I love walking our golden retriever, Oban in the hills behind our home. Oban is almost 4 years old now but still such a puppy. Yesterday, he decided that he did not want to go for a walk after all but wanted to play tug ‘o war instead! In goes the leash into his mouth…back legs braced, front legs extended, head pulling and shaking enticing me to P L A Y! Ok, I know he was being bad, but he was so cute! We tugged. Back and forth and then running. He was so happy! I passed other dog walkers along the way who registered various states of disapproval. “Bad Mommy!” Oh well.
Then Oban and I went up into the hills where no people were walking, no dogs tempting and off came his leash. OH HAPPINESS! He loves to run and I love his boundless doggy joy! But then, Oban found something dead to roll in. What is it with dogs and dead things?
Oban plops onto his back slithering his body onto whatever gross thing he has victoriously discovered. Over and over he rolls, not wanting to miss an inch of his now stinky coat. He is savoring it, blissful as he covers his body with the scent of death. He wants to marinate in it, become one with the stench and returns to me only with the greatest of reluctance.
Rolling in dead things.
It’s easy to do.
When I sin, it is really tempting to identify with it, marinate in it, and roll around in it. It’s so easy to believe that being a sinner is the truest me and I might as well wallow in my sin and my self-pity. Having failed again, the liar speaks with such authority to my weakened heart, saying that a sinner is who I am and sinning is all I’ll ever do so go ahead and just stay here. Roll around in death.
Rolling in a dead thing.
But no, the scripture says, “The death (Christ) died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus!” (Romans 6:10,11)
Hah! I am not defined by sin! I am dead to sin and alive to God! I will not be like my dog that relishes the scent of death; I will be like my Jesus who is LIFE, LIFE, LIFE!
How will I do that? Well, in a state of God given grace, I pray to humbly and quickly repent of sin and then turn and set my mind on things above where Christ is. He is perfect. Jesus is the only perfect One. He is my savior! I am crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me! (YAY!)
When I fix my gaze on my ugly, smelly, sinful flesh, my heart spirals downward in despair. But our Jesus urges us to “Look up! Look to ME!’ I long to do that. To fix my gaze on my God, my Life, my Hope, my Love, my Jesus.
One of the ways that helps me to do that is in worship. As we enter the summer months, the pace of my life slows down a bit and affords me more time to gaze at my Savior and relish who He is. I hope you will have more time for that as well.
To help you, what follows is a worship set of various songs I have been enjoying recently. They help me to stay in the Truth. The truth of who Jesus is (Truth himself) and the truth of who I am to him. Which means who I really am. And who you really are, too.
I pray they bless you as much as they have blessed me.
Mighty Breath of God Jesus Culture Come Away
One Thirst (feat. Jeremy Riddle & Steffany Frizzell) [Live] 7:05 Bethel Live Be Lifted High (Live)
When I Speak Your Name (feat. Kari Jobe) 5:28 Klaus Glory
My Home Is You (Live) 6:48 Darrell Evans Trading My Sorrows - The Best of Darrell Evans
More Than Ashes 5:54 Tim Reimherr Let the Weak Speak
Fill Me Up 6:25 United Pursuit Band EP
The Fragrance of Your Name 6:40 Cory Asbury Holy
Faithful to the End 4:14 Cory Asbury Let Me See Your Eyes
Great I Am 5:35 New Life Worship Great I Am - Single
Holy 6:36 Matt Gilman Holy
Yeshua (Live) 7:37 Will Reagan & United Pursuit Live At the Banks House