This prayer from the Valley of Vision captures my heart fairly well right now:
“Searcher of hearts, it is a good day to me when thou gives me a glimpse of myself;
Sin is my greatest evil, but thou art my greatest good;
I have cause to loathe myself, and not to seek self-honor;
For no one desires to commend his own dunghill.
My county, family, church fare worse because of my sins;
For sinners bring judgment in thinking sins are small,
Or that God is not angry with them.
Let me not take other good men as my example,
For all good men are not so good as thou desirest,
Are not always consistent, do not always follow holiness,
Do not feel eternal good in sore affliction.
Show me how to know when a thing is evil which I think is right and good,
How to know when what is lawful comes from an evil principle,
Such as desire for reputation or wealth by usury.
Give me grace to recall my needs, my lack of knowing thy will in Scripture,
Of wisdom to guide others, of daily repentance, want of which keeps thee at bay,
Of the spirit of prayer, having words without love, of zeal for thy glory, seeking my own ends,
Of joy in thee and thy will, of love to others.
And let me not lay my pipe too short of the fountain,
Never touching the eternal spring, never drawing down water from above.”
Lately I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night and pausing throughout my days wondering why I’m not struck by sin. It has just not had an effect on me in this season. The only thing I can guess is that because I am in a season of joy and growth and plenty, that God is keeping me from the effects of sin. And not that I want to feel mopey and dreary, but rather that I want to feel the blazing heat of the glory of God and what it does to my sin. In my prayers each day I’m not remembering to confess sin. Why? Somedays I feel like I didn’t sin that day! It’s crazy, but that’s how I feel. Some days I work so hard, then come home and love my wife well, then go to bed. That’s it. There isn’t time to sin. But I am a man. I sinned somewhere in that day. And the fact that those sins aren’t jumping off the page to me is what bothers me.
If even a lack of gratitude to my All Sufficient Spring, or a lack of love to a neighbor or co-worker, or a proud thought. I know that there is something. My heart is yearning to daily see a glimpse of the glory of God as Moses did, so that I will be ever conscious of my sin, and better able to run hard after righteousness. This must be a daily process. Even in my best seasons I need to see my sin for what it is – a terrible offense against a perfectly holy God. I have to be vigilant against an alien mindset that God is not angry with my sin – no matter how subtle or provocative the sin may be.