"The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul" -- Psalm 19:7 KJV
Conversion is a funny thing. Sometimes it happens in a flash, like in the two similes Jesus uses to describe the Kingdom of Heaven:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a mercant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it."
In both of these there is the quality of immediacy, of abandon, of great joy, and of great profit. The man who finds treasure in a field and then buys the field is no mere speculator. He already knows the property is worth more than he's going to pay for it. The same is true of the man buying the pearl. It is of great value. Presumably, owning this pearl will increase his wealth in the end.
Other times conversion comes at the end of a long train of excesses or abuses or wanderings. The whore of whom God is speaking through Hosea is, of course, Israel. But it may as well be you and me. There is a terror that ought to rise my heart as God threatens to expose my whoring ways -- going after "other lovers", expecting they will compensate me with jewels and lands. And all the while my true love was waiting there for me. Conversion comes when God finally allures us, takes us out to the wilderness, and speaks tenderly to us.
Either way, our heart needs converting. The heart we were born with wants so many other things than God. My heart does. These moments in his presence, and the Lord's Day which follows will be quickly forgotten the next time something comes along which either distracts (because it is "important") or attracts (because it is "beautiful"). God help me to be faithful, for I know that my poor heart, needy and mostly converted, yet in need of conversion still, is not.
Pastoral Relief and Retreat
- Wethersfield, CT, United States
- I am Pastor at Poquonock Community Church, Congregational (CCCC) in Windsor, CT. My wife Jama and I live in Wetherfield, CT. We'd like to invite you to Terre Haute -- High Ground -- That's what Jama and I call the retreat space on our property. We offer free intentional get-away retreats. We'll feed you and house you and give you space to be with the Lord. All are welcome; no questions asked. This blog is my daily devotional journal. I write it because it is so easy to go for weeks without ever taking the time to be alone with God. Writing helps me develop a discipline I need.