I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year, mostly because I rarely keep them. But more than making a resolution, I decided to make a perspective change.
I’m changing my perspective on the way I live each minute. Following the prodding I first received when I began reading Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, I’ve decided to live in God’s presence at all times.
This is a constant thing–to live each moment in the presence of my Lord.
I’ll tell you what it’s done for me so far–it’s convicted me over the sinfulness in my life.
I struggle with sinfulness.
I think I’m in pretty good company with this. Martin Luther, the father of the Protestant Reformation, struggled with his own sinfulness. It was the notion that he could never work hard enough or self-flagellate enough to be worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s that idea–the need for grace–that pushed him to dig deeper within the scriptures to eventually challenge the Catholic church on the idea of justification by faith.
Now that I’ve given you a mini history lesson, let me get back to my point.
No matter what I do, I’ll never be able to completely eradicate sin in my life. There was only One who never sinned, and clearly, I’m not Him.
I could use the excuse that sin is inherent–I can’t avoid it.
Someone who questions the existence of original sin has never spent any time around a toddler. You don’t have to teach a toddler how to pitch a fit or disobey, or how to sneak a cookie, or throw something at a sibling. You don’t have to teach a toddler how to use anger and manipulation to try to get what they want, nor do you have to teach them those ugly little looks they sometimes give. They are born knowing how to do these things, and will employ them, to the best of their abilities, unless someone teaches them otherwise.
But I can’t use original sin as my excuse, at least not all the time.
Maybe I can get away with it for those knee-jerk reaction sins. The anger I have when someone says something rude. Or the jealousy that floods me when someone gets something I want. Maybe I can blame my inherent will to sin for these.
But what about the sins that I choose? Yes, choose. I know better, yet sometimes I choose to sin. I choose to disobey what I know to be right. I choose to ignore the voice of God, even when I’ve asked him to speak to me. I choose to sin.
And it’s a choice that separates me from the blessings of my God, from the joy of living daily in His presence.
Come Thou Fount is one of my favorite hymns. There’s one phrase in that song that speaks to me so loudly, I almost feel as if it was written just for me.
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.
This phrase is more than just a verse in a song to me. It’s a prayer. I’m asking God to seal my heart as I live in his presence– to tune my heart to sing his grace so that there’s no cause to sing anything else.
I can’t destroy the sin in my life–that will be done someday when evil is vanquished. I’ll never be perfect. But I can refocus my life so that my knee-jerk reactions are glorifying to God and my choices become clear benefits to the Kingdom of Heaven.
And daily I will remain immensely grateful for forgiveness and redemption as I trod the road of disciple.
Applying the concept of living moment by moment in God’s presence has already made me less prone to wander.
Share with me: How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions so far? How many did you make? How many have you kept and how many have you ditched already?
9 responses to “Prone To Wander”
I love this post, Jenny. I also love that hymn and that particular line, because I am so prone to wander. I'm trying to live in in his presence every moment too.I'm doing a Bible study right now and it's all about living a life of prayer. Living a praying life. Not saying prayers (which is great), but letting our lives be a constant prayer. Truly grasping what Paul meant when he said to "pray without ceasing". It's super powerful and it's making me rethink my idea of prayer.
I love Jesus Calling. What an amazing devotional! Come Thou Fount is also my favorite hymn…thanks for making me consider its lyrics more closely! Also, let's hold hands. I think we're soul sisters.
Katie– what's the Bible study? Sounds awesome.C– You rock. And yes, there's something definitely tying us together, huh? 🙂
Love this post! It lines up perfectly with my New Year's resolution to simply abide in God's presence. To acknowledge that I don't and never will have it all together, but God's grace is more than enough to see me through.I do have one ammendment to your post, and that is this. Our sin, no matter how great, can never seperate us from God or His blessings. That's not to say that we take advantage of grace as a free pass to sin. Rather, grace empowers us to 'go and sin no more'. The work of the cross is perfect. It is not conditional on our performance. There isn't a life devout enough to earn it. This has been such a revalation to me this year, as so many of us who know better, including me, operate on the principle of works. Like there might be someway we can earn God's favor or blessings. Your heart is God's treasure. And I can see it is in the right place. Rest in his boundless love and grace knowing that nothing can seperate you from it 🙂 Thank You Jesus!Can I get an Amen?
Amy- Love what you've added and I agree 100%. I didn't mean to imply that I believe that works play a role in God's grace by any means, because I don't believe that. However, I do believe that my choice to sin can put me on a path outside of God's will, thus taking me away from blessings that would have been, had I made better choices. Not that it can separate me from His love or His touch–it can't. I'm talking about blessings only. Grace is unconditional–works play no role in the beauty of the sacrifice that was the cross. However, our choices can and do cause us to miss out on blessings that would have been. Does that mean that God won't bless in some other way at some other time? No. But my point is that choosing not to sin and seeking His presence from moment to moment will hopefully keep me in His will as a way of life and blessings, hardships, trials and joys will all be a reflection of a heart that grace has covered.Thanks for adding your thoughts. Definitely want to clarify the whole grace/works thing. 🙂
Oh wow, I haven't heard that hymn in a long time. So convicting! Thanks for sharing this, Jenny, and rest assured you're not alone in the struggle. 🙂
Hi! I came across your blog when I searched for someone going through secondary infertility. You nailed so many of my thoughts/emotions. No one else around me understands what I'm going through so it has been rough. Anyway I'm glad things worked out for you and your family grew! I keep telling myself it is all in His time. He has taught me a LOT through this journey. I needed to hear someone who felt the same way I do, so thank you for sharing your story!
we are so in sync. i didn't make resolutions this year either. you need to read Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence (monk) if you haven't already. it'll change your life…and it's exactly about what you are trying to do…live each moment with the Lord. and i so feel you about the original sin….my boss is "spiritual" and often will say how inherently good everyone is. she works with the same children i do, and i wonder how on earth she can say that as they throw tantrums outside our offices. mind-boggling.
Jodi– I'm so glad that you were able to connect with me via the secondary infertility post and I'm thankful if my post was able to offer you any reassurance that you aren't alone in those feelings–that's why I wrote it. Please feel free to connect with me. Send me an email any time you need a listening ear that understands or you just need a prayer partner! firstname.lastname@example.org.