Christmas Countdown: Day 17

Dear Lord,

I pray for growth.

I am so tired of falling back into the same bad habits of the mind.  I am so tired of falling into old sinning patterns.  I am so tired of forgetting what You have revealed to me.  I am so tired of learning the same lessons over and over.  I am so tired of believing the same lies again and again.  I am so tired of staying in the same spot, waiting for a sign to move me when You have already clearly shown the way through Your Word.  I am so tired of backtracking because of my rebellion.

I pray that I would grow.  That I would remember what You have taught me.  That I would obey You.  That I would not go back into the same caves of darkness that You have saved me from.  That I would not go back to the same alleys where I always get lost.  That I would not fall into the same pits of temptation.  That I would not reopen the tombs of past sins.

But I will, I know I will, without Your intervention.  Save me from myself, Father.

Draw me from the cheap thrills of sin into the extraordinary Kingdom of grace You offer to all who kneel beneath Your cross.  Keep my eyes on You, God.  Keep my feet on Your road.  Lead me further and further into the realm of holiness.  Free me from the chains of my sin nature more and more each day.  Guide me to You until the horrors of my shortcomings vanish from the horizon.  Remind me that I am forgiven, right now, right here, without needing to take one more step towards You; that You meet me where I am at my cry of trust in Your Son.

I pray the power of what You have done for me will grow me up in my faith, in my wisdom, in my purity, in my decisions.  I pray that nothing, nothing will keep me from growing every second in the grace of who You are.

I want to be through with infancy, through with turning back to sin as if I didn’t know any better.

I do know better, Lord.

I want to grow up in You.

In Jesus’ Name,


“Because of God’s tender mercy,

the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,

to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79, NLT)


A little surgery on my thinking

I had a little surgery as a five-year-old that got me a Colorform Noah’s Ark sticker set, a huggy arms plush Elmo that my dad stuck in my face while I was still nauseated from the anesthesia, and a really cool plastic flower bracelet that twisted so the center of the flowers could change colors.  It was totally worth it to me–well, except the flower bracelet.  I got the flower bracelet after the stitches were pulled out too early on my face and now I have a small scar.  It is a gorgeous plastic flower bracelet.

I actually had the surgery because I had a blotch on my face that could have turned into cancer later on.  That didn’t mean much to me then.  What meant more to me was the Colorform Noah’s Ark sticker set and huggy arms plush Elmo.  And, until I hit, oh, my teen years and did not think the scar on my face was cool anymore, I thought the flower bracelet was worth the scar.  (Moral of the story: if your doctor wants to pull your stitches out early because he is going away on vacation, and even if you get a cool flower bracelet from the treasure box, tell him no thank you, because when you’re older you can probably find the same bracelet on Ebay if you wait long enough.)

You know, it’s easy to do things for the wrong reasons.  Sometimes, doing something for the wrong reasons blesses you anyway, like when I looked forward to surgery because my grandma gave me a Colorform set in the waiting room–and it was a nice one with lots of animals.  And sometimes, sometimes it doesn’t . . . like when you have stitches removed early and start bleeding but think it’s okay because you get a $2 or so plastic flower bracelet.

The problem is, when I do things for the wrong reasons, I never know which way it’s going to turn out.  I don’t know whether it’ll be something that blesses me or damages me.  I’m like a five-year-old kid just following whatever immediate, neat thing I might get for doing something.

Sometimes, people get immediate, awesome rewards for following God’s way.  But sometimes, people get immediate, seemingly cool rewards for following Satan’s way.

So what am I supposed to do?

Stop living for the immediate, that’s what.

Otherwise, I’m always going to wind up sometimes bettered and sometimes duped.

And never know which it’s going to be.

There is nothing that grows me up in thinking like God’s Word.  God talking to me is the only way I know what I should be looking forward to, what I should be watching out for, and why.

Otherwise, I might end up with another plastic flower bracelet . . . and an ugly scar.  I don’t mean the kind of scar that you can get just because you live in a fallen world, and I sure don’t mean the kind of scar you can get because you’re suffering for Christ–because that’s not ugly at all–but I mean the kind of scar you can get just simply because you stuck your hand in the wrong treasure box.

I don’t want anymore of those.

Brothers, stop being childish in your thinking. Be like infants with respect to evil, but think like adults. (Corinthians 14:20, ISV)

Published in: on December 17, 2011 at 8:47 pm  Leave a Comment