A Grimy Sponge
For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. James 3:16 WEB
Just as a sponge filled with liquid is our heart within us. It absorbs all the hurts and pains in our life. Often when we come to the Lord, it is filled with yucky things like poison and bitterness. We invite Jesus into our heart and He comes into our life, but this is only the beginning. Often the bad things that were in our life the week before our conversion, are still there. We just try to hide them better.
Yes, I know that we are a new creation in Christ, but we are to renew our mind (Romans 12:2) and put on the new man (Ephesians 4:24). I have been around church people long enough to notice that some of us have not done that.
Over time, the Lord purifies us and removes the bad. It will usually involve pressure of some kind that squeezes us, much like a sponge. The Lord replaces our selfishness, bitterness, jealousy, and strife with His love, gentleness, compassion, patience, and kindness if we let Him. It does not instantly happen. This is a lifelong process, so there is no need to get in a hurry. He will work on something a while, give you a rest, and then start the next one. If you look back over your life, you should see some progress.
Some call it mountains and valleys, though in my experience, it is more like being held under water for a while, squeezed, and then pulled up for air at the very last minute, much like a sponge. There have been times that I really did not think that I was going to make it and then in 24 hours, things suddenly changed. Our God is faithful, but when He is after something in your life, He can be relentless.
'If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness' 1 John 1:9.
Tests don't last forever and you will not actually drown, it just feels that way when you are going through it. Small children cry and whine a lot to get their way, but a weaned child is content to wait (Psalm 131:2). The sooner that you submit, the sooner that you will have relief. Working against Him will only prolong it. Take heart, when you do get to come up for air it will be great, and you will be better than before! Prayer: Heavenly Father please draw my heart to You in a deeper way and let me find all that You have in store for me. Give me hope, touch me with Your presence and walk with me today, in the name of Jesus Christ.
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