colossians 3…

8But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice,
blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him…

12Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

I wrote Bryan a letter last weekend after I spent a considerable amount of time with the Lord confessing a bunch of junk that’s been going on in my heart. I just have had junk in my heart and it was cluttering up my spirit and affecting the way I related to Bryan. Grrrrrr. I was so frustrated with myself.

You know, I love how we can just go before the Lord and lay it all out… and He listens. I love how I can tell Him EVERYTHING and even include my rationalizations and justifications… and He listens.

Then it’s my turn to listen. He shows me such mercy. I love how patient the Lord is with me. Oh… I love it, it’s my favorite thing about Him right now.

So I got all that cleared off my chest and out of my mouth (out of the mouth the heart speaks… the heart is the wellspring of life… confess your sins and He is faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness… you know all that good stuff) and then the Lord has some air time in which to speak to me, now that the junk’s all exposed. He reminded me (gently) that I had encouraged another wife to read Colossians and pray that over her marriage and to die to self die to self die to self die to self. Oh yeahhhhhh, well now, I’ll be eating a huge slice of humble pie. Why don’t you just give it to me straight, Lord? (He does.)

And I’ll tell you what, I prayed through that passage and had to start from scratch in my confession session. And this time, the Lord wanted me to expose my cluttered up heart to you-know-who.

That’s why the letter got written, printed out, and given to my husband to read, ponder and discuss with me. And then came the really good talk! God’s so faithful.

James 5:16 says, "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." And I’m already seeing so much fruit. And a fresh vitality in my little ol’ heart.

So I’m just gonna pray again! I’d love it if you’d beg the Lord to continue working in me, too! My hope is in Christ!

Father God,
help me to change and be conformed to your image
and be transformed by the renewing of my mind
through Christ Jesus in spite of how weak I am.

Help me to submit to Bryan by respecting him and honoring him
so that he may joyfully PHILEO me
with a gentle, tenderhearted meekness,
so that our children can obey us in everything
because they’ll see us
walking hand-in-hand & arm-in-arm,
in righteousness, in fruitfulness,
in that active, awesome, affirming AGAPE love.
So they not only “do as we say”, but also “do as we do”,
so they don’t stumble from the Way on our account.
Oh! May they follow us as we follow Christ!

I’m desperate for You, Jesus,
to show up in our marriage and begin a new season of growth.
Empower my husband with Your strength,
Your love, Your wisdom because YOU are the Sufficient One.
Give us hearts of humility, let us be quick to forgive, and even quicker to pray.


simmie flock said...

Oh, dear sister!

I love you so much!! We love your whole family to the utmost, and to think Jesus loves you guys TONS more than we do is beautiful and perfect!

Sis...Jesus has you covered, willingly! So much so that all that is seen and felt when in the presence of you/your family is the Spirit...humble, serving hearts...unconditional love...love that covers a multitude of sin...modesty...obedience...
gracious exhortation...one-flesh, Godly covenant...It's soaking you guys! You're all drenched in It!

Even today, with kids running around and the house all loud...I felt refreshed when you left! I felt refreshed after being alone with your girls...thank You, Holy Spirit!

It came straight from the heart of Father, and I thank Him tremendously for using you and the kids and I stand in gratitude that He found an empty vessel in you to pour out through, unbeknownst to you even!

Darren and I are praying boldly and with eagerness to watch the Lord's will in your lives come to fruition!

A new season indeed! A new lifegiving, breakthrough season for your husband, for you, for your godly marriage and for your little quadratic equation!

The Lord is good and to be trusted!

Captivated said...

seriously THANK YOU for the encouragement... emotional morning already! and i'm only 2 hours into it!!!

a woman found said...

I love it that you posted this cause I get to hear another sojourner speak our native language of heaven, i.e., faith!

I was just listening to Jon Courson this morning online and hearing the message about how God's plan for revealing His glory in our lives and experiencing His glory in our lives personally is not to put on a nice show or make sure nothing falls down or make sure everything's moving like a well-oiled machine, but rather we experience His glory when we are humble, confess our sins often, seek His face often, worship from a sincere heart unashamedly, and do what we do (though it's not fancy) us though we were doing it for Him alone!

Sharing what you've shared here is a taste of the "glory to glory" life. It's not some perfect, churchy, thing we think it might need to be. It's sacrifice, confession, humility, initimacy, mercy!

I love your heart! I'm praying for you this morning.