(Guest post by Yesenia)
“And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 John 2:3 ESV)
“No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him.” (1 John 3:6 ESV)
“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.” (1 John 3:9 ESV)
Confession: I have a problem. And it’s been a problem for years. No matter how self-disciplined I can be in a lot of areas, with my phone (esp. YouTube) I am NOT disciplined. I’ve gotten frustrated about it. I’ve prayed about it. I’ve confessed it again and again. I’ve sought victory, but I just haven’t found it yet. I’m not saying this because I don’t believe that there is victory. Yes, in Jesus Christ there IS victory and I am intent on finding it. I think I just haven’t been serious enough about it. And also, a lot of the time, while I am wasting that time, I don’t think about it as a sin. Afterwards I feel terrible and I know I have sinned but it has become an addiction that I’m ashamed to admit and embarrassed to share.
This morning was one of those mornings. I wanted just a bit more sleep before I started my day. But because I had hardly touched my phone on the weekend, I wanted to check my email, track a package, etc. I set a time limit for myself but, what do you know? Satan got me again! I wasted so much time! I could hardly forgive myself, much less ask for the Blood to cover me yet again. I didn’t want to start my (already late) day this way so I knew I had to come clear with God before I kept going.
The verses I have written at the top were in my mind already, and I started wondering, am I really a child of God? After all, the verse says, if I am His child, I won’t keep on sinning? But I absolutely cannot fall back into that trap of doubting my salvation. God has given me His Spirit, confirming to me that I am His child.
So I started reading and there they were, all three of the verses I’ve listed! What is God trying to say? Then it hit me! I was trying to be a child of God without God’s help. I was trying to make myself be a nice Christian person but I was failing because I wasn’t using the resources given me. And then I realized that what Satan meant for evil, God was using for good. Praise His Holy Name! I want to be more serious about my devotional life but just like so many other things that I know I should do, I don’t do it! So here was a startling reminder and a big problem that were showing me something so important. I know this so well in my head but the truth sometimes takes so long to stick!
If I don’t start my day with God and arm myself with His strength, I will lose every battle I face!
I’m not saying the lesson’s learned now and that I will never forget this again, but I am saying that God showed me very clearly that I am in desperate need of Him and that without Him I am nothing. I’ve been praying that God would show this to me for years already because I tend to be quite self-righteous and I know that that is a sin as well.
So should I have wasted all that time on my phone this morning? NO!! Should I have spent all these months, not living in victory to learn this truth? Another NO!! Am I justifying my sinning and saying I can live in sin and God will turn it into something good? Of course NOT! Like I said before, I don’t want to live in sin! I want to walk in victory! I believe God would have way rather taught me that lesson without the sin and He probably had to go to Plan B because I didn’t learn it when He tried Plan A.
So here’s the challenge: First of all, let’s start our day with God and go into the day, armed by His almighty power. Secondly, let’s walk in obedience and seek His face so that He doesn’t have to use Plan B. Because if I had followed God in Plan A, I wouldn’t have had to live in this defeat for so long!
Today. Today can be the beginning of a new era. It can be a new start for me and it can be a new start for you. Let’s begin it with God!
“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)
(This was another verse from my devotions this morning and how fitting!)