Hello brothers and sisters,
I felt that this was necessary. I come on sporadically, not much of a frequent poster here, though I've had to retreat for a short season for personal reasons. God has had to work on my heart in some areas, and last night and today they seem to be coming to fulfillment.
I had been starkly miserable over the last month, I could never figure out why. Nothing describes it like this Psalm:
1. O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.
2. For your arrows have pierced me, and you hand has come down upon me.
3. Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; my bones have no soundness because of my sin.
4. My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.
5. My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly.
6. I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning.
7. My back in filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body.
8. I am feeble and utterly crushed;I groan in anguish of heart.
9. All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.
10. My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes.
11. My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbor stays far away.
12. those who seek my life set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my ruin; all day long they plot deception.
13. I am like a deaf man, who cannot hear, like a mute, who cannot open his mouth;
14. I have became like a man who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply.
15. I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God.
16. For I said, "Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my foot slips."
17. For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever within me.
18. I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.
19. Many are those who are my vigorous enemies; those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20. Those whe repaly my good with evil slander me when I pursue what is good.
21. O Lord, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God.
22. Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.
I had been through extreme spiritual ups and downs in the last month, and I could never figure out why. I had been so depressed I had wished that God would take me home and let it all be over. For some reason, my conscience had bothered me beyond all reason; it was like I had to fight to hear from the Holy Spirit, and each and every day was becoming exhausting. Things that should just come natural were not coming. I couldn't explain it to my dad, those around me could tell I was miserable, but I didn't know what it was. Just to fight off sin felt like an impossible effort.
I finally shut myself away in my room and I asked God, "What is it? Is there a sin I'm not repenting? Do I need to confess something?" And quite gently God spoke to my heart and showed me that I had been bitter towards people on this site. I had been angry about some things, and I needed to let it go. Even against preachers who have been long gone, I had been angry. Even against those whom I respected. And no sooner had this realization hit me than I began to feel this tremendous weight lifted!
The Bible talks about how hatred towards a brother is like murder. If one hates his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom He hasn't seen (1 John 4:20)? Jesus also stated in Matthew 6:14-15 talks about how if you forgive other men their sins, you will be forgiven. But if you don't, you will not be forgiven of your's. The Holy Spirit cannot reside in the vicinity of unforgiveness, because it is such a great contradiction to the wonderful mercy that we have been given, as in the parable of the unmerciful servant. Matthew 5:21-26 brings strong words for the person who hates, likening it to murder. To be angry towards a brother is enough for judgment, outbursts are subject to greater judgment, and to curse someone puts one in danger of the fire of hell. That is the full weight of the commandment. I look at all these, and it's no wonder that the Holy Spirit would not give me assurance or console me or let me go. And what a terrible contradiction it is to the great grace of God! Unrighteous anger is a terrible sin.
I wanted to write this and confess that I have been bitter and angry towards people on this site, and towards others on the outside. I have to realize that at the foot of the cross, we are all the exact same height. When God begun waking my spirit over a year ago now, this is one of the first places I came. I've had so much growth from the articles and sermons posted here, it's been tremendous. I wanted to ask forgiveness and make peace here. And so, without excuse or explanation, I want to say that I am sorry, and I confess my sin, and ask your forgiveness. It's been towards a variety of the people on the site, particularly the moderators. I feel as though I have demanded perfection out of you, and I'm sorry. If I have offended anyone, I ask your forgiveness. If you have offended me, I'm fully discharging it. No one in my mind is indebted to me. I fully love you all, without one exception.
If I could ask one prayer request, pray for me that I find either assurance of salvation or true conversion. I'm not always sure what to think, but all I know is that I want to know that I'm safely within the arms of God. I look at 1 John and I find it coming into fruition in my life, and I want to believe the Word of God. I'm far from perfect and certainly have not attained, like Paul states in Philippians, but I do want to do the will of God, and I am finding increasing repentance and victory over sin. I do find fruits of righteousness coming. Yet I'm still amazed at how short of God's standards I fall.
Thank you friends. Let no root of bitterness grow to cause trouble and defilement (Hebrews 12:15).