The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. 1 Pe 5:8-11
After a feeling of defeat last night, I was encouraged again today that I'm not alone in my struggle. But more than that, I'm encouraged that Jesus has overcome the grave! He has overcome my sin. I am clinging to the truth that Jesus Himself will restore me and make me “strong, firm and steadfast.”
So what do we do when we feel defeated?
Let's start with the truth. In John Acuff's new book Quitter
, Acuff talks about how recognizing a lie won't make it magically go away, but it can help us reprogram our minds with the truth. I've found this to be true about sin.
Last night in my heart-to-heart, I wrote down things that were true about my struggle and the lies that I believe. (I suggest trying this exercise.)
In my situation, when I believe the lie, I succumb to the temptation and end up feeling like a loser. However, when I cling to the truth, I make better decisions, God-honoring decisions, and end up closer to my Savior and feeling better about myself.
If this is true, then why don't I always cling to the truth?
I ask myself the same question every day. I'm still wrestling with this. The best answer I can give you, is that on some level I still buy into the lies that the enemy is selling.
Once I give in to my temptation, it is that much easier to give in again and again and again. This is the cycle of sin.
However, the same is true of the converse. The more I resist the temptation and cling to the truth, the easier it is to cling to the truth the next day and the next day and the next day. And pretty soon, I actually believe the truth, and the lie has faded in my mind. But, again, as I Peter says, I must continue to be on guard.
So here is my plan of attack for the week.
1 – Stay in the Word. Filling my heart and mind with the truth of God's Word is my best defense against the lies of the enemy.
2 – Be aware of the lies I believe and remind myself of the truth.
3 – Pray. God's grace and prayer are two key ingredients to conquering our flesh.
4 – Be honest. Being real with myself and with God allows me to ask for the strength I need. It keeps me humble and dependent on the grace only He can provide.
5 – Accept His grace. If I don't accept God' grace, I will continue to feel defeated which will feed into my flesh again, leading me right back into the sin I am asking God to help me overcome. I must be willing to accept Christ's death on the cross as the payment for my sin.
22 Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for His mercies never end.
23 They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness!
24 I say: The Lord is my portion,
therefore I will put my hope in Him.
The Holy Bible : Holman Christian Standard Version. Nashville : Holman Bible Publishers, 2003, S. Lamentations 3:22-24
Yes, God's mercies are new every morning. So even though I feel defeated tonight, God's mercies are new. This doesn't give me the right to live in sin and just ask forgiveness every night. But it does give me hope that tomorrow the Spirit will win.
As Monday morning approaches, I am making the choice to be on guard, to walk by the Spirit and to allow God to restore me and make me strong, firm and steadfast.
Who's with me this week?