Last night I had a face-off. And lost. It was awful.
I had guests last night. No, we didn’t get in an argument or anything like that. They had brought over sweets, the Rice Krispy kind with peanut butter and topped with thick chocolate. Man, they were good. As in three of them.
Now, this might not have been a problem under normal circumstances. After all, there were plenty. My guests fully intended to share more than three pieces with me. No, the problem is that I am a glutton; and once I give in to this type of temptation, it is very, very difficult for me to get back on track. In fact, I have been struggling since this spring and losing ground.
They say sugar has chemical properties something akin to cocaine in its propensity towards addiction. I can believe it. Like booze was for me, one serving isn’t enough. Two then leads to three, and before long it’s a disaster. Sugar, and wheat products, are also incredibly inflammatory in me. My weight can swing several pounds during and quickly after a gorging. It is very uncomfortable. Even so, I am drawn by sugar and deliberately turn away from all the warnings in my head.
My problem wasn’t the sweets my guests had brought. It wasn’t long before all that was gone from my home. It was then the real battle began between me and the pie in the refrigerator. I normally don’t keep this stuff around, but my daughter brought a bunch of it home. It seemed like it was calling me. Then the voice inside said, “Walk away.” I then did the whole rationalizing routine. Back and forth. By now, I was fully aware that it was the Holy Spirit who had gotten involved, so this was very serious. I had God’s power in me to walk away. I had God’s power in me to be fully comforted. I had God’s power in me to obtain joy. I was aware of all this.
But, I ate the pie.
This might not sound like a big deal to you. After all, it was only a piece of pie. But, to me, it was far more than that. I have all sorts of self-control when it comes to gambling or smoking, but none when it comes to alcohol or sweets. In these I am totally dependent on God to protect me from myself.
Thankfully, it didn’t take long for the weight of my sin to come crashing down and force me to beg God for forgiveness. I tell you what, if I was God, I might have used a lightning bolt to knock that pie out of my hands, but he was merciful and kind. He led my prayer to discard whatever I have that is keeping me from him, you know, like when Jesus said to pluck out your eye or cut off your arm if it causes you to sin. As I was going through all the things in my life, I was beginning to realize that it wasn’t the “things” that gave me trouble; it was my own heart.
Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I, the Lord, search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
I am redeemed. God has given me a new heart and placed the Holy Spirit inside of me. Yet I still have rottenness that simply has to go because it causes me so much trouble. Dang, think about it. I as much did the same thing as Peter did when he, three times, denied knowing Jesus! The Holy Spirit was right there in the kitchen with me as I turned my back on him. Wow.
Lord, rid me of my self.
Ephesians 4:17-24 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ! – assuming that you have heard about him, and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Father, I give this to you. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers
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