I was reading Psalm 51 last night, and I decided to check it out in The Message. A few of the verses really jumped out at me.
You're the one I've violated, and You've seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
I've been out of step with you for a long time.
What You're after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice.
I haven't been close with Him lately. I've been putting my God time aside, mostly because I've become totally absorbed in my new relationship. Outwardly, things seemed to be fine, but I knew on the inside that we haven't been tight in a while.
The thing that gets me is that being good on the outside but not on the inside is the same thing as not being good on the outside or the inside. God doesn't care about our image, he cares about what's going on in our hearts. My heart hasn't been right for a while, and in the back of my mind, I knew that. But it took a bad decision to make me realize how out of sync my heart is with God's. And He's seen it all. He knows every thought that's crossed my mind. He knows that I've judged people; He knows that I haven't given people the benefit of the doubt; He knows how cynical I've been towards almost everything in my life. He knows all of the things that I don't tell people so that they won't think I'm some horrible person. He knows.
And there's no way for me to fix that. It's silly for me to even pretend to think that I can. There's nothing I can do to change my horrible attitude. No matter what I do, I will still be a negative, cynical person.
But there is something that God can do about it. I love C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. My favorite is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. One of the characters, Eustace, finds a dragon's lair, and is filled with greed at the sight of it. He puts on a bracelet that he's found in the lair before falling asleep. When he wakes up, he realizes that he's become a dragon. He tries to get the bracelet off, but he can't. It's painful to him; when he was transformed, the bracelet didn't grow in size. It constricts his leg. He goes back to his traveling companions, but nothing is the same. One night, Aslan comes to Eustace. He leads him to a beautiful well, and Eustace is sure that if he gets in it, it will make his leg feel better. Aslan tells him that he must first undress. Eustace isn't sure what he means; he's not wearing clothes; he's a dragon. Then he remembers that dragons are sort of like snakes, so maybe he can shed his skin. He started to scratch at his scales, and they came off with hardly any trouble. However, he realized that he was still a dragon. Twice more Eustace tried to get rid of his scales, and twice more it didn't work. Aslan told Eustace, "You will have to let me undress you." Eustace was afraid of his claws, but he laid down and let him do it. He tells his cousin Edmund, "The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt." But when Aslan is done, Eustace is a human again.
No matter how many times Eustace tried to change himself, he couldn't do it. Aslan had to do it for him. We can't change our insides. God can. When we try to change ourselves, it doesn't hurt, but that's because we haven't gone deep enough to truly be changed. When God steps in to remove the bad things from our lives, it's going to hurt, and it's going to hurt bad. But that's the only way that we can be changed.
When we really want God to come in and change us, He will, and He will do it right away. He's waiting for us to come to Him with our broken lives and ask for His help. He's never too busy for us, we don't have to wait to be fit into His schedule.
I want to jump into the well; I'm ready to be undressed. I know it's going to hurt, but I am sick of being a dragon.