There is hardly anything more frustrating than dealing with character flaws. I can say without hesitation that what I desire is to be a pure and holy woman who is everything she was created to be, who is driven by overflowing love and wholeness. I want to be a woman that is so close to God that anyone who encounters her knows they have just been in His presence. I want to be the ultimate encourager and the kindest person I know. However, I also want to be powerful. I want to be a world-changer. I want to make a difference.
But you know what? At the end of the day, forget the rest of the world; there is so much that still needs to change in me. I recognize a depth of pride that makes me ashamed to even admit I have. I’m going through a season where God is breaking that down in moments of forced humility. It’s painful. It’s angering, not just at the situations, but also at myself for struggling so much to let my selfishness go. In this struggle to grow in holiness, I think my attitude has grown worse. I am praying that is a sign that something is about to change inside my heart.
The refining fire is hard. There is nothing pleasant about it. However, what gives me hope is that I know the things that I am being shown are being revealed to me by God. I have learned the difference between Satan’s attack and God’s conviction. Satan attacks by bringing shame and hopelessness. God convicts by pointing out an area that needs improvement, but also by giving a plan and pouring out His love in the process. The thing that is interesting is that often God and Satan may be focusing in on the same character flaw – the difference is in how they do it. I saw both sides tonight. Satan is always so condemning. He is the accuser. Jesus is a Savior, a lifeline, a refuge. The thing about grace is that it finds us in our brokenness but refuses to leave us there.
I just want to have a pure heart before my God. I want to love Him with a sweet innocence. I want to be all that He has called me to be, and that desire will lead me down a road of brokenness before Him. How do I appear when I kneel in the presence of His holiness? I am a sinner in need of grace and compassion. I deserve judgment, but God does not desire to give me what my actions deserve. Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifice You desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”
So God, here is my prayer: Forgive me for the things in my life that do not please You, whether it be actions, thoughts or habits. I don’t think there is a more applicable prayer than what King David prayed in Psalm 51:7-12: “Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; You have broken me – now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You.”