I’m reflecting over the last year of my life. Isn’t that what we do when we begin a new year? We look back at our mistakes as to try to improve. We think of the happy memories, laugh a little, cry a little and move forward. Where did 2013 go? What did it accomplish or what did I accomplish? Hopefully, I did more than burn the potatoes, burn bridges or extinguish the flame on a three wick candle. Did I barely escape the fire of hell with only a smouldering bum?
In 2013 we said goodbye to my Aunt Birdie and my neighbour Chris as they both passed. I spent much of the year still trying to understand all the knowledge within the bible. I also read other books and learned a lot about change and how to become a good Christian woman rather than a nice one. I learned it is better to do what is good rather than what may seem nice. I’ve enjoyed many wonderful moments of prayer, praise and worship before the Lord. Seen old friends go and new people enter my life.
I’ve experienced struggle with temptation in a variety of ways. To my own disappointment, at times I even lost my struggle when temptation won over me. This is not a confession to you, but a way of processing the things I need to change. Process makes progress. Sometimes it can seem like a continual state of repentance and prayer. Actually that is a good thing. I’ve wondered why at times my flesh (sin nature) seems to be stronger than my desire to please God. I actually heard a woman speaking on talk radio today, who said something that might answer that question. She is an alcoholic who had given up drinking for three years. One night at a bachelorette party, someone gave her some champagne. In that moment she thought, what the heck, one glass won’t hurt me. I’m no different from any other person. I don’t have that problem anymore. She was pregnant at the time. That one drink sent her back into alcoholism and the addiction took over her life. She gave birth to her baby and loved her baby very much, but the power of the addiction was stronger than her love for her baby. End of story, she wrote a book about her struggle and she did finally go back into programs which helped her with the addiction. The point I am making, is that as much as she loved her child that temptation was stronger. It can be similar to the love Christians have for the Lord God. For example it could be as simple a temptation as losing your temper. You know you shouldn’t do that, but you do. Afterwards, the thoughts of failure set in. For Christians another temptation may enter – a temptation to believe you are not really saved, you don’t have the Holy Spirit, you are a terrible person and on and on the lies of Satan go. The temptation is to believe the lies.
The world is full of evil and sinful temptations. What is a temptation anyway? In my way of thinking, it is when you are enticed to do something that internally you know is not good for you or good for someone else. It is being enticed, enslaved or even self persuaded to do something you know does not meet your own moral code or the moral code of the Creator God. I believe every human was created with a sense of right from wrong, unless you are a psychopath. Who really knows? The mind is one of the biggest battle grounds for evil to capture. Many of our sinful or evils desires are birthed in the mind and through our thoughts. I suppose that is why scripture tells us:
2 Corinthians 10:5
Amplified Bible (AMP)
5 [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
It is at that point we must stop the thought before acting on it. Choice will enter the equation. Taking action is taking that thought captive by putting it in that little jar within your mind and snuff the death out of it. Don’t allow that temptation any air to breathe or grow. If you take those thoughts captive, most likely that temptation will be put out of you mind.
Over this past year, I have come to the conclusion that even as a Christian, I will always be faced with struggle and temptations. Even though I am seeking to live better, be a better person and to become more knowledgable, I want to look beyond my little bubble of a world and learn about God, about His love, grace, mercy, and grow in relationship with my Saviour Jesus. Within that idea, I also want to learn about the discipline of God, so I can better discipline myself and also grow in His righteousness. There is so much to learn. I am really only scratching the surface and my fingernails are not very long.
So, as much as I try not to, I’ll probably burn the potatoes once in a while and in a weak moment, I’ll probably lose my temper and act like an idiot with little self-control. That being said, I’m not condoning sinful behaviour. We should try not to sin. When or if that happens, I’ll once again be reminded just how much of a sinner I am and just how much I need a Saviour and that Saviour is Christ Jesus.
Each time I am cleansed by Him, that sin load becomes a little lighter over time, and with God’s help, I will win more and more battles against temptation.
Now we enter into 2014. We begin the New Year with no mistakes in it, yet. Take one day at a time. Conquer one sin at a time. Be strong and courageous. Take a stand on that battle field, whatever the battle might be against. Do it in God’s strength. There is victory in Jesus. It is not just a song sung at the Salvation Army. Take comfort in knowing that you do not have to fight the battle on your own. We can try to do it on our own, but the likelihood is that we will fail.
I believe there is a big misconception or view about Christians or church goers. So many people don’t go to church or want anything to do with it. One reason is because they assume that people who go to church every Sunday and claim to be Christians, think they have life all figured out, that we don’t struggle with sin or have problems. That is not true. We all have sinned. People who view Christians this way often say that the church is full of hypocrites. There are hypocrites outside the church too. They are in the workplaces and everywhere. Many of us at times, have a need to pretend to be something we are not because we think we won’t be accepted the way we are. Maybe 2014 is a good time to be real, be you. We can try to fool others or even ourselves but we can never fool God. Walk with me throughout this New Year and follow my blog and we can learn and grow together, and change for the better. One day we will graduate from this world and meet God face to face. Until then, I’ll go to church and meet people just like you and me, people with needs, problems; people who deep down are really seeking something more than this world has to offer. That is one reason why people go to church. Deep down inside each of us, there is a desire to know about God in a personal way. Church does seem like a good place to begin that journey.
I have to close this blog and go and turn down my potatoes. I don’t want to burn them again. Funny thing is, I don’t even remember turning on the burner last time that I boiled the pot dry.
Have a wonderful 2014
In Christ’s love and amazing strength.
If you sometimes feel like you just don’t cut it. Maybe this song will encourage you. All He ever wanted was our hearts.