Posts Tagged ‘repentance’

The breakup
Several months ago I was asked why my x-girlfriend and I had broken up. I explained that it wasn’t because of any sin, there was no animosity between us, and that we are actually still friends. Matter of fact, I went on to explain why she was such an amazing girl, but ended with saying that she is an amazing girl for someone else. I had ended the relationship because I felt that our lives were going in different directions and that The Lord had placed much different callings on our lives. The Lord has burdened my heart for cross cultural missions, church planting, and adoption. These are things she had never considered. Not because she was complacent or not a godly woman, but as a single gal, those things are very out of reach and hard to do being single so they were hard to become a reality for her. But at the time, I came to the conclusion that we should break up because of our different passions and callings.

My sin
The truth of the matter is that I was in sin. The most important calling in my life is not to be a missionary, its not to become an adoptive parent, and its not to be a church planter. The highest calling on my life is to make much of Jesus, to be a reflection of his glory to the world, and to worship him in every part of my life. Not only is this my highest calling, its the very thing I was created for. Somehow I had lost sight of that. Instead of worshipping Jesus, I was worshipping what I wanted to do for Jesus. I had placed my desires to be a missionary, a church planter, and an adoptive parent, as more important than fulfilling the very thing I was created for…. to glorify Jesus and make his name great. So when I considered the relationship I was in, I justified breaking it off with her because I wanted a girl who would help me worship doing things for God, instead of worshipping God himself. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I was in sin against God, and against his daughter.

Repentance and reconciliation
During the same time as my friend having this conversation with me, I was having conversations with my Pastors about planting a church in Riverside and going through the process to become a Pastor. It was in these conversations with my Pastors, being pursued by other leaders in the church, and much time in prayer, that I was able to see how I had lost track of what life was all about…. to worship Jesus and make his name great.
As I came to see things more clearly I became aware of a deep sin I had committed. I had broken up with an amazing girl because of my inability to see what was most important in life. I didn’t use these exact words, but when I broke it off with her I basically told her, “we can’t be together because you are not good enough. I want a girl who is just like me so that I don’t have to make any sacrifices. A girl who will help me worship myself and accomplish all the things I feel The Lord wants me to do”. I was cut to the heart and flat out broken. Broken over the fact that I had sinned against God and sinned against this wonderful woman. I spent weeks in agony over it and literally in tears every single day. I had taken it before The Lord and in his grace and mercy he of course forgave me. I knew I needed to confess my sin to Jen and ask her to forgive me.
I had finally come to a point where I couldn’t handle the weight of my sin against Jen any longer and asked her to meet with me. The day I met up with her was one of the worst days of my life. My stomach was tied in knots, I couldn’t eat, and I was so scatter brained I could barely put a though together. I picked her up and we went to a nearby park where we could talk in private. I shared with her all my sins against God I had come to realize in the weeks prior. Then I confessed to her all of the sins I had committed against her. I let her be honest with me about how I had sinned against her. As she responded I quickly realized that I had caused way more hurt and committed way more sin against her than I could have ever imagined. We both just sat there in tears. Me broken over my sin, and her broken over the hurt I had caused because of my sin. Being the kind, sweet, loving, godly woman that she is, she of course forgave me. I didn’t just meet up with her to confess my sin and ask her to forgive me, I was there to reconcile our relationship. I honestly just can’t imagine life without her. After hours of talking through everything, hours of tears, prayer, and her soft heart, she was kind enough to give me another chance!

A celebration
A few months have now passed by and things have been amazing between the two of us. We have worked through all of the things from our past and things are better than we could have ever imagined. We are closer than ever, there is more trust than ever, and we can both see how Jesus used all of this for good. Not just for our good, but more importantly for his glory. Jen is the most kind hearted, sweet, loving, giving, generous, smart, and God-fearing woman I have ever met. There is simply nothing better than worshipping Jesus with her each and every day. She is truly a gift from The Lord. A few weeks ago I did something I wish I had done a long time ago….. I asked her to marry me and she said yes!!!!!

