Looking at the forecast, I see it is supposed to be -15 degrees this weekend. Looks like March is coming in like a lion. Does that mean it will go out like a lamb?
I wonder why it’s so hard to pray regularly. I find this is a common problem among Christians. I think all of us were greatly touched by Miss Clara in War Room as she pounded out her prayer to God. I know people who have converted a space as a prayer closet, hoping to “bake” it in prayer like she did. I even bought a nice kneeler to make it comfortable. We do pray every morning as a work staff, and I pray at night by phone with my girlfriend. There are times when I really get into it on my own. Frankly, I enjoy it very much. It doesn’t take long, however, that I find myself not praying regularly.
Why is that? I suppose the root of it is my own wicked flesh. I suppose there are many reasons. I’m lazy, number one. It takes a great deal of effort to really pray the scripture hard, to call upon God to fulfill his promises. While this is energizing, it still takes effort. It’s no different than exercising, I suppose. Let’s face it, I’m lazy. We all are.
I suppose another reason is that I want to be in charge, to think I control things. I want to pray when I want to pray, and I don’t want to pray now. Never mind that I know it’s necessary for my end of a healthy relationship with God. I suppose that could be labeled as pride, although I don’t like to think of myself as having a problem with that. I like to think of myself as humble. Hah!
Speaking of humble, am I willing to admit that sin may be taking up my attention? First, there is the struggle before I sin. Should I, or shouldn’t I? I really want to, but I better not. Maybe I could just do it a little. That won’t hurt anything, right? Pretty soon I find myself thinking about sin a lot. I’m preoccupied by it. Then I actually sin, and guess what? Guilt and shame now become my new companions. Of course, they aren’t new, they have returned to visit. I tell you what, those two guests are incredibly demanding! They aren’t satisfied until you wait on them hand and foot! You won’t find any rest from these two. Since I don’t want to talk to God about it, I seek comfort in….guess what? My sin. Round and round it goes.
Let’s not forget spiritual warfare. Circumstances may totally knock me off track. Don’t kid yourself about this one. While I am sure sin starts in our own heart, Satan will certainly tempt us. Maybe he will dangle something shiny in front of you. Maybe, like Job, he will bang you around so that you might curse God to his face. Let’s face it, we effectively do this when we take our eyes off Jesus. Let’s be honest about this. All through the bible, we are shown examples of God’s faithfulness in times of storm. We are also shown plenty of examples of people losing sight of him. Why should I be any different? Let’s make sure we understand this. Satan’s efforts are to expose a problem within us. Let’s see what he said to God about Job:
Job 1:11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.
Job 2:5 But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.
Do you see that? God himself said of Job, “there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil.” Even so, Satan still sought to expose something evil in Job. Let’s not kid ourselves. Satan will get permission to attempt to expose the same in you and me.
Let’s remember these things.
2 Corinthians 2:11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.
Let’s see if this knocks me back to where I truly want to be. I am reminded of what Paul wrote in Romans.
Romans 7:18, 24-25 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out….Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Jesus is our answer. I need to train myself to serve God with my mind, to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Father, I need your help in this. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers