I had a dream last night – I’m not sure if it is meaningful or what it means, but I wanted to share it. Now before I begin I will add that the night before I dreamed I had eaten a bacon sandwich, and I woke up, sat up in bed and repented! I really don’t ever want to eat a bacon sandwich (I don’t even crave it, for goodness sake). So you can guess that my dream life is pretty active (and at times odd).
So last night in my dream I was around a group of people – four times in four different places I was overcome by a need to preach – I just spoke aloud to the people around me, with passion. I say overcome because it felt as though it was not by my strength.
The one out of the four which stayed with me the most, I was sat either on a train or in a waiting area – lots of people sat around me on seats. I suddenly said “Seeking Jesus is shaming!” and again “Seeking Jesus is shaming!” I then spoke of the pain and remorse we must all feel when we compare ourselves to Christ, and how perfect He is and how weak and flawed we are.
When I awoke this morning that phrase stayed with me. Seeking Jesus is shaming. Frankly if you are not ashamed of yourself when you come to Christ, if you are not in awe of Him and rightly convicted within yourself, you aren’t doing it right.
That conviction is something that comes over the new believer. It’s what causes people to rush to the front after the sermon to give their lives to Christ. Sadly some do not have sufficient humility to remain in that place – they cannot hold on to that sense of the real state of their past falleness (we do get better as believers as time goes on, although we’ll always be sinners saved by grace through our Messiah). Our falleness is the thing the world wants us to forget about. In fact the world wants us to believe that we’re “perfect” “just as we are” – in other words we don’t need help, we don’t need “saving” and we don’t need to acknowledge our flaws.
Without the bible we cannot know sin. Sin is transgression of the law, according to 1 John 3:4. But even before we read one word of the bible we can be reached – we can recognise, humbly, our need for a saviour in this horrible fallen world. We can be convicted, and indeed when we first seek Jesus it is shaming.
The life of the believer is about becoming more like Christ and less like our old selves. It takes years and we can’t do it without God! The hurdle to that change is accepting our shame at our sinful past ways (and present, in that moment). If we cannot accept that, we can never be accepted by God, we cannot be reached because our pride excludes us.
The beauty of a broken and contrite heart is seen by God. Whatever the world might think or how they might respond to us as believers, the truth is we are different from the world and willing to admit our flaws at least (I hope we are!).
I wish you Shabbat Shalom friends.