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A Banner of Tetelestai

The following is a prayer I wrote in my journal earlier this morning and felt led to share on my blog.

 

In my absence of time spent with you, I still find incredible grace and encouragement from your Spirit. Sitting in church on Sunday, I thought to myself, “if satan isn’t coming after you, you are doing something wrong. If he doesn’t have to tempt you into sin, that means you’re already there even if that sin is as simple as complacency or passivity. If you are not an active threat to the gates of hell, you are doing something wrong. Satan needn’t tempt those to stumble who aren’t a threat to him and his dominion of darkness.” And even though I have sinned habitually this past week, I have somehow found peace and joy- and I suppose grace- in the fact that satan did tempt me. That suggests that I was vying for your attention and your presence- that in that pursuit, I was an active threat to the gates of hell- that I was after your heart and possessed a desire to please you, proving even further that I am not of the realm of the flesh, but of the realm of the Spirit in accordance with Romans 8:8! “Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.” Praise the Lord and glory be to God the Father who has breathed life daily, hourly, into these dry bones. Praise be to the One who has cast my sin as expansively far from me, as the east is from the west.

How appealing your loving and gracious heart is to me, O God. In moments of feeling the dirtiest, most desperate, or least lovable, I see your loving and patient affection for me most clearly. I see you sitting beside me and stroking my hair, pushing the rogue strands away from my face to comfort me and yet looking on me with fondness. I see you lowering yourself to sit beside me and reaching for my hand to hold when I feel dejected and downcast. I see you, the Son of God, kneeling in front of me (despite my earnest and ashamed protests) to wash my feet: “Beloved, unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” And oh how I am reassured that you want me to have a part with you; that you, the Designer of Shalom, long to share in an eternity with me. Me

Though I often find myself discouraged, hopelessly buying into the lies that I will never overcome my sin, I choose to fight for the banner of tetelestai over my life.

I choose to believe that the atoning work of Christ on the cross has spoken over me once and for all that “it is finished”; that the power of sin and hell has lost all hold over the hearts of believers in that atoning work.

I choose to believe that you will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish me. “Resist [the devil] firm in your faith… and after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:9-10

I choose to believe that nothing is too hard for you. “The Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: ‘Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?”‘ Jeremiah 32:26-27

I choose to believe that you can satisfy my strongest desires. “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

I choose to believe that you will finish what you started in me. “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ.” Philippians 1:6

Father, aide me in the rejection of shame and lead me into the marvelous light of your grace and mercy. Delight me in your ever-loving presence as I lift my hands and spin around, becoming even more undignified than this in reflection and out-pour of all you have done in my life.

 

“There is a light at the end of temptation. There is a hope in the midst of each new trial. Are you living like your victory over besetting sin is impossible? Your God is too small. Take courage from another castaway, crest each new wave with your Savior, watch as the waters calm, and sail on smoother seas of triumph in Jesus Christ.” Jimmy Needham

 

“The essence of faith is being satisfied with all that God is for us in Christ. This is the secret of the power of faith to break the enslaving force of sinful attractions. If the heart is satisfied with all that God is for us in Christ Jesus, the power of sin to lure us away from the wisdom of Christ is broken.” John Piper

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