Monday, August 25, 2008

The bigger they are the harder they fall...

Elijah at Mount Carmel

One of the biggest dangers for a new Christian, or a Christian who is weak in the truth, is falling. Not tripping over something but falling into sin, and not so much falling as jumping but without forethought. A good friend of mine and my former pastor told me once that to be on guard all the time, and pray for a hedge of protection everyday, but especially after a spiritual victory. It's after a great victory, or even a not so great victory, that we are tempted or tried the hardest. We get proud or we maybe think that it was in our strength, or sometimes the victories God performs through us so scare the powers of darkness that they scramble to get us discouraged. I have experienced these sudden intense temptations and sometimes trials sent by God to show me that it was not in my strength that some great victory came to pass. I've had times when I felt so close to my LORD, serving him with love, delighting in his word and his presence in prayer, and then temptation comes and I forfeit it all for carnality's sake. At first I felt as though I was unique in this, but then I read a passage of scripture..... The Old Testament. And then there was Peter. Praise God he knows my soul in adversity. Ours is not a spirit of fear.
2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Our natural response to sin after being saved is to first hide our failures, cover them with works. When sin goes unconfessed it breeds guilt, and guilt brings shame, and the end result is spiritual death. I don't mean a loss of salvation, I mean self made coffin we put ourselves in that keeps us from claiming the promises of God. We bury ourselves in self pity and regret and never think to simply CRY OUT.
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Mercy.... That sounds about like what I long for, what I desire, when I do something that I know my Father would not be pleased with, when I fail to do something that I know he wanted me to do. Mercy. We are not like the heathen who are without hope in this world, we are sons of adoption with access to the throne of GOD, and more than that we are his beloved children. I struggle with guilt and regret and up until recently I would go through weeks or months of ACTS of penance to try to restore my relationship with my Father, when all I needed to do was confess repent and move on. The trappings of religiousness, not so much religion, tell us that we must do, in order to receive. We receive mercy and grace because of who we are. Remember as a child of GOD you are holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight. AMEN! Elijah Under the Juniper Tree, after running from Jezebel.