Don't Be Deceived
"Don’t Be Deceived.You’re Really Not As Good As You Think You Are." Frank thought." He couldn’t believe it. He did it again and noticed that he was still alive. He knew that he was not supposed to do it, but he did it again. Walking away, all he could do was shake his head as he completely berated himself and mentally discussed how much of a loser that he was. “I have no self-control at all. What’s it going to take for me to stop?” he continued.Putting the key into his car door, Frank looked up, shook his head and wearily got into his car. “God, that was blatant disobedience. And, I’m still here. I’m still alive. And, I still want to do what you want me to do.
But, I keep messing up. Help me!” Frank’s prayer was short, sincere and different....There are times when we do the wrong thing and we know we’re doing the wrong thing. And there may be that part of us that has made something we do into a habit. And it’s not like we just want to do the wrong thing all the time. But, there are triggers that happen and the next thing we know, we’re doing it again. Once it’s over, we feel bad-sorrowful. At that point we tend to do a couple of things. We either beat ourselves up, promising that we won’t do it again or we rationalize how it’s not as bad as something else we could havedone. “I repent!” we strongly declare(to ourselves and God)with the full determinationand conviction that it will not happen again.
Then without warning, there’s that trigger again. Or as God told Cain, “If you do what is appropriate, you’ll be accepted, won’t you? But if you don’t do what is appropriate, sin is crouching near your doorway, turning toward you...” (Gen 4:7) And as Paul wrote, “... And I have no clear knowledge of what I am doing, for that which I have a mind to do, I do not, but what I have hate for, that I do...So it is no longer I who do it, but the sin living in me...” (Rom 7:15-21).
Seeing how we’re our worst enemy, we have to take steps to be on guard against ourselves, because “the flesh fights against the spirit and the spirit fights against the flesh...”(Gal 5:17). A few things that we can do are:
Realize that we are in a battle and our worst enemy is ourselves
Understand our sin triggers and be aware of God’s means of escape
Act on God’s means of escapeBegin building new actions for our sin triggers
Accept the fact that we’re not condemned if we fail and thank God for His grace and mercy
Thank God for the ultimate victory, as well as the moment by moment victories.....
The guilt and desire to make the promises to do better was replaced with thankfulness and gratitude for what Jesus had already done. The condemnation that Frankalways feltwas now changed into a desire to justknow Jesus better and humbly strive to do his best as a co-worker with Christ.