20160921_140822So yesterday was Sunday. I was on worship and feeling the presence of the Lord. I was lifting my hands and worshipping freely with passion. It was real. It wasn’t a put on or fake. Then I came home and threw a lemon at my husband. Yup I sure did. I whipped that lemon across the kitchen because well, I was annoyed, frustrated and angry at him. The lemon was the closest thing I could get my hands on in a short time. I was aiming for the head but because I’m a bad shot it hit his shoulder. Then he laughed which enraged me more and rather heated argument ensued. To be honest if I had another lemon in close proximity it would’ve went flying. Does this make me a hypocrite? No I don’t think so. This is what a sinner saved by grace looks like.  This is what living in a fallen sinful world looks like. This is what marriage looks like sometimes.(Come on lets be honest. You may have not actually thrown a real lemon at your spouse but admit it there were times you probably did in your head) This is what Paul was referring to in Romans 7 when he said “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is,  in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is the sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law, but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner law of sin at work within me.”  Wowzers, sounds so dreadful when he states it like that, but I totally get it. But where does that leave us? Are we to roll over and say “Well, I have a sinful nature and I will just keep on sinning. Nothing I can do to stop it.”?  No, no, no!! Galatians 2:20 says “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless.”

So what does all this mean? It means that just because I give my life to Jesus my sinful nature just doesn’t  magically disappear. It means because I am still alive and breathing I am living in a fallen world. The enemy wants nothing more than to destroy me. Becoming a Christian doesn’t make me immune to the attacks of the enemy. He will keep coming at me. He will keep testing and tempting me. The difference now is that I have an arsenal of weapons. It means “The Spirit of God, who  raised Jesus from the dead now lives inside of me (you)!” Romans 8:11. The Bible is full of verses encouraging us to keep the faith, stay the course, never give up. “But you belong to God, my dear children You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” 1 John 4:4. I will continually have these battles. What changes is how I fight them. As I grow in my faith, as I understand more what a relationship with God looks like, as I become more in tune with Holy Spirit, I will become aware faster when its an attack of the enemy and my response will change. So instead of throwing a lemon, maybe I will progress to throwing something softer, then throwing nothing at all, then walking away, then handling my anger with grace and patience rather than unforgiveness and agitation.

I am a work in progress. I cling to the promise that “I am certain that God, who began the good work within me (you), will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” Phillipians 1:6. I may have days I throw things, or say things or do things I shouldn’t. I will ask for forgiveness. I will keep moving forward. I will not allow shame to make me feel like I am a bad person. I will keep asking Jesus to transform and change me.  No matter what, I am still a child of God and He loves me!!  But until the day I have reached perfection someone might want to buy my husband a helmet.

 

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