Name of Book Study: Holy Bible by, God (Ezekiel 24:15, Eccl. 2:11, 2:24-26, Acts 2:17-21, Col. 3,1Peter5:10, 1Corin.14, Psalm 139, James 1:19, Prov. 12:18, Eph. 4:29, Psalm 59, Heb.12:4-5, Heb.10:22), Pilgrim’s Progress by, John Bunyan
JOURNAL ENTRY August 06, 2015
Disclaimer: The people named here are just actor’s of what is in my own heart; mirror’s of my own disposition. Not accusing, yet not excusing. We are all sinners in need of a Savior, Deliverer, Redeemer, and that is none other than, Christ Jesus.
In the regions of my heart; where darkness hides my deepest sins, where the light of Your Presence see all things (Psalm 139). As painful it may be for me to see, bring these sins into Your Light. Give me the gift of repentance, confession, and forgiveness through the blood of Your only Son. Give me the ability also to forgive myself. Thank You Father, for Your Holy Word, that leads us in all truth. Thank You Jesus, for making all these possible through Your Cross, and thank You Holy Spirit, for enabling us to live according to God’s word by the same power that raised my Savior from the dead. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Colossians 3:1-2: Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not earthly things.
In reading the first chapter of “Pilgrim’s Progress” the words used are, Obstinate, Pliable, and Slough of Despond. These words were not really alien to me, because the Lord uses these names; He calls us by name. He calls the sin in us by name. He doesn’t beat around the bush, yet everything was foggy to me. In my own arrogance I was ignorant, and would have preferred to stay in that ignorance, but as I have been on this journey for over 40 years; the results have always been the same; never an end result. I was only chasing the wind. I don’t claim to fully understand all these; but at least now, I can see more clearly than before.
Slough of Despond (Swamp of despair) is a deep bog in John Bunyan’s allegory, “Pilgrim’s Progress, into which the protagonist Christian sinks under the weight of his sins and his sense of guilt for them (Wikipedia).
“ This miry slough is such a place as cannot be mended; it is the descent whither the scum and filth that attends conviction for sin doth continually run, and therefore is it called the Slough of Despond; for still as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there arises in his soul many fears, and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get together, and settle in this place, and this is the reason of the badness of this ground (Bunyan).
Obstinate: Stubborn, unyielding, inflexible, unbending, pigheaded, bullheaded (Dictionary.com)
Today I went back to this place; back to the swamp things in my heart. The place where my heart despairs over the things that have been un-mended in my life. Where relationships were damaged due to gossip, misunderstandings, or unresolved issues. I felt myself sinking as I began thinking of all the things done to me, placing myself back into the, “victim” state of mind. I pondered and justified my own actions by pleading with my heart to treat them with same regard as they have treated me. I felt the weight of the slim pulling me down, and setting me into the state of confusion. I called my mother first, I wanted her to pull me out of this despair by approving me, and giving me permission to pay evil for evil. But instead, she unknowingly revealed the obstinacy in my own heart. A confirmation of the Lord’s word. Yet, my mind was still fogged with stubbornness, pigheadedness, unbending, and my refusal to yield to the Holy Spirit.
Pliable: Too easily influenced or controlled by other people (Dictionary.com)
As I drove to work, in the heart of my mind I began thinking of all the things I had done for others. I counted all the times I was there for them, and all the things I had done good for them. I figured they would remember, and just accept me. I wasn’t looking for appreciation, I wanted to just be accepted and loved unconditionally. I felt as though they punish my children and grandchildren for my mistakes; my sins. I called my daughter, maybe she will help me out of this pit I thought. But instead, she revealed yet another sin in my heart, “Pliable”. She confirmed only what the Lord had showed me in His word. I live to please others’, and allow them to control me. Although I fight against these things, the struggle is real.
I spent my morning surveying all I had done for others’, feeling unappreciated for all the good things I had done, and un-forgiven for all the bad, intentional or unintentional. It left me discouraged and completely drained, nothing was accomplished. The wisest man on earth, King Solomon, said, “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve. Everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:11.
These burdens are too heavy for me to continue carrying. I have been carrying these sins for far too many years; these swamp things of un-forgiveness, self righteousness, bullheadedness, unyielding, self-pity, and allowing myself to be controlled by what others think of me. Deliver me Lord from the lust of self-vindication, and cleanse me of these sins that weigh me down. I come now to the Cross of Christ Jesus, and leave them at Your Feet. Wash the slime of self-pity from my heart and mind with the blood of Jesus, cleanse me O Lord, and I will be clean. Give me the courage to continue on this journey Lord. May Your Good Spirit open the eyes to my heart and give me a teachable spirit. Let the knowledge and understanding of Your Goodness and unfailing love guide me through each day. In Jesus Name, hear me Lord, amen ( Psalm 51)