Monday, May 6, 2013

Are You a Soaked Sponge? I am.


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I feel like a soaked sponge.  A sponge that can no longer hold anymore water.  Not even a drip more. 
Another imagery is of a hand trying to catch water, as pictured above.  I am desperately trying to catch every drop yet the cracks between my fingers are failing me. 

As I listen to a sermon, I see an area of sin in my life.  Then, in my quiet time the Holy Spirit points out something else.  Moments later, I read a paragraph in a book that makes my shoulders drop in defeat of yet another area of sin that needs to be dramatically altered.  My heart is filled with so much yuck!

I am frantically trying to hold every bit of knowledge poured into me causing me to be on overload.  And as I glean this biblical knowledge, I want it to immediately change me.  Learn it, ponder it, confess it, fix it.  This is basically what I want to have happen in my life.  Bing, bang, boom!

Unfortunately, that is not what is happening.

Am I knocking on anyone else's heart?  Please tell me that I am not alone.

Honestly, how can I work on so much at one time?  Why do I feel like I am spinning my wheels in every area?   Failing in so many areas that I know are sin. 

Pride.  Anger.  Lack of self-control.  Selfishness.  Independence.  Laziness.  Do I need to continue?

While reviewing yet another book, I came upon the term "Imperfect Progress."  I am not sure if Lisa Terkhurst coined it herself or if this one has been around for a while.  Either way, it was new to me.  And the term has meant so much to me that at first thought I seriously wanted to rename this blog adopting this phrase. 

In reading those two words I realized that my perfectionism tendencies were - once again - shining brightly.  I recognized that I desire to change in a "perfect manner."  Basically, upon realization of sin, I want an immediate about-face toward the sin.   

Sadly, I am an imperfect person living in an imperfect world. 

During Bubs' stay at Children's Hospital for his open-heart surgery, we heard many times from the nurses, "Two steps forward, one step back."  He would make improvements and then he would get an infection or his kidneys wouldn't cooperate.  Instead of hanging on to the improvements, we became devastated by the setbacks.  We saw the problems as major and the progress as minor. 

Isn't that what the enemy tries to do to us? 

He wants us to see our failures as towering mountains and the progress as happenstance. 

I believe at times, we need to wring out our "sponges" and stop trying to tackle all of the yuck at once.  Pick one area to focus on at a time.  Then spend time in prayer and in reading scriptures concerning this issue.  Do a word study to see what the Bible states.  Learn how men and women of the Bible learned how to deal with it. 

Second, invite the Holy Spirit into your issue, understanding that we can't fix ourselves.  Only God can make our deteriorated hearts new. 

Next, find a practical way to remind yourself throughout the day of the sin in your life.  Could be with post-it notes with short cues or Bible verses or a bracelet.  It may be helpful to gather support through accountability.  Choose something to make the change happen.

Last, celebrate imperfect progress.  If even one time we choose the good over the bad, we made progress!   Steps back will occur but as long as process is happening, change is in the future. 

Oh friends, I hope that this has encouraged you as much as it has me!  God doesn't expect perfection in our lives and He definitely doesn't expect it when we allow ourselves to be molded by Him. 


Wring out your sponge.  What is the one area God is asking you to place your focus?

2 comments :

  1. Thanks for the great reminder!

    Also I recently finished your ebook, it's so good, I recommend it a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Heather. I really appreciate that!

      Delete

The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.