Sometimes the best devotionals come right out of the works of R.J. Rushdoony. Today I was reading a chapter in The Cure of Souls: Recovering the Biblical Doctrine of Confession. In the chapter entitled “Turning Ourselves In” Rushdoony writes:
When we turn ourselves in to the Lord, we do not see ourselves as victims but as sinners. We, redeemed in Christ, are then His agents of power and witness in a fallen world. We have a calling then to place ourselves and our spheres of activity under the dominion of God in Christ.
He adds that this is only possible if we turn ourselves in, not unlike a transgressor going to a judge and confessing a crime.
This is easier said than done, especially for homeschooling moms who spend a good deal of time teaching, correcting, and discipling their children. When the attitudes and decisions of our children don’t fall in line with what we hope for them, it is easy to start to believe Satan’s accusation in Genesis 3:1-5 where he slanders God by intimating that all men are victims of God, who could have created man free of sin, but did not. How convenient to view ourselves as victims of God, forced to operate in a sinful world, doomed to hard work among flawed, sometimes ungrateful, family members.
The other side of this coin involves our taking on the world and our problems as though it all depends on us. At these times we must disabuse ourselves of the notion that we can fulfill our callings as wives, mothers, and teachers in our own strength. The call to work out our salvation with fear and trembling really means to work out the implications of salvation by the obedience of faith.
We confess our sins, and we confess our faith, that Jesus Christ is Lord. This confession continues in the work God does in and through us, so that true confession manifests itself always in God working in and through us.
So, the remedy to despair and discouragement begins with turning ourselves in daily to God in our private prayers. Included in the chapter is a prayer of confession by Thomas Wilson, one that “helps clarify our vision, prompts us to obedience, and makes us more zealous to be faithful.”
O God, who takest delight in helping the afflicted, help a soul too often distressed with an inward rebellion against Thy just appointments.
Who am I, that I should make exceptions against the Will of God, infinitely great, wise, and good?
I know not the things that are for my good.
My earnest desires, if granted, may prove my ruin.
The things I complain of and fear, may be the effects of the greatest mercy.
The disappointments I meet with, may be absolutely necessary for my eternal welfare.
I do therefore protest against the sin and madness of desiring to have my will done, and not the will of God.
Grant, gracious Father, that I may never dispute the reasonableness of Thy will, but ever close with it, as the best that can happen.
Prepare me always for what Thy providence shall bring forth.
Let me never murmur, be dejected, or impatient, under any of the troubles of this life;
but ever find rest and comfort in this, THIS IS THE WILL OF MY FATHER, AND OF MY GOD: this for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.