Proverbs 8:13 “The reverent fear and worshipful awe of the Lord [includes] the hatred of evil; pride, arrogance, the evil way, and perverted and twisted speech I hate.”
I was raised in a Christian home and gave my life to Christ at the age of 11. By the time I was 16 the world enticed to me to follows its ways and I fell for it….all of it. I lived through my late teens, 20’s, and early 30’s reckless and with very little regard for God or his word. Even still, God never let me go. He had something much better than the life I was living in the world. I just had to realize the truth and turn away from it completely. The next time I bumped into Jesus, I was 33. I spent a VERY LONG time living in the world.
With this fresh commitment to Jesus, my life would radically change in the way I talked, thought, and lived. This change, however, wouldn’t happen overnight. When I said “YES” to Christ one Sunday morning in March of 2001, it was a half-hearted ‘yes’ at best. I wanted my life to change so badly but I wasn’t willing to “give up” my world to do it. I lived “on the fence” for about a year-and-a-half. During this time I’d go through the motions of church and my small group bible study, and still hang out with my “worldly friends.” I still talked, thought and lived my life as one reckless mess.
There I stood, at the crossroads of my life unwilling to make a move.
God changed my perspective about living in “both worlds” one night when I had too much to drink and could barely stand. I had convinced myself and others I’d be fine to drive home so I got in my car and turned the key. As I did, something inside of me turned too. My eyes flooded with tears and moments later, sobs.
“Oh God, I am so sorry. What have I done? I am still making the same mess of my life. I want what you want for me but I can’t seem to get there. Help me Jesus! Save me from me.”
I grabbed my phone and began scrolling through my contacts list until I landed on the number of my small group leader. For the first time since I joined the small bible study group I admitted I was living a “double life”…living a lie. I had been wearing a mask the entire time. It was now time for me to get off the fence and really make a move forward onto God’s path. That night God’s grace poured over me like a soft cleansing rain and I felt his arms of love and not condemnation.
The next morning I received a call from one of the pastors at the church – again not condemning me for what I had done but encouraging me to begin the process of saying “NO” to the world and everything in it. I finally took that first step of commitment to following Jesus. I had to give up my worldly friends, for a while, until I could stand on my own and not fall to the temptations that had plagued my life for years.
Reading over Proverbs 8 this morning, my eyes landed on verse 13 and it brought my story to mind. This verse clearly says that love for God and love for sin cannot coexist. I saw this verse played out in my life. I couldn’t have my worldly friends, ways, and mind-set and commit wholeheartedly to Christ. So I chose the exciting journey of following Christ! I still talk to and see my old friends – I still love them. I don’t judge them for what they do or the way they live their life. I simply pray for them to come to the grace and knowledge that I found in Christ. But until they do…all I can do is be the woman God created me to be and I like it like that.