30 Mar Redirecting My Wayward Soul
When I read Hebrews 5:2, the sentence, “He is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people” resonates deep in my soul. Because that’s me—ignorant, wayward, rebellious, broken, sinful.
The verse goes on to say, “because He himself is subject to the same weaknesses.”
Jesus, my source of hope and the only One I can trust in, was subject to the same weaknesses as I am, yet He withstood every ounce of temptation. My best attempt at withstanding my weaknesses falls unspeakably short, but He, my Savior, withstood the very same waywardness that drives me to destruction.
Jesus had the same inner battle to keep His eyes fixed on God’s goodness. He had to cry out to God, had to plead with Him and rely on the Holy Spirit for strength and discernment just as I do. And He was victorious. How often do I isolate myself from Jesus in pride and arrogance and think that He doesn’t understand? How do I ever let the truth of His understanding slip from my mind?
“I work to improve and re-structure areas of my life without re-structuring them around God.”
It goes back to my wayward soul. I instinctively believe that I’m on my own. If I don’t hold firmly to Him, I hold firmly to myself. I make it all about me. I sit in my brokenness and throw a pity party over my guilt. I refuse His secure gift of comfort. I work to improve and re-structure areas of my life without re-structuring them around God. I self-medicate with justification and talking to the wrong people. However, instead of making me the decider of my life, my brokenness should drive me to hold firmly to the cross.
I have to acknowledge daily that I can’t deal with sin on my own. I know that my fragile, deceptive heart and body are not qualified for my own salvation. If I held firmly to this truth in my heart, I wouldn’t try to manage sin’s consequences. I wouldn’t dwell in shame. I wouldn’t act as if freedom and satisfaction lies anywhere close to this world. I would deal with others gently, in the same way Jesus deals with me.
So this holding firmly goes beyond a disciplined quiet time; holding firmly means obedience. It means that when the truth of the cross is slipping out of my mind, I make willful decisions to focus on Him. When my mind is clouded with earthly emotions and feelings, obedience becomes my lifeline and the only sure thing I can rely on. It’s the only thing that makes sense in a season of chaos. When I don’t “feel” like spending time with Him, I have to pick up the Scriptures and submissively re-orient my heart on His word. When I don’t feel like Jesus is enough to cover my sin, I have to memorize Scripture and rely on the Holy Spirit for clarity. It looks like complete and utter dependence on God and a complete emptying of myself.
“It means that when the truth of the cross is slipping out of my mind, I make willful decisions to focus on Him.”
As I make these decisions towards God and away from myself, I can just as quickly go back into the rhythm of a life that revolves around me. But in the midst of this struggle, in the center of my self-serving heart, God calls me to come boldly to the throne of grace where He is able to deal gently with me. He restores my heart. He redirects my wayward and ignorant soul back to Him.
When I am disoriented, I need only to respond in obedience; His mercy will restore and His grace will redirect.
Barianne is one of our Cultor House interns serving on our communications team. She comes from all over the southeast — making her at home in both the mountains of South Carolina and the fields of Tennessee. Her life is full of reading, adventuring, and sports. Barianne attends our Downtown campus.