Sometimes in life I make bad decisions. I purposely do things that I know I shouldn’t do. This is not something I’m proud of, and I wish I didn’t do these things, but I am human, so sometimes I assert my “right” to make free choices.
As Christian I know I have no rights. There are none. Jesus bought me with a price (his own life for mine) and when I decided to call Him “Lord” that was me telling Him that I am now His slave. Bond servant- someone who willingly chooses to belong to an individual master for the rest of his or her life. I am Jesus’ bond servant.
I fall into a certain avenue of sinfulness at times that I am regularly tempted to go back to. I think Satan knows that I am susceptible to it, so he just keeps it up. Why try something new when the old works just fine? It’s not really something obvious or surface- it’s a form of mental/emotional sin that on the outside no one really knows about, but inside it starts to rot me. When I give in to temptation I start to grow really sour really fast. And I am most tempt-able when I am tired and exhausted. I am sick and I have a nearly one-year-old who just cut some teeth. I have been very tired lately. So I was fertile ground for some good old-fashioned sinning this weekend. In my heart. I was ready, and God knew it.
I took a step in that direction. And another. Then it was time for church. I went, as usual, with my family. I was unable to follow through with my intent to sin, but the intent was definitely there.
The service was about falling in love with God more by being dedicated to developing a deep relationship with Him through prayer and time in the Word and in meditation on the Word. I was planning to not be dedicated.
Logically Christ should be mad at me for making stupid and rebellious decisions, but I think He probably gets more frustrated and sad than anything. And this time around, when I made the decision that I know I am not supposed to make, I did not feel anger or anything from God, just a strong desire to to pull me back if I would allow Him to pull me back. And, since I am pretty well armed against my particular form of temptation, having faced it many times before, one of the first thoughts I had about “going there” – before I’d actually decided to “go there”- was that I didn’t want Satan to have that victory in my life. Part of me wonders how much Satan gloats when I do what he wants instead of what God wants…
Then my pastor (bless his heart!) said something terrible. He said, “This week- and every week afterward- if God tells me to pray for you, I will pray two things: 1) That you will seek Him with your whole heart and be fully dedicated to Him. 2) That if you are not seeking Him, or fully dedicated to Him, that He will wreck your life!”* Have I ever mentioned that I am a pansy? I realized that I was going to be in trouble this week and after, if I didn’t change my attitude and heart toward God quickly. So I did. It was communion Sunday, and I prayed and reconciled. Things can be right again. My heart can be right again.
What I didn’t realize then, or when I was reconciling with God, was that He needs me to be engaged in this life of rightness with Him not just for my own sake, but for the sake of all the people in my life. He wants to do good things through me and be glorified in my life as a result of my willingness to do anything for Him (including departing from sin that He’s specifically instructed me to stay away from). I can’t be used by God long-term if I am not willing to be the person He made me to be. However, if I surrender myself fully to Christ in all things, and become a woman who seeks to represent God’s true nature here, then we can get somewhere.
Directly after the service a good friend of mine asked me to pray for her about some things that are going on in her life. I prayed with her, but I wish I was fully devoted to God all the time- then maybe I could have given her more encouragement. As it was I felt a little wrong, that I didn’t deserve to be there, acting as a comforter since I wasn’t as connected to The Comforter as I should have been.
So where is this going? This story isn’t about me. Life isn’t about me. I am one tiny drop in an ocean of people that are alive today, and that will live, and that have already lived. This life is about God. It’s about how He made us and loves us and how we chose to assert our “rights” to make free choices. It’s about getting as many people back into rightness with God as possible before it’s all over. So, unless I decide to wake up in the morning and give myself for Christ, His purpose, and for all the people I brush paths with, there’s really no point.
Oh, Satan, that lying bastard. Why do I fall for his stupid tricks so often?
Pray for me as I attempt to follow God fully. As I attempt to become a woman after His own heart. And as I try to peel back all the layers of my heart and mind to let the Holy Spirit rewrite my character. Please pray that I will learn to be fully obedient. Pray that I will stop living as if my life belongs to me, and start living like a purchased slave. Oh, the irony of that! I would be filled with joy, and free to truly be myself! May God be glorified.
*After the service our pastor clarified that he just wants God to get our attention by whatever means necessary. He doesn’t actually want our lives ruined, unless that would strengthen our relationships with God- in which case we would eventually be glad to have our lives ruined.