what I’m realizing is that regardless of how painful or difficult or challenging my life circumstances become, it is no excuse to sin.. this takes tremendous emotional and spiritual fortitude, stamina, perseverance, and faith.. clinging on even if by just a thread.. some use the term ‘dying to self’ or ‘mortifying the flesh’ or ‘trust and obey’.. it’s just plain difficult and hard, but the glimpse of hope is that the path of righteousness is far more rewarding and guilt-free(!) than the short-lived pleasure of sin. God, please give me strength..
what is amazing is the battle between flesh and spirit.. the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.. here in Christian circles, we talk about how much love we have for God, or desire to have for God, and at moments in time, we too have needs or desires, some of which are legitimate, pull strongly at us, that we are tempted and pulled to give in contrary to our desire and commitment to live a life that is pleasing to God.. the philosophical question is: how long can one go without sinning? a week? a day? an hour? a minute? 15 seconds? is there a such a thing as eradication of sin from one’s life? complete victory over sin? in some circles, a victorious Christian life is spoken of as an ongoing reality, as if there is some sort of sinless perfection (there’s even a hymn with that phrase), but from my understanding of reality, this is such a set-up-for-failure and delusion – the evidence is that we are simultaneous sinner and saint, that we are (more accurately) saints who occasionally sin.. saying this I don’t mean to say that there is no victory from sin, because Jesus came to save us from sin, and it is clear from Scripture that God gives us the strength in the Spirit to overcome the bondage of sin, that we can be freed from sin, that we can rely on God and to not have to give in to bad habits and sinfulness. That’s the victory, and after the wins and losses are added up, we’ll see a winning record by the grace of God.
today has been an incredible day, quite an intense emotional journey.. in the morning, i was lamenting the adjustments i [feel like] i have to make in terms of relationships, that i don’t have the depth of relationship that i desire to have, especially as a power relator, and i was feeling resigned to the fact that this may be a need that i have that may go unfulfilled.. and for my relational side, which is a big part of me, it was very sad..
but this morning, I did finish updating my personal web site, at least on the first level of web pages, so it’s looking consistent and nicely navigatable.. then this day has been filled with meetings, almost one after the other, as many things are happening at my church, and they’re needing much prayer and discernment and wisdom each step of the way.. and then the Lord confirmed His hand upon us this afternoon as we opened a letter of tremendous encouragement.. God is at work in this adventure called life..