For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
When will we ever learn? Sometimes we can get so bogged down in all of the little trivial things that life puts in our way that before we know it, we’ve fallen out of step with our original purpose; serving God. Recently, I seem to have fallen out of step with God’s will for my life. I know this because I’ve been cutting corners in my prayer time and not spending the kind of time in the Word that I normally try to spend. All because I get preoccupied with trying to control things that I know I can’t control. I thought about this today as I spent some good, quality time in prayer. It felt like days had passed since the last time I had truly sat down and allowed God to speak to me. I had taken a few minutes every day for the last week or so, but it wasn’t like before. Before, I was spending an hour or more sitting in prayer and asking God to guide me to the next thing. But things get in the way, we get distracted and before we know it we’re like a punctured tire that has been steadily leaking air for several days. We think we’re alright because we’re still moving along, but then one day we look back and it’s gone completely flat.
I guess I’ve been trying to prepare myself for some things I feel I won’t be able to handle. This speaks volumes as to the state of my faith, for if I was believing in the way that I need to be believing, I wouldn’t be afraid of what’s coming. To an extent, I’m not actually afraid like I was before I was holding onto His hand. But there are things that still scare me. Like trusting people and stepping out to help others. These are two very scary things that God wants me to do and up to now, I have given as much of myself as I’ve felt ready to give, but I know He wants me to do more. So, what do I do? The answer lies in Philippians 3:12, where it says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” I must keep pressing forward until I can do the things He has set me here to do. The roadblocks that appear are not His way of testing me; they are the devil’s way of keeping me from doing the work of my God. The devil hates to see us make progress and he will do everything in his power, use every trick in the book to deter us or make us shift our focus to something other than God’s divine purpose for our lives.
I know that the things that keep me from fulfilling my purpose today are basically the same things that kept me bogged down in sin and misery before I began my walk with Christ. Although I’m not doing the things I used to do, the emotion that lies beneath the action is still in there to some degree. The feelings that drive me to act irrationally or to cling unnecessarily to things that don’t matter are the reason why I once turned to alcohol and sex to try and fill a void in my life instead of turning to God and asking Him to help me through. The wounds that were caused so long ago are still a part of who I am. They may not be as much a part of me now as they once were, but they are part of what has made me the woman I am today. They are the cracks in the foundation of my soul that God is working so diligently to fill in with His love. This is why I must put forth all the effort I can each day to help Him fill in the holes. It’s not just His job to fix me. I have a responsibility in this as well and if I don’t do my part, He can’t do His.
Falling short when we are trying to do the right thing is absolutely normal and expected. He knows that it is hard to be good, this is why He is so forgiving and so merciful to us. He knows that we won’t always do the right thing because He made us this way. He gave us emotions and the ability to feel and to hurt. He takes pleasure in helping us to overcome our pain and suffering and He wants us to lean on Him and His strength when we can no longer bear all that the world places on us. While He wants us to be obedient, He also wants us to be the human beings that He made us to be. To love Him, praise Him, thank Him and call on Him when the time is right to do so. Because His strength is made perfect in our weakness, He is absolutely okay with our going through periods where we just can’t seem to get it right. We need to allow ourselves to receive His mercy and forgiveness, but at the same time we must continue to strive to learn more about Him and what He wants for us in this life.
I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.