In my distress I said, “All people are liars.” Psalm 116:11 (NCV)
I mean that’s how I feel! We lie to ourselves by thinking that we have arrived and have finally defeated sin. We look at our situation and have the proverbial “foot on the throat” victory pose. We kick back and say “So, what shall we do now? We have won the battle!” We experience progress and forward movement and celebrate our success. Our conscience is clear and the guilt is gone and life is good. Then we make the critical mistake. We relax.
In the book “Life’s Healing Choices: Freedom From Your Hurts, Hang-Ups, and Habits,” author John Baker describes the pattern of relapse. Whether you call it backsliding, moral failure, or sin, the pattern occurs in four stages: complacency, confusion, compromise, and catastrophe. We stop dealing with our issue as aggressively because we have achieved a level of success. Because of the passing of time, we would like to think that it doesn’t take all of that effort to keep our head above water. Then slowly but surely, we start flirting with our triggers. We start justifying our activities. It is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. You know what’s coming but are mesmerized and ultimately rendered powerless because you got too close to the fire.
We have to face the facts: some things are too strong for us to handle. If that is the case then radical action is needed to successfully navigate away from our temptations. I am convinced that the battle is won day by day and with some key tools from the Lord.
We must be relentless in renewing our mind. Meditating on and internalizing the Word of God is the fuel that God uses to strengthen us mentally and spiritually.
We must do the next right thing. Sometimes it is as simple as walking out of the house. As we face our temptations, God has promised a way of escape for every temptation.
Avoid your triggers at all costs. We all know our weak spots. So does the enemy. Don’t toy around with sin.
Believe that God’s power over sin and temptation is real and available to you.
Deal with your sin if you fall immediately. Jesus will not turn his back on you. As a matter of fact, he is your biggest cheerleader.
I realized last week that if I want to maintain success I can’t play around. I have got to take drastic measures if I don’t want a catastrophe in my life. Is your life worth it? It most certainly is!
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