Last week I wrestled in my heart with God. There was something in my heart that I wasn’t proud of. I explained to Him that it’s ugly, it has a mind of its own, and brings HIM no glory. I’ve walked with HIM long enough to know that what starts in my heart will soon spill over into my deeds, words, and actions (And THAT certainly isn’t pretty). Most importantly, it was blocking me from being who HE wants me to be – so I asked him to remove it. (Simple enough – I thought.) He refused. I argued (as usual). When I stopped arguing I asked why HE wouldn’t just pluck it from my heart. THEN, we could move on and I could be closer to being who HE wanted me to be. He laughed. (He does that a lot with me – it gets my attention). He continued speaking.
“If I remove that thing from your heart then there is nothing gained on your behalf. If I SIMPLY remove it, you won’t wrestle with it and you CERTAINLY won’t be required to die to it. There is great gain in the wrestling of your heart. You see, that’s where you gain strength of Spirit – My Spirit, not yours. That ugly thing in your heart causes you to move in repentance before me. It reminds you that YOU NEED ME. It causes you to realize that because I (Jesus Christ) live in you, YOU have the power to overcome the ‘uglies’ in your heart. Otherwise you will just hide it and pretend that you’re something that you aren’t. Or worse yet, you will think that you’ve done something amazing by ‘managing it.'” I have realized that behavior management works great when we are young, but as we get older it simply takes too much energy. The other choice is to unleash my “uglies” in thought, word, or action – consequently realizing that I may be one emotional upheaval away from being alone with 39 cats.
He continues – “I give you the choice to keep it, nurse it, pet it, or you can choose to overcome it by the power that resides in you. Out of the obedience in repentance you can let that thing live or die. I know it’s there (lol). You can’t cover it up and think I won’t see it. [The image of lipstick on a pig comes to mind]. It’s your choice, not Mine. I have given you all that you need to live strong from within. It’s your choice to live in your flesh or in My Spirit. To remove that choice from you would defy the very freedom I have given you. The freedom to choose: to hide, ignore, or cover-up; or to recognize, confess, and overcome. The freedom to remain the same: hurt, wounded, afraid little girl you’ve always been; OR to confess your shortcomings. I desire to hear the ‘cry of your heart’ – it moves Me on your behalf. In your confession, I will take those things from you and give you new strength, new freedom, and new power by MY Spirit, not yours. Before long, you’ll come back to this ‘ugly’ and you’ll realize it’s no longer there, and you’ll recognize MY PRESENCE in its place.
“So, My little one, don’t ask Me to remove it. Instead, look at it, see it for what it is, see how it controls you, tell Me all about it and how it hurts you and others. Then rely on MY POWER in you to overcome it. It may be a little at a time before you know your “ugly” will be replaced by My love. When you go there to inventory it in the future you’ll see love instead. All I need is an invitation – I promise you won’t regret it.”