Before I Fall

Life Action held a revival conference at my church for the past four days. Honestly, I wasn’t crazy about letting the dishes, laundry, emails, and—well, life—pile up while I attended seven services in four days.

In addition to not being able to “keep up” with life, lately I had found myself unusually distracted and unfocused during my personal times with the Lord. I didn’t seem to be connecting with Him. Surely I didn’t need more in my schedule; I needed less! But I decided to go anyway, and I’m glad I did, because God showed me I was in a dangerous place.

My Thirst Quencher
The first evening, Ryan Loveing (the preacher at this conference), talked about how we try to quench our thirst for God (John 7:37, Col. 1:16) with artificial substitutes. We take His gifts—good gifts He’s given us to enjoy—and elevate them above the Giver. When I asked God what I run to for satisfaction, His answer was startlingly clear: Your reputation.

A Dinosaur and a Warning
A few weeks ago, I took Dad and Mom to the Creation Museum as a late Father’s/Mother’s Day gift. While there, they snapped this picture. Mom said something about it being symbolic of me taking on Satan. That visual scared me—in a good way. Oh, yes! Life is a battle. I’m fighting a big, scary enemy who wants to devour me. I need God and His grace in order to stay in the fight.  

When I attended the ladies luncheon this week, a woman named Jennifer shared how her Christian husband had fallen, taking her completely by surprise. She asked: “Are you overconfident in your ability not to fall? Are you letting your boundaries down?” It was a sober reminder that I’m in a dangerous place when I think things are going great and . . . surely I couldn’t fall!

Striving for . . .  
One verse, more than any other, spoke to me at this conference: Hebrews 12:14. It says, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”

I strive for a lot of things—a clean house, a completed to-do list, but . . . holiness? Not so much. Maybe that’s why I’ve felt so soul-hungry lately—’cause I was made for this holy, holy, holy God; and I can’t see and enjoy Him when I’m not making an intentional effort to live the holy life He created and empowered me to live.

It’s funny. I used to think pursuing holiness sounded legalistic. Now I’m seeing “holy” and “holiness” everywhere I turn in His Word—not as a burdensome goal—but as my position in Christ, my inheritance, the beautiful goal and destiny of my life. (By the way, I’m looking forward to digging into Holiness over the next few days and weeks.) 

Agreeing with God
Speaking of holiness, I was challenged at the conference to more and more agree with God about my sin. To stop downplaying it and to call it what it is . . . sin. My lack of love, selfishness, impatience, irritation, discontent, prayerlessness, laziness, worry . . .

After all, that’s what confession is—agreeing with God, and acknowledging my need for Him. If you can relate, you might want to join me in praying/confessing/repenting your way through this “Put Off . . . Put On” PDF from Life Action. (It’ll take some time!)

How about you?
Is it just me, or does anyone else struggle with the “good girl syndrome”? Let me ask you . . .

What are you pursuing in order to satisfy your thirst?

Are you prioritizing holiness in your daily life?

Are you feeling secure in your own goodness, or are you loudly and persistently crying out “Jesus, have mercy on me!” like blind Bartimaeus?

As you cry out for Him, be encouraged. Matthew 5:6 says “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied” (emphasis added).

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula Marsteller

Paula has served with Revive Our Hearts for thirteen years. She is the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom. There's nothing she loves to share more than the gospel-centered truths that have so transformed her own life: what it means on a daily basis to be "dead to sin, alive to God, and in Christ Jesus." Paula, Trevor, and their son, Iren, make their home in New York.

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