Day Three of Elul
If you want to get the most out of this process of reflection and repentance I suggest you get out your diary--dust it off and ready it for use if you have set it aside--and get ready to chronicle MIRACLES. God is in the business of miracles: in the Old Testament, New Testament and NOW! He is in the business of renewal and revival. Anticipation is sitting on the edge of its chair...with goosebumps! I sense the Lord is getting ready to free you from a great weight and who He sets free is free indeed!!!
In Deuteronomy 4:29 it tells us, “...You will seek Adonai your God; and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and being.” This is reiterated by the prophet Jeremiah when he writes, “For I know what plans I have in mind for you,’ says Adonai, ‘plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future. When you call to me and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you seek me, you will find me, provided you seek for me wholeheartedly; and I will let you find me,’ says Adonai.” I believe that if you are in a mindset to truly seek God, you will find Him in this month of Elul. Be intentional. Take it seriously. Pray each day for the Holy Spirit to speak directly to you and then listen to the still, small voice and make sure it aligns with scripture! If you can’t find a scripture to confirm it...ask a friend or write it in your journal and wait for God to confirm it through a song, nature, a sermon you hear, etc
So with journal in hand and a prayer to the Holy Spirit for illumination, ask God to show you things in this past year that you could have done better. Maybe it was an incident you handled poorly, maybe an assignment from God that you ignored, a harsh word you spoke hastily, a time when you assumed something rather than confronting and seeking the truth. Just sit still...try to turn off the noise/concerns of the day and wait. When you get the answer and know the biblical remedy for it then CONFESS AND REPENT; first to God and, if needed, to the person involved. It is easy to want to skip these important intentional steps but do not let yourself be distracted or detoured from follow through. When you follow this you will be set free from the incident and it can no longer come back “to haunt you.” He gives wisdom generously to all who ask.
Our mistakes and weaknesses can be more complex than one simple thing...so look at all angles to see if you have confessed all you need to confess. For example, when I have a negative attitude towards someone and speak unkindly about them to a third party my confession might look something like this. I realize that what I did was ungodly. A scripture pops into my head (this could be one or several) like, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
I confess, “Lord please forgive me for focusing on the negative. This is not how you choose to look at this person and it should not be my view either. Let me replace my negativity with love and compassion just like you model towards me when I am doing something you don’t like.
Psalms 101:5 reminds me that you will destroy those who speak secretly behind others' backs and you say they are haughty and have an arrogant heart.
I am sorry for my deceit and pride. Please humble this servant and help me to esteem others as greater than myself...serving them rather than tearing them down.” Now I feel I must go to the person I gossiped to and ask for their forgiveness for running our mutual friend into the ground unnecessarily.
I may ask them to hold me accountable to take my negativity to God rather than infecting another human with it. I may confess my talk was because I was handling my disappointment in our friend in a poor manner.
I will then go back to ask God to help me in my disappointment to remain steadfast and loyal to my friends and walk in compassion rather than frustration. Less of self-centered me and more about forgiveness and empathy! “Lord humble your servant. Teach me more about faithfulness and loyalty.”
I may have other parts of that incident come to my mind or scriptures the Lord wants me to heed so I remain open to further confession in the future as necessary…
I thank God for revealing my mistakes in love and for wanting me to succeed! I thank Him for setting guidelines so that I can live an “abundant life.” I thank Him for revelation, healing and new internal peace.
What are you thankful for?
He uncovered something your psyche stuffed and did not deal with at the time. You have been set free of it. You have been released from a chain that has bound you to the past and you will move forward into the present lighter and easier. Praise God!
Now look for an opportunity to share this testimony of what God has done for you with someone else. Use your situation to bring others hope and encouragement and lighten their load!
I sense revival on the horizon and it starts with you!
Follow the season of Teshuvah during this Month of Elul with Guest blogger Denise Dee Lytle Gibbs who originally posted these blogs on her Facebook page Fall Feast Prayer Initiative.