When I first decided to fully commit myself to God, I thought that the moment I was saved that all of my problems would go away. I thought that I would never have to deal with the struggles that the world brings and that I would simply go through life without any troubles. I remember after I decided to commit all aspects of my life to Him, I ended up sobbing to the Lord because I felt like I was getting attacked so much. I talked to Him daily (and still do), and I remember just breaking down to Him because of how difficult it was becoming for me. I even sobbed to my boyfriend in the car one evening because I felt like I was failing and that each time I felt myself growing closer to God, I would experience something that would knock me back down to square one.
This walk is not an easy one, but it’s SO worth it. I go through struggles, I cry to Him a lot, and it hurts me sometimes to think of the ways that I have grieved Him. However, God revealed something to me yesterday by reminding me yet again that it is through Him that I can achieve all of these things. It is not by our own strength or our own “power” that we can do these things. In fact, we have no power! It is ONLY through Him that we can accomplish things because He is the one working inside of us and fighting our battles for us. Sometimes the enemy tries to make me forget that by trying to get me to focus on how far I’ve fallen in the past and how hard this problem might be. But God is stronger than ANY problem I may face. When the enemy tries to say I can’t do it or that I’ve failed, he’s right. But with God I can do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING because He is greater than all of these things. God knows when we’ve messed up in the past and where, but He has the power to turn our screw-ups into excellent testimonies. Look at the apostles in the Bible. Peter denied Christ three times and yet Jesus still used Him to spread the gospel. He acknowledged what was done, but He never held it against him to the point of saying that Peter could no longer be used anymore.
God reminded me yesterday when I was feeling a little down that He is not only with me, but that I should not worry about these things because it is not through my own doing that I can avoid sinning. Yes, I always have a choice whether to forgive or not forgive or yell out of anger or not to, but it is through the conviction of the Holy Spirit and through God that I am able to fight these things off. He reminded me to turn to Him and call on Him for the strength. The strength NEVER comes from me. I think part of the problem is that we sometimes think that our ability to turn away from sin comes from ourselves, but it’s actually the Holy Spirit guiding us and restraining us. Even when we’re tested, the point is not for us to try to restrain from sinning by our own strength, but for it’s for us to call on Him for the the strength.
This is not to say that I think we should go around saying, “oh, I don’t have to say no to this temptation, because I don’t have the strength.” I think what it means is that when we are tempted we should turn away from it and call on the Lord for the strength to remove it and fight it. It means that we when we feel tempted to not forgive someone, we turn to God and ask Him for the strength to forgive. God fights our battles. It’s HIS power that convicts us, makes us bold, empowers us, and strengthens us. Without the Lord’s guidance we would NEVER achieve righteousness. NEVER. It is through Him and ONLY through Him that we can overcome these challenges.
Something else I have been doing that might help some of you is that I have been asking the Lord to remove some of these negative characteristics from me that I may not be aware of. I ask Him to remove from me anything, anyone, or any trait in my character that will keep me from truly living for Him. When he disciplines us it may hurt, but I welcome it because I know He’s doing it for my own good, so that I may live righteously and to glorify Him.
It’s not an easy walk, but it’s incredibly worth it! We’ll be uncomfortable sometimes in some of the situations we are in, but it’s worth it and God is able to pull us through. He’s changing us, molding us, and shaping us to be fit for His kingdom and for His glory because He loves us. It’s not because of anything we have done to deserve this and it is simply because of who God is. It is simply because of the loving, selfless, wonderful God He is 🙂