Temptations, unlike opportunities, will always give you many second chances.
Things that remain in darkness have the most power over us. Things/actions that bring us shame and disappointment if left to fester will pollute our relationship with the Lord.
I ended and started 2016 with the strongest relationship I had ever felt with the Lord, but absolutely unaware of how vulnerable that left me to temptation and testing.
The test came and I failed it. My flesh is my greatest weakness. My desires have generated immense inner struggles and battles that torment me. The saving grace has always been the lack of temptation in the physical world. I’ve been in deep gratitude to the Lord for keeping me safe from the manifestation of my temptations. I don’t know why now, but God allowed a test in the physical world.
The Perfect Temptation
The devil engineered the temptation, God allowed it. It can almost feel like the temptation is engineered by God, because it can be so perfectly brought together. I recognized it…I knew it was a test, I tried to fight it, but in the end I gave in to it, and in the full disclosure of the truth; I want to give in to it even more.
How can I have looked at my test with wide open eyes and still fail? I admired how well designed it was. I cannot claim ignorance. There was even satisfaction in watching it unfold. Even self-awareness and the truth can be leveraged against us. Anything we pride ourselves in.
I willingly disobeyed God. The one thing I didn’t want to do…under well engineered circumstances, I did. But the source/pawn of temptation that assisted in bringing me to a place of disobedience and the downward spiral, kept it from going over the cliff: “I don’t want to be something you regret for the rest of your life.” He was aware of my last five years of abstinence and my desire to wait…so he said “no” when I was saying “yes.”
I would be completely baffled by his self-control, except I realized even in the test, God was present. He allowed the test, but not my absolute failure; confirming how unworthy I truly am of His love, grace and forgiveness. He continued to watch over me and protect me. It bothers me immensely how incredibly weak I remain, and how much of an uphill battle I must fight again.
Did I need a reminder of how much of a sinner I am? Have I in fact been battling with my own strength? Are the changes not as great as I thought them to be? In what areas is my faith still weak? What areas of my life am I keeping from the Lord? What I still hanging on to? This failed test leaves me with endless unanswered questions and intense gratitude to God for making me look into the errors of my ways.
While the devil played me like a fiddle, his major failure was thinking this would hinder my relationship with the Lord. It’s quite the opposite, this reinforces it. I’m seeking Him with even more urgency and need. I belong to Him. It also makes me realize I can’t continue to go at this alone anymore. I must foster relationships with more trusted Christians friends I can turn to in times of weakness.
I’m not out of the woods yet, the desires are still very real and strong, but I’m shining light on them. Publically. At. That.
There are splendid testimonies in our successes but also in our failures. God didn’t fail me, nor was He absent. I used my free will to disobey His, yet He remained faithful. He promised to never leave me once I accepted Him.
This is hands down the hardest blog post I’ve ever written and posted.