I wish I could tell you all that living for Christ and following His precepts is easy, but I have some news for you, it’s difficult at times. As a Christ follower, life will not always be a bed of roses. Life will not always be smooth sailing. There will be challenges. Rocky times will come, trust and believe that. Pick up your cross and proceed…
No Bed of Roses
Hard times will arise in everyone’s life. However, the difference between a Christ follower and an unbeliever is the grace and mercy that has been given to those that profess Christ as their Lord and Savior. Yes, we will be faced with challenges and temptations. We may pass those tests with flying colors or fail with embarrassment, but we know that God covers us with unmerited favor and forgives when we mess up. We all screw up. And if you haven’t done it yet, just keep living, you will. God knows how to pinpoint your weaknesses to show you exactly what you need to work on. Perfect people are inexistent. Anyone that claims to be perfect exhibits themselves to be a liar.
Expect A Fight
Even Paul, one of the most gifted apostles and profound writer of the New Testament, said that when he wanted to do right, evil was always present. (Romans 7:21) When you want to live for God and closely follow the Word, your sinful flesh urges you to do otherwise. You will have to fight against your desires because your natural instincts or proclivities pushes you to commit sin. Everyone deals with that, it doesn’t matter who you are or what title you have. For example, when you want to stay celibate until marriage, all kinds of FINE men appear and promise to blow your mind…what’s a girl (with a high sex drive) to do? It’s so hard to say No. When you want to break the habit of smoking and drinking, something comes up to cause you to reach for your usual vice of comfort…puff, puff, pass! When you want to stop cussing, someone keeps cutting you off in traffic and there you go…speaking in tongues of the four letter variety.
We all have something to work on. I try my hardest to live a life upright before God according to the Bible. However, there are weaknesses that have been identified in my life. I thought I prayed and fasted and therefore was no longer affected by the weakness. Recently, I experienced a situation which confirmed that I still have a way to go. Lord, help your daughter! Whew!!
Don’t Give Up
When you make a mistake or give into a weakness, it’s easy to say that you’re just not good enough and go back to living BC…Before Christ. Don’t do it! Don’t give up! I’ve made mistakes to the point that I was embarrassed to even pray to God because I knew better. I was thinking…how could I be so stupid? How could I be so weak? How could I allow this to happen? Why would God allow this temptation to come knowing that I would fail? How can I come back from this? Does God even loves me anymore? How could I still consider myself saved?
Yes, all of those questions went through my mind. God gently reminded me that He hasn’t given up on me. These tests come to let me know what I need to address through prayer. Tests and trials show what strongholds are still active in your life. It’s not time to crawl back into your corner and fade away. On the contrary, I’m coming back out fighting! We fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness. (Ephesians 6:12) Time to put on your armor and crush that spirit or stronghold that is apparent in your life. The devil is laughing at your screw up, but through Christ you’re going to laugh last!
You’re Still Loved
Yes, God still loves you. He’s continuing to work on you because He knows what you’re going to be in the long run. Careful attention is being paid to you to ensure you are strengthened spiritually. Your flesh has to die…DAILY. When your flesh dies, God is able to more effectively use you for His purpose. In my case, I realized that God allowed me to encounter certain tests because He wants me to be humble and empathize with others, especially young women. It’s so easy to be judgmental. When you think you’re dotting every I and crossing every T, it’s easy to condemn those who may be experiencing a hard time. Although, I’ve been able to win battles, God showed me that I still have other issues to conquer. Through tests and trials, I learn my lessons to be able to encourage someone that may go through the same situation.
Get Your Armor
God will not throw you away. His grace and mercy covers any indiscretion. Does grace gives us permission to continually sin? Absolutely not! However, when we screw up, God gives us grace to get up, brush off, and keep fighting. So, do it…fight! Stay before the Lord in prayer and fight with the Word of God! Put on the whole armor of God mentioned by Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18. What’s the armor of God? I’m glad you asked. The armor of God is:
- Helmet of Salvation
- Breastplate of Righteousness
- Belt of Truth
- Sword of the Spirit (Word of God)
- Shield of Faith
- Feet protected by the Gospel of Peace
Notice that the Sword of the Spirit is the only source of offense. Your “sword” is the Word of God. So, dig into the Bible and find scriptures to throw back at the enemy. When Jesus was tempted by the devil, He rebuked him and responded with the Word. Another blog post is on the way to go into detail about each part of the armor.
So, I pray for you as I pray for me…that God strengthens us to continue to walk according to His Word. We are imperfect, weak, and fleshly beings, but Lord you are strong and mighty. Jesus, as you walked this World you experienced temptation just as any other man would, but You exemplified how to counter the enemy. Father, thank You for your forgiveness. You said that if we confess our sins, You will forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Cleanse us Lord! We desire to be upright before you. If we erred in anyway against your Will and Word, make us stronger for the next battle. We declare victory over any situation or challenge that we face. We can do anything through You who strengthens us. We are overcomers in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Have you ever experienced a time when you made a mistake that you regretted? What did you do to move forward and learn from it? Like this post and leave your comment below. I’d love to hear from you!