A Matter of Forethought

Lately I’ve become increasingly aware of my capacity to sin. If you’re a writer, I’m sure to some extent you understand. There’s a fine line between being marketable and selling your soul–between ministering to others and living to please the world. For me, it’s often an instant gratification thing, and I’m never void of opportunities to choose the path of least resistance. The more “line in the sand” moments arise, the more alert I am of my sinful nature. As my mentor says, the older we grow, the more we realize we are just one decision away from falling into sin. One quick decision away.

As my daughter grows older, our conversations are becoming more and more intense. And intentional. I know she’s going to face numerous occasions to sin along her journey from childhood to adulthood. The stronger she thinks she is, the more apt she will be to fall. Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? Perhaps ironic–if she thinks she’s strong, she’ll likely fall. Not sure if the context is right, but I’m reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

The Bible tells us God’s strength is made perfect when we are weak–when we are completely dependent on God, surrounded by His protective arms and clinging to Him and His promises. The allure of sin dwindles in the presence of the Almighty.

Before Jesus died, He told His disciples to watch and pray–to be alert.

Mark 14:38 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The Spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Be alert, self-controlled, intentional. Abide. Pray. Recognize your capacity for evil and choose the good instead.

My greatest struggle is pride, but often I won’t even recognize this ugly monster until it’s upon me in full force–when it’s much harder to fight. So often my sin lies dormant, tucked deep within my heart, until trouble arises. It is then–when my fight for self breaks forth–that I see my true nature. Only then, I’m caught off guard, swept away in the moment.

In Psalm 139:23 David says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

This is a pro-active prayer. One that meets the trouble head on and places it where it belongs, in the hands of the Father.

Search me, O God. Examine the deep recesses of my heart, the places only you can see, and remove everything that gets in your way. Lead me in the way everlasting.

 

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