The past three days have been what I would call a Flesh-a-palooza...without all the fun the "palooza" part usually involves.
I have basically just done whatever I felt like doing and didn't put up much of a fight at all. Like my crying episode earlier in the week, I think the situation at work (the taking away of the last "easy" thing in my life) was what eliminated what little resolve was left in me and I just gave. If I felt like acting on sinful desires and cravings, I did.
So, mostly, this week, I've felt like crawling in a hole and just cryng for the rest of time. Yet, somehow, at the same time, I've felt like rejoicing and celebrating. In fact, many times, I've just broke out into spontaneous worship...joyful...yet still tearful...worship.
And, amazingly, my time with the Lord has been uninterrupted. I am most thankful for that. He has been very faithful to speak, consistently and specifically. Each morning it is as if I am reading fresh words, whispered to the authors just for me...though I am reading the Bible and devotional material that was written before I was born...or my parents were born...or, in some cases, even before my grandparents were born.
My knee jerk reaction at this point is to feel like I need to start over...that somehow I have undone what has been done and I need to "get back" to the starting line and do it all over again. That is NOT what the Lord has been saying and showing. What He has spoken, very consistently, is that this is not a step backwards...this is part of it. That what He is speaking to me and teaching me now, I can only recieve when I am flat on my face.
It does not make sense to me that He DESIGNED to use my weakness and sin to lead me into what He has for me...but then, really, does He do work any other way in anyone? Do we give Him a choice?
So, I rejoice in the knowledge that I have not been sent back to square one...that what He began in me He will complete...that He has a plan and a purpose in this...and is working even my unfaithfulness for my good and His glory. I am trusting that He is able to do above anything I can hope or think and turn what honestly feels like a hopeless situation into one of great Hope and Wonder. And I rejoice because He is not leaving me to my own devices. He desires that I respond in a very specific way...that I stop specific things and begin specific things in their stead. I trust that as I seek Him, He will communicate those to me. He has already highlighted certain pitfalls - gateways to temptation - that I need to address. I am hoping as I press in, He will give me the direction I need. Finally, I rejoice because He has not allowed me to stay and wallow in the "I'm a failure" mode. Each time my heart leans that way, He speaks words of peace and encouragement...replacing my thoughts of condemnation with thoughts of Him.
And, therein lies the key to battling any issue of sin and obedience...turning our thoughts from ourselves (our cravings, our inability to do what we desire to do) to Him, who is a very present Help and is able to accomplish the impossible.