Praise God! I'm glad to be writing again, via this new platform, and after taking some time for myself. I have been struggling with some things both regarding time and spiritually which has kept me from writing (want to be careful about what I publish) but, I'm glad to be back and inspired to write again.
- Nobody but Jesus was sinless
- We're redeemed by His blood alone
- The devil is a liar
- We already have the victory
These are all things that I've heard since I was a child, but its interesting to see how it all has new meaning to me now. I woke up really early this morning, and I left the TV on all night, and I woke up to preaching - and the first thing that I heard was this:
The devil defeats us by convincing us that we don't already have the victory
Wow. That definitely sums up a lot. My personal testimony is that in my waiting for a few things, my strength has been strengthened, but then after more time, its regressed a lot, and caused actions and thoughts which made me feel defeated. I can recall specific times of thinking,
well, I've been waiting for forever now, and who knows when, or even if at this point I'll get what I need, so I may as well do what I need to now
Yup, I'm not perfect. And I had periods where I completely gave up like that, and those words definitely are of the devil, not of God. Waiting is so unnatural, especially for extended periods of time, and when what you want is right in front of you. It's not natural to wait until the next day to finish that pack of pastries when it tastes so good right now. But we also know that continuous overindulging leads to weight which doesn't come off as easily as it went on. Its the knowledge of what the future holds, even though we can't see it, which helps us make those decisions in the present. But every now and then, you hear a voice "A little extra won't kill you" and you go for it, and it can very easily become a habit.
The truth is, sin is just about as addictive as overeating or drugs (both of which are sins as well). Once you get back into lying, sex or even faithless thoughts, its pretty easy to stay there. And the devil's job is to keep us there. Our job, is to remember God's word during that temptation to keep us out of it. The other part of our job however is to remember God's word after those times that we fall (and those times will come because no one is perfect), and repent quickly - meaning that we ask for forgiveness with an honest heart and with no intention to do it again. The trick here (at least for me) can be that sometimes after you mess up, you feel that there's no point in trying again, or you're afraid to go back to God. Interestingly enough, that's the devil again saying that you're no longer good enough for God, but if you remember that you're justified through Jesus' blood alone, not your actions, you understand how Jesus intercedes on your behalf each time you ask for forgiveness - in which case you should run back to be in right standing with God quickly!
I say all of this to say that I made a connection between those 4 statements I started with, in a personal way. I'm not perfect, even though I'm a Christian and I believe, I won't ever be perfect because only Jesus was. I'm justified to go to my Father, not because of my actions, but because of Jesus' blood alone which intercedes for me. My good deeds are merely the fruit of my faith. I already have the victory, though I may not see it or any trace of it coming. The devil will always try to delay or delete this blessing from my life by tempting me away from it, that's his entire job. So its never worth it to lose faith and stray away. God is Good!