This morning I was reading over some note cards that I’ve written some meaningful verses on over the last 6 months. God gave me a fresh message over these particular verses:
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, sustain me.”
These verses are very familiar to me and they have been encouraging to me at different seasons in my life but I haven’t read these particular verses since starting my recent journey of recovery.
The words RESTORE and WILLING seemed to jump off the page in front of me this morning! For anyone familiar with the 12 steps of recovery, the second step is believing that a power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity and the third step is being willing to trust that power greater than yourself with your will and your life. Reading these verses this morning made me realize God has restored my joy by restoring my sanity around food, people, work, family, etc. He has granted me a willing spirit to live a surrendered life. To place my will and my life into His care every day. That has sustained me in a way that I have never known before.
This doesn’t happen overnight and it’s definitely not easy. I was speaking with a mutual member of an Overeaters Anonymous Facebook group about how when we began working the OA program and truly trying to trust God with, not just our food, but with our whole lives, we felt uprooted and off balance.
A few months ago God gave me a pretty vivid “house” analogy that explained to me clearly why I felt that way. It was so hard to come to terms with at the time God was revealing this to me because I felt like I was on shaky ground. My whole life I had built my own foundation on my own set of rules, my self reliance, my pride, my insecurities, etc. and I kept asking God to do a new thing in me but I was still standing on a broken foundation.
God showed me that He wanted to do a complete renovation on me and just like with a house renovation, He was going to re-make me inside and out. That would have to start with demo on all of the existing walls and rooms that I’d been wandering around aimlessly in all these years.
I think at some level the demo and the renovation continue throughout our whole lives but the initial whack of the sledge hammer completely rocked me. I felt like I had been through an earthquake and my foundation had been split wide open. All I could see at the time were busted up pieces of my heart scattered all over the place. I know now that God broke through what I had made for myself so that He could start re-making me and re-building me on His foundation.
Today I can see Psalm 51:10-12 at work in my life. God is clearing out the messes and the junk in my heart. He is creating a pure and clean heart in me. He has given me the ability to stand steady and stand firm. He has renewed a steadfast spirit within me. His presence and His Spirit are with me, filling me with His power and His strength. He has restored the joy of knowing I’m saved, I’m His, I’m free and I’m an overcomer in Him. He has granted me a willingness to keep trusting Him to sustain me, comfort me, help me, encourage me, carry me and care for me.
The Message Bible translates Psalm 51:10-12 to say:
“God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails!”
I love how other translations can sometimes paint a different picture and this did NOT disappoint!
Where do you need God to shape a Genesis week in the chaos of your life and give you a fresh start?
Just as God breathed life into Adam, I want His life giving breath of holiness to cover me and fill me.
With just one single exhale from God, our sails are full again and we are able to keep traveling forward.
Re-made, re-built, re-created, restored and full of the powerful breath of God reviving our dead hearts back to life.
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