Back to My Father's Heart
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She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. (Proverbs 31:25-27 NIV)
Marriage has been a complicated road in my life. At just 20 years old, I signed divorce papers of my choosing, and in six months, I was married again. Some years later, when I recommitted my life to Jesus and started reading the Bible, I would cringe when I came to Proverbs 31. I immediately felt disqualified. I could relate to the verses about how hard she worked and how she cared for her family, but when it came to her character, I could not imagine being seen as “clothed in strength and dignity.” All I could see was sin, a mark of failure. I knew I was saved, but I didn’t know I was redeemed.
Many of us walk a life committed to Jesus but never let Him penetrate the depths of our souls. We have a surface relationship with Him that says, “Thank You for dying on the cross so I could go to heaven,” but nothing more. We see the end abundance of mercy and grace but don’t understand that He also wants to give us present abundance.
“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10: 9-10)
That full life is when we give Jesus permission to secure our place in heaven and to redeem and restore every part of our story. As I was learning this, I remember the Lord whispering, “Do you think that My grace is limited or reserved for only some?” It was a gentle reminder that I was the only one stopping the renewal process. I was hanging my sin over my head and speaking disqualification; His banner over me has only and ever been Loved, Chosen, and Redeemed.
God gave me a vision of standing atop a hill and looking down on a beautiful property. The main house was expansive; warm light came from the windows, and all around the property, lanterns were lighting the path to its doors. Many roads led to this property, each with an open gate, yet I could sense the security and protection the surrounding fences provided. I hesitated once I passed the gate (“What if I am trespassing and not invited?”) and that very moment, in the distance, I could see people coming out of the house and cheering; they were yelling, “She’s home!” With each step down the hill, I dropped the bags I was carrying, and they had names: Shame, Guilt, Insecurity, Fear, Failure, and many more.
My challenge for you today is, when reading the Bible, where do you feel disqualified, convicted, or shameful? Would you let God’s redemption go deep within those hidden areas and replace the bags you’ve carried with His banner of love?
Let’s pray: Father, thank You for sacrificing Your Son Jesus so that all prodigal children can come back home to Your heart. Thank You for restoring identities and reminding us who we are. Holy Spirit, help us to be the women and men that You need us to be, equip us with wisdom and understanding. In Jesus’ name, amen!
Scripture is quoted from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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