When you look in the mirror, who do you see? Is the reflection staring back at you someone you recognize or does the person looking back at you seem different? Not quite like you remember?
When God looks at you, do you think He sees what you try to portray to the world or does He really “see” you; with all the good, the bad and the really ugly? We work so hard to put out this Pinterest perfect, flawless life on our social media accounts. We throw layer upon layer, filter upon filter until the image staring back at us is “post-perfect.” However, it couldn’t be farther from reality.
Sadly, the world around us may be fooled, but God is never blinded by our sinful stains and He certainly does not buy into our Pinterest-pretty facades. We think we have everyone duped…we even have ourselves convinced…but God, He truly SEES us for exactly who we are and who we are NOT. We can go on pretending but after a while the façade becomes burdensome and exhausting.
Trying to keep up appearances is draining life from our souls. With every false attempt to make ourselves look or feel “right,” on the exterior, our insides begin to harden, our spark grows dim and our souls begin to morph into something we do not recognize.
God detests sin. Sin is a pollutant to our souls and severs our connection to our Holy God and Father. In God’s economy, ALL sins are created equally. Unfortunately, in our fallen world today, even Believers tend to excuse “small sins.” We glaze over them, sweep them to the side, or even worse…we attempt to justify them. We seem to give more attention to what we consider “bigger sins” based on what consequences they yield in the world’s “economy.” Sin is sin! Like it or not. God views them all as a severance in connection between Himself and the individual.
Many of us are more than familiar with the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
“…She took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves…I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Genesis 3: 6-8,10, NIV).
How many of us shake our fists at Adam and Eve in judgement for their disobedience and poor judgement that caused the fall of the entire creation? They were given everything their hearts desired and with that, a simple instruction from the Lord of what they must not do…and they screwed it up! As a result of one act of disobedience; shame, blame, deceit and ultimately death were woven into the fabric of our existence.
Last week we began the Lenten season with Ash Wednesday. Growing up in the church, Lent was marked by getting an ashy cross on our foreheads and our conversations centered on what we could give up for 40 days (that wouldn’t hurt too much). I’ll be very transparent with you. I was really good at “religion” and checking off all the right boxes when it came to the religious obligations and offerings. It wasn’t until this Ash Wednesday, that the Holy Spirit convicted me that Lent was about so much more. It was not a time that was supposed to begin and end with giving up ice cream and getting ashes. Those things are not “bad” in themselves but that does not even begin to scratch the surface of what these 40 days leading up to Easter are all about.
Lent is a time of introspection; searching the deep caverns of our soul. These 40 days should be a painful process of dying to self; asking for less of ourselves and for more of Jesus. Easter preparation should be an ongoing conversation with the Lord, confessing our sinful nature and our desperate need for a Savior. But, as we die to ourselves and this world, beauty arises from the brokenness of the ashes. After the sin reflection, painful confession, and repentance, new life and resurrection are ushered in. As Christians we believe in the HOPE of resurrection and new life eternally. Jesus is the hope that we so desperately long for.
This Lenten season, I have committed to take a brutally honest look into the mirror of my soul. Unfortunately, the reflection staring back at me resembles that of Eve more than it is does Jesus.
What image is being reflected back in the mirror of your soul?
You are a good and loving Father but you are also a jealous God. You are jealous for our affection, our attention and our worship. You hate sin and will not tolerate playing second fiddle to anyone or anything in our lives. Search our hearts, O God. Make us uncomfortable and probe our hearts and minds and dive deep into the hidden caverns of our soul and leave no stone unturned. Lord Jesus take every tainted place and stain ridden sin from our hearts and make us pure and acceptable in your sight. Father, purge us and cleanse us of ourselves and make us white as snow. Please make our reflection crystal clear and allow us to die to ourselves and see only you in the mirror of our souls. Father God, refine us, restore our brokenness, slay our idols and remove them from the throne of our hearts and take your rightful seat on the throne of our lives. Jesus, resurrect these dry bones and make us a new creation. We love you Father, we plead for your forgiveness for all of the ways that we have fallen short in our thoughts, our words and our actions and we ask that you will put feet to our faith and set our hearts ablaze for you and you alone. It is in your most holy and precious name Jesus we pray, Amen.
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