Powerless is not a word that sits well with me. The idea that I can't do something, or may need help with something, generally doesn't enter my thought process. This weekend at our women's retreat, that notion was stripped away.
I look forward to the retreat every year, knowing that I will hear from God in a fresh way. Friday night came and went, and truthfully, while I was enjoying myself, there was no great outpouring of insight or revelation. Saturday morning, I began to think it just wasn't my year. Good information from a delightful speaker, but nothing earth-shattering. Nothing to make me examine my life.
At the start of the evening session, the Holy Spirit gave me an image, and it shook me out of my doldrums. I'll spare you the details, but in that moment, I knew what was standing between me and God. Mercifully, it was something I could address right then and there, and was able to repent and return to full fellowship with the Lord. You see, it is not Him who was failing to deliver. It was my sin that was interfering with the connection. He does not expect perfection, that is what grace is for. He does expect me to do my best and bring the rest to Him. The author of Hebrews says that we have not resisted our sin to the point of shedding blood (Hebrews 12:4). I had not even resisted my sin to the point of personal inconvenience. Ouch.
At the point of repentence, the foot of the cross, the Lord met me hard. In my shame at failing again, I wanted to avoid Him, just hang around on the surface of "God is so good." He would have none of that. In the prayer room Sunday morning, Who He is became so clear. His Glory was revealed to me as never before. I thought I "got it" already, but this was different; I saw with the eyes of my heart Who He is. Here is an excerpt from my journal, written with tears streaming and nose running, making loud snuffly noises in the corner. There was no turning back, no more hanging around on the surface.
"Final morning of the women's retreat. God, You have shown me my sin. Soemtimes I feel like I've got it all together, I don't need to be dependent on you.
Then I see my sin.
Father, I need you. On my own I am powerless. I am only looking for what satisfies me. Lord, thank you for the mercy that allows me to come to You. You overcame sin because I couldn't. Lord, help me to live in the freedom that is already mine. You are the Living Christ, Taker of my sin, Deliverer of my Freedom. I almost can't look at the throne, yet you still tell me to come to You. Oh my God, it is You.
Never forget this day, seeing His Holiness more clearly than ever before, listening to Jeremy Camp's Overcome. The weight and magnitude of His glory, barely a glimpse I realize, overpowers. Can't even fathom what eternity feels like."
He continued to bury me, drown me, overwhelm me with His Spirit for the rest of the retreat. Leaving to come home was bittersweet, but I KNOW that He goes with me wherever I go. I just need to keep looking at Him and stop living in my own strength. Stop living in my own power, but live in His Glory revealed.
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