Wednesday, January 2, 2013
It's been a while.
Yes, it has been a while since I technically "blogged" in this exact forum of "Still On the Wheel"........but that doesn't mean I haven't been doing some heavy duty inner-heart blogging. And it definitely doesn't mean that God hasn't been working...moving...convicting..healing...restoring.
I have been battling "self" for...oh wait, 29 years now, my age ;)
I guess we all have. We are human and thus sin is a constant battle. But recently I have really been struggling with a certain temptation and have finally, after many years, received healing, true and complete. Sure, I have tried before, yet failed. I have felt restored before, but fell back into my temptation. Don't get me wrong: I have received God's gift of salvation and thus He always forgives me when I confess and ask for forgiveness. But it's that ever-recurring, ever-lurking temptation that always seems to come back.
I have mine.
You have yours.
We may each have unique temptations- different sins that we struggle with more than others. But what we share in common is that we all are tempted. All fall short of the glory of God, according to Romans, right?
Well today I was reading this verse and it struck me between the eyeballs.
"God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.” (Genesis 4:6-7)
And I couldn't help but think: This is so me!
I had been thrilled and elated that God had healed me from the sin with which I was struggling.
But today I was having a hard time with it. No, I didn't give in.
But I wanted to!
Oh, I so wanted to.
But I didn't.
Was I happy about it though?
No. I felt like screaming, crying, breaking something, all at the same time.
It put me in a foul inner-head mood.....all I could think of, it seemed, was HOW MUCH I WANTED TO DO WHAT I KNEW I SHOULD NOT.
And then, here comes this verse.
In the middle of my "tantrum" and "sulking," as the verse put it, I read this.
And I realized, first of all, I have so much to be thankful for.
Second of all, it's not all about me. My purpose in life is not to be happy. It is to glorify God and to seek to bring others to Him--or at least to love them and show them His love in hopes that some day they accept His salvation.
Also I love how this verse points out that sin IS OUT TO GET US. The end. It's not going to leave us alone. We might not ever get rest from the temptation. It is waiting to pounce, like a kitten with a junebug.
The last phrase "...you've got to master it."
This is a command!
This is not "Oh, it would be great for you if you could master it." or "You should master it." or even "Try to master it."
It says "You've GOT TO MASTER IT."
I was discussing this concept with my best girlfriend today, and she pointed out oh so aptly that God doesn't ask us to do things He knows we can't do.
And even though I know/knew this truth in my head, I hadn't really thought of it yet in context to this verse. But she was oh so right! God wouldn't tell us to master our sin if we couldn't. After all, He created us, right?! He ought to know what we can and can't do. And God isn't in the business of frustrating us. He isn't just sitting up there on His high and mighty throne, strumming His fingers together, saying "And how shall we frustrate them today!?"
No, He commands us to master our sin. And we can. And we should. And we WILL, if we do it in His power; not our own.
This verse really spoke to me. Now to go out and do it? Easier said than done. But I can, through Him who gives me strength.
Thank you Lord for redemption.
Thank you for clarity.
Thank you for giving us Your strength to master the unmastered and previously thought to be unable to be mastered.