I sincerely hope this finds you well and at peace. As I write this, I find myself in an age-old struggle deep within me. I made a in a hurry careless mistake last week. The mistake did not seem to have a big effect negatively on anything, yet it was a haunting mistake for me. Because of the mistake, I began to get negative on myself because I did something that was careless.
As this self-inflicted interaction within me was taking place, I found that there was no good coming from it. In fact, there was collateral damage happening, creating other thoughts to grow that were negative and unhealthy in nature. Things like anger issues, self-righteousness, negative attitude about life and other thoughts that at one time plagued me all to often.
With good reason, this set me on a spiral down into a deprived place in me. Even though I am a Christian, I am still a sinner. Becoming a Christian added something to me, that I do not deserve, called forgiveness a gift from God. All my imperfection is still intact and working to control me in my Christian forgiveness, doing battle moment by moment.
As I was experiencing this most unsettling time of life a thought occurred to me. It is something I have told people many times so to do battle with their sin nature. The principal goes something like this: do not use Satan’s tools to do good! This whole idea came home to rest on me in a unique way.
What happened was this, what I was trying to pound out and destroy in my own strength, was only serving to spread the seed of discontent, inferiority, and unforgiveness in areas that I was previously overcoming because of God’s forgiveness. I was using Satan’s tools to do God’s work of sanctification/purification. (SIGH) What an opportunity to practice what you preach Denny! Rats! Found out again!
In being found out by my misconception of God’s grace there was an epiphany moment, sin is extremely subtle influencing us away from God. Even with experience in living in faith I was fooled. When I use Satan’s tools to do good I am using a defeated method. Therefore, whatever I do with Satan’s tools is bound to fail by God’s Victory over sin. All of Lucifer’s tools are defeated foes.
Now if I applied God’s tools to the same situation of my mistake/sin, (Now I am) tools such as confession, grace, forgiveness, and humility what would have grown out of those God-given tools? God desires to prosper His children not destroy us. Each human being is an image bearer of God therefore; Satan has no problem cannibalizing his own followers (unredeemed image bearers) to do his evil, or anyone else who will avail themselves to his power lies and work, even believers in Jesus.
Paul the Apostle prayed three times for a thorn in the flesh/sin to be removed from him. God answered Paul and said: My grace is sufficient. Without checks and balances in living it is easy to be duped into a sense of victory when in reality it is God dependent -given victory not self victory. We say something like: Do not worry God I have got it handled. I will stamp out sin in my life let me show you how. God, see how good I am!
Good and perfect gifts come from above and the book of James tells us our own sin nature leads us astray. It certainly pulled me astray in trying to take care of my own sin. I am dependent on a merciful God for all the forgiveness I will ever need as I live.
A mixed bag of blessing and failure is how I appear right now to others and me. However, to my Lord and Savior I am sinless and un-condemned see Romans 8. I call 8:1 the first three rules of Christianity there is no condemnation, there is no condemnation, there is no condemnation. It is my choice on how I live, I do not choose to continue to use Satan’s failed tools. I want to learn to use God’s tools for living well and not be duped into a lesser life.
To be or not to be is not the question! To live by God’s grace that is wild and wonderful or to have a false sense of control of your life and live by Satan’s rules of pseudo-life is the real question. God has given each of us one life to figure this out.
Jesus is building a place for you, your choice; do you want fellowship with God forever? If you answer yes, then ask Jesus in your own words to forgive your sin. Then start walking with Him, remember you are forgiven, and live like you are thankful for what Jesus did for you. Yes, salvation can be that simple. (if God has forgiven you, you will see that living in thanks to God is a privilege and joy not a law of any kind) God wants your fellowship so much He died and overcame death to show you the way to overcome sin.
In Christ’s resurrection.