[He purified their hearts by faith]
Sometimes it’s a challenge to soar. Many times this season I’ve lost sight of the joy of the Lord’s salvation.
To soar means more than just to fly; it means to rise swiftly, to feel the wind slipping below you as you ride it higher, higher, higher. Flying is just moving through the air. Soaring, though, suggests exhilaration, even joy. (Vocabulary.com)
I knew that Jesus was a teacher. I even knew that I was entering a season of learning and growth.
This was something that I was thrilled about. However, like Jeremiah, when I began to hit some turbulence I wanted things on my terms. God called me out into rougher weather, but I kept saying, “Can’t I learn my lessons in the sunshine? Maybe under one of Your beautiful trees?”
Unfortunately, you can’t learn to soar under a tree. I could never have learned what I’ve learned thus far without the experience. This is what faith is all about. We depend on God to lead us through the seasons. Even the wet ones.
Joy in every Circumstance
I can fall into the trap of beating myself up because I’ve been struggling so much, so I’m thankful for the reminder that Paul the Apostle struggled too. (Romans 7:14-24)
It’s funny, we rightly put Paul up on a pedestal for having joy in every circumstance. However, we forget that he likely struggled as much as the next guy to get there.
Our Biblical heroes weren’t born steadfast.
Our heros went through their wildernesses, and they fell into their traps. I’m sure that all of them, at one point or another, also struggled with their feelings, calling out to God in their despair. Paul too asked God to take his “thorn in the flesh” away. In fact he PLEADED three times. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) Pleaded is a strong word.
You know what? God understands our sorrows–even Jesus asked to be spared the cross if it were possible. (Luke 22:42) He may have been fully God, but He was also fully man. (Titus 2:13-14 ; Colossians 2:8-10 ; Hebrews 2:5-18) He Felt the same things we feel (Hebrews 4:15)
The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
When I’m flying too low, It’s not that I don’t appreciate the message that we share (I do! I do! I absolutely love it!), but the body is weak, so I can get stuck on myself. It may not sound like much of a temptation, but it truly is. It was the devils self-serving attitude that caused his expulsion from heaven, and it was Eve’s pride that caused the fall of mankind. (Genesis 3)
A Clean Heart
When King David’s focus slipped, he gave into temptation as well. However, he cried out to God to create in him a clean heart and renew a right (or steadfast) spirit within Him. (Psalm 51) He confessed his sin without excuse, and asked God to cleans him. King David had remorse, so He repented. He also understood that he couldn’t do it on his own. He needed God to restore that spirit in him.
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.” –Psalm 51:12-13
We‘ve Been Accepted!
If you believe in Jesus, and you’ve been taking those steps of obedience, then you’ve been following the Spirits lead. God has shown us that He has accepted us. We know this because upon believing we received the Holy Spirit.
We’re Learning to Soar!
God purifies our hearts by faith. Therefore we continue to give it all to Him—our sorrows, our failures, our anxieties, and our desire to have the joy of His salvation restored.
Create in us a clean heart, Lord. Renew a “flight” spirit within us, and teach us to soar!
“After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:7-9)