A love story, not just of Jen and I, but of The Lord for Jen and I
In the title I led you to believe you would read a love story and that is what this is. Not just a love story between Jen and I, but a love story of Jesus relentless pursuit of me. Jen and I were broken up for 8 months before I was able to see my sin. Was The Lord slow to convict me of my sin and lead me to repentance? Of course not! But because of his great love for me, he was patient with me and extended grace to me until I was at a place of repentance. As I look back now I can see how the Holy Spirit was convicting me months ago and how I was being led to repentance the whole time. The gift of confession, repentance, and reconciliation is Gods greatest gift to me as it has allowed me to be engaged to the love of my life, but more importantly it has allowed me to be reconciled to the creator of all things, the giver of life, the example of love and grace…. My Lord Jesus Christ.

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I wanted to share what the Lord taught me a few weeks ago when I arrived at the gym for my morning swim. Please give me lots of grace as I would like to be honest about the details of what happened and what He taught me. I hope you get a glimpse of Gods heart, his love, and his mercy.

As I walked to the pool, I got to the entry gate at the same time as another woman. Because of where the bars are located on the gate I couldn’t see her face. All I seen was her body from the neck down in a 2 piece bathing suit and it really threw me off. In my mind I immediately thought “wow this girl has an amazing body”. As I walked to the pool I was disgusted by my thoughts and couldn’t believe what had just happened.

As I began to swim the Lord began to show me the difference between love and lust. He played this lustful moment back in front of me, almost like I was watching a movie. I was completely disgusted by what went through my mind as I looked at her but I realized that as soon as I had walked away from the gate I had completely forgotten about her. He told me “That was lust not love”.

He began to teach me what love looks like. Jesus asked me, “Do you know how I know you love me?” He proceeds to tell me that he knows I love Him because when I encounter Him, I continue to think about him after I leave his presence. That I don’t just come to him when I want something, I just want him. And after I get what I was asking him for or spend time with him, I don’t walk away and forget about him. He reminds me how I wake up in the morning thinking about him, I think about Him all day long and I go to bed thinking about Him. I am in constant pursuit of Him and do everything I can to be in his presence daily. All I can think about is being with him. In those moments when I feel as though I am far from him all I can think about is how much I miss him and that I will do anything and everything to see his face and be near to him.

My hope and prayer is that I might love the things he loves. As my love deepens for the things he loves, I pray that my heart doesn’t lust after things that aren’t from him. My prayer is that my love for sin would decrease, and that my love for Jesus would increase. Im asking The Lord for a deeper love for his church and for his people. Not a love of what I can get from them, but a love for them because they are his. I want to see their value not in what I can get from them, but see their value in the great lengths by which Jesus went to save them…. death on a cross. I want to be so connected to him that my heart has no other options but to change. Not just for my heart to have a larger capacity to love, but for my heart to break for the things that break his. If The Lord blesses me with a wife I want to be so in love with her that she is the only woman I ever think about. Just like what The Lord told me earlier, I want to walk away from her and not be able to stop thinking about her for the rest of my life. When I see any other woman or think about another woman, I want to forget those lustful thoughts as fast as they came into my mind. Even though the condition of the church may be considered messy and full of sin, Christ loves his church and gave himself for her. Im asking The Lord to give me a love like that for my future wife, that despite all the sin, short comings, and failures that im sure will come in marriage… that I would give myself up for her. I know that I can’t do any of these things on my own. I need Jesus. Only he can do the things i’m asking him to do. I cant just work really hard at it and hope that it will all work out. I need Jesus. I am thankful for days like today where I can see a tangible work The Lord has done in my heart, but I know I have long way to go. I just refuse to not be near The Lord. I will keep praying everyday that The Lord would help me to love unconditionally, to have a soft heart, and that The Lord would prepare me for marriage. I will keep praying that he would hold onto me because I am prone to wander. I will keep praying that I would accept the love, the mercy and the grace that Jesus pours out onto my life every day. I just want more of Jesus.