Do you ever feel like you struggle with the same things again and again? I do. I might even be good for two or three years, and then “boom” there it is. That same weakness flaring up again. Shouldn’t I be over this by now?
We spent several days this week talking about temptation because it’s something we all deal with. And we always will. Sometimes we may feel like we’re being tested. Sometimes it may seem like an all-out attack. But one thing is certain. We will never outgrow it. We will never mature past it. Temptation in whatever form––money, power, control, physical intimacy, drugs, alcohol––will forever be a part of life until the day Jesus returns.
A couple of weeks ago, I was back in the throes of temptation. I had plenty of warning. And I shrugged it off. Ignored it really. And suddenly there I sat in the burning house, with the door closed behind me (see Wednesday’s blog “Open Door Policy–Burning Down the House”). It was a dark room reminiscent of the life I used to live. I could feel myself giving in. Heading back down the path to yesteryear.
But then I took hold of my sword of Truth: “Offer your bodies as living sacrifices… Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world…” (Romans 12:1-2)
Stop! This is not who I am anymore! This is not who I want to be! I’m better than this. I’m a daughter of the King of kings and I need to act like it and be treated like it.
I jumped through the open window (so to speak). And God was there to catch me.
To say I was disappointed in myself is a complete understatement. How could I have entertained such temptation and allowed myself to be exposed to that situation? The next morning, I sat before God and asked His forgiveness. When I read my morning devotional, God spoke clearly. The text was Jeremiah 18:1-10 which describes a potter who molds clay into beautiful works of art. And when the clay is marred or won’t conform in the potter’s hands, he re-works it into a new creation. The devotional ended with these words:
“No matter what messes we have made of our lives, God can remold us into vessels that are good in His eyes. As we confess any sin and submit ourselves in obedience to His Word, we allow the Master to do His redemptive work in our lives. That is the only way for the pieces of our brokenness to be made whole and good once again.”
I broke down in tears. Praise the Lord He accepted my confession of sin. Praise the Lord He confirmed His forgiveness and His continued work in my life.
But then a little voice in my ear said, “Who do you think you are? Here you’re trying to be a role model for other girls, and you’re no better than anyone else.”
For a split second I began to doubt if God could still use me.
And then I said to the enemy, “You’re right. I’m just like everyone else. That’s exactly why I reach out to others. I’ve been where they’ve been. I’m still prone to wander like the rest of humanity. I’ll always struggle with temptation and weakness the way everybody does. But here’s truth: my life has been transformed by Christ and I’m never going back. I may stumble here and there. I may get knocked down a time or two. But I’m never giving up. I’m never giving in. Jesus has washed me clean of the mud once again and I stand in my pretty white dress before Him this morning, ready to keep going.”
Actually, I’d like to think my pretty white dress was more like a glowing white commando outfit.
My friend, none of us is perfect. We all have struggles that we deal with over and over. But each time we learn, and each time is an opportunity to grow stronger. And please know this: We’re in this together. This is what sisterhood is all about. Helping each other get back up again. Because when we stumble or fall, we can’t let temptation or weakness defeat us.
Whether you’re running the race of life feeling strong, struggling to walk your daily grind, or crawling through the muck of sin and disappointment, know that there are others willing to help who’ve been there before you.
And God is ready to hold you in His hands and transform you into a beautiful new creation.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
May I pray?
Lord, we’re broken. Even when we feel strong, there’s always a weak spot. And so we struggle with the same types of temptations over and over again. But God, You can make us new. You can take our brokenness and turn it into something for Your glory. Thank you for the way You lovingly mold us. Please fill our cracks and empty places as You transform us from the inside out. And may we stay in Your hands until Your work is complete. Amen.
Q4U: Are you willing to put your life in God’s hands so He can mend your brokenness and make you into a beautiful new creation?