You may be reading this post very aware that you have just failed again, especially with something that you’re trying to beat because you can see that it’s having a negative impact on your life and on the lives of others.
You’re travelling at speed. Your heart is like a set of bicycle wheels. Your apparent nemesis is like a rut that you’re wheels are in and you’re afraid if you try to move out to another path you’ll collapse in a fracturing, exposing heap.
You’re trying to beat an addiction but afraid of your failings and inability to overcome.
Because we’re all works in progress, the chances are high that the last time you failed in a way that gutted you wasn’t that long ago – maybe even 90 seconds ago before you read this blog.
Gambling. Alcohol. Extreme selfishness. Anger. Soft porn. Hard porn. Sugar. Bulimia. Favouritism. Mean-spiritedness. Luke-warmness. Weed. Flirting. Social media. Nicotine. Caffeine. Materialism.
But, my friend, You Are Not Your Failures.
You’re Being Fashioned by Your Fight
This vice-like experience that you’re desperate to be rid of is shaping you into a shape that you couldn’t be shaped into in any other way.
Calvinists believe in the perseverance of the Saints – that, (in short), true believers will keep on going, keep on getting up regardless of the life context, regardless of the battering. It’s the ‘keeping on’ that proves the genuineness of the saving work of Christ.
Has it occurred to you that who you truly are is being formed by the vice-like fight that you’re in?
You are not the failures or the successes that punctuate your life. You have Yahweh DNA. You are a son or daughter becoming like God Himself via the metamorphic cocoon of progressive sanctification.
According to Brennan Manning, you are Daddy’s little boy or Daddy’s little girl. Little boys and little girls poo their pants and vomit all over the place. They cry and misbehave and have limited attention, understanding and take AGES to learn – that’s what you’re like. But you are also loved just as you are.
Three Revelations that Shape Maturity & Spark Freedom
- Your fight is God-given grace. Not everyone gets to fight, but you do. You are in the vice-like hand of God and you are being formed every day, through trial and temptation, mountain and valley, break-through and set-back. Sometimes the force is greater, sometimes the shaping hurts but you are never to God your success or your failure. You are his child. God is using your fight to strengthen you not to wear you out. The fact that you are in a fight proves you belong not to this world or to the devil, but to Christ Himself.
- No temptation has seized you except which is common to man (1 Cor.10:13). Therefore, ask for help, seek out a true friend who will understand the importance of accountability. The power of Satan is always in the secret. Take a step of faith and talk to someone TODAY.
- No addiction is more powerful than Jesus. Within the context of trusted friendship, within the blessing of genuine church family, within your commitment to come to Jesus even in your weakness, the Holy Spirit is working powerfully in you even when NOTHING seems to be happening. Your salvation is nearer now than when you first believed (Romans 13:11) freedom from sin, freedom from vice is your inheritance in Christ.
NOW Read Isaiah 54
Ali vs Liston
The above picture is a famous image of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston in 1965. We can relate to both positions: being knocked out and knocking out. I wonder if you feel more like Ali or Liston as you look at the image? It might be a different story tomorrow.
But praise God that Jesus has crushed the devil (Gen.3:15) and that, while you’re shaped and honed in the here and now, your eternal victory in Him is in no doubt whatsoever (2 Cor.2:14).