Friday, July 31, 2015

I Would Spare You Regret

I know I've written about this sort of thing before, but it's been a few years, and I need the review myself.

I would spare you my regrets.

My greatest regrets have come from the times when I've traded away love, or joy, or obedience, or humility, or hope, or trust.  And what have I usually traded them for?

Control.  The power to make something unpleasant stop, or to make something pleasant start.  

But as hard as it is for us to believe in the midst of painful, scary, or frustrating situations, the fact is that the fruits and gifts of the Spirit are worth infinitely more than control (or the illusion of control).

Love, obedience, joy and all the rest... these were purchased for us at the cost of the unimaginable agonies of Calvary. What will you and I trade those things for? How cheaply will you and I sell them off today... maybe even this hour?

God forbid!

Whenever you are reading this, please stop and pray.  Thank the Lord for His peace, love, hope, joy, and all the rest.  And prayerfully determine, by His grace, that in this hour you will not trade away so cheaply what He purchased with His blood.  Purpose not to attempt this in your own strength (that's impossible), but to be mindful of what's at stake, and to prayerfully cling to Him in whatever the hour may bring.

And then, the next hour, do it again by His grace.

The following suggestion will not apply to everyone. But in my own case I've found it helpful to install an app* on my phone that makes a little noise at the top of every hour. (I have it set not to disturb me during sleeping hours.) I use that little noise as a reminder to thank the Lord for the previous hour, and to confess any sins committed. I acknowledge His lordship over the coming hour, and my responsibility to honor and obey Him in it.  And so, when I fall into bed at the end of the day, I don't find myself struggling to orient my heart to Him, as I would if I'd ignored Him all day in favor of pursuing my own agendas.

And I come to Him without regrets.

I emphatically do NOT recommend such hourly reminders for anyone who would find them unpleasant. No one likes to be nagged. But if such a reminder would be a pleasure and a help to your heart, as it is to mine, then go for it!

But whatever you do, don't trade away priceless gifts for things which will only leave you sorry.

*There are many such apps available.  This happens to be the one I use.

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