I read my bible this morning at the kitchen table. Today I was slightly distracted by Piper, birds chirping and the hot tea seeping. I do love winter, but this random bout of spring like weather has gotten me into a joyful, jump in my step way of life. So if I sit just right at the table, I can't see the snow on the ground and I'm almost sure that the trees want to bud leaves all over the place. For some reason, I can't find a place in our home that allows me to sit, undisturbed and quite, for any amount of time.
Vanity has been a struggle for me for as long as I can remember. In Venezuela, my friends told me I had a "God Voice" (for more on this story, please email me ::grin:: ). I did indeed and it shook me to the core to find out why: Idolatry. Not just any idols were more important that the Lord, but one specifically...me. I think I have low self esteem, I'll say anything for a compliment and have the hardest time being truly humble. Yep, sounds like vanity and pride to me.
As I was reading Galatians this morning, this verse really made me stop and think: "So then, those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer." (v 9, NASB) Oh, I thought, I want to be known as a believer. Ashley, the believer. The believing Ashley. Then I proceeded to tell God why I wanted to be "Ashley, the believer"...for Your glory...so that I...well, for me...no...for You...I mean, people can see me, holy...shoot. This went on for a few moments as I insisted to the Lord that it was NOT for my glory that I wanted this title. He disagreed. As I sat there, I felt like the Lord was pouring out examples of things I do that steal His thunder. This time not for my glory, but for His.
I pondered my bold statement and prayed that the Lord would humble me and show me the true state of my heart. There is was, with lights as bright as day. A shiny banner hanging over my head, "IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!"
There I was, exposed. It's true, I am spiritually vain. I want you to see how holy I am. I want you to know what I'm reading, how I pray and what I journal. Look at me, I'm so godly! Don't you want to be like me? Don't you want to ask me questions, so I can answer them so profoundly? Wretched sin. It's taken over every fiber of my being. Have I forgotten freedom in Christ? Have I returned to my former ways, to leave righteousness behind? I'm left broken before the Lord, knowing I've got two choices: walk away or repent.
Could it be so? My hearts desire isn't to know God more, but to be known? I want desperately for a pure, exclusive relationship with the Lord. Just He and I. No one else needs to know what we talk about, what I read, write, or pray. I want my heart to connect to His in a way that deeply affects who I am. I want to know the Lord more each day and fall in love with Him, not His blessings. Is this a sin that can be healed? Can I change? I believe so. With a repentant heart, willing to be broken, humbled and refined, anything is possible. Oh, Lord...grant me a willing heart.