AUDIO VERSION: YouTube Podbean
This is the moment for some honest soul searching. Some of you sincerely care about pleasing God, but there is one key area of your life where obedience is just not happening and it’s really starting to get in your way with Him. The Holy Spirit keeps telling you that certain things need to change, but you’re pulling out the selective listening skills and acting like you didn’t quite hear Him. Not because you are trying to be a hardcore rebel, but because the particular sin you’re engaging in is solving some other very real problems in your life and if you stopped doing it, you’d end up in three times the mess. “Where would God be then?” you ask yourself fearfully. “Nowhere,” is Satan’s instant reply. He would like you to keep doing what you’re doing because willful disobedience has a wonderfully negative effect on the health of your soul. You realize this and don’t want to help Satan take you down, but you simply don’t have the guts to change. At least in this one area, you’re a total coward. Cowardice is a very real part of the human condition. Even Jesus said a “Please, God, not that,” prayer when it came to being crucified. For the rest of us regular humans, our courage falters long before Gethsemane.
It’s okay to be a coward. You can’t help your gutless state, but you don’t have to be totally controlled by it, either. In a situation like yours, Satan likes to break out the extreme language. He will try to convince you that half-measures are garbage to God, and until you muster up what it takes to totally obey Him in that tough area, you might as well stop talking to Him. Remember that Satan’s goal for every Christian is to put static between them and God. Guilt makes excellent static, as do lies about what God expects from you.
God understands exactly why you gave in to this particular sin in the first place. He knows all about the fears and situational factors that intimidated you into believing it was your best option. Now that you’re fully engaged in conscious rebellion, Satan is working overtime to convince you that you’ve become dependent on your current lifestyle. To go back to God’s way of doing things now would not only be impractical and terribly awkward, it would create a host of new problems that you can’t see any solutions for. So what do you do? According to Satan, your only option is to remain in sin. But there is another choice.
Whenever God asks you to do something that you do not have the internal resources to do, acknowledge where you’re stuck and ask Him to help you get where you should be. It’s perfectly acceptable to tell God, “I’m sorry, but I just can’t find the courage to do what You’re saying. Please help me.” You don’t have to get specific about the help you need. What matters is that you are choosing the concept of obedience, even if you can’t take an actual step towards it. As long as you keep choosing obedience, rebellion cannot win the day and Satan’s influence over you will be extremely limited. This is why Satan will work overtime to tell you that the Holy Spirit will reject such a wimpy prayer as a total copout. Of course this is a lie. Nothing strengthens your relationship with God more than acknowledging how much you need Him. Gutless moments can be turned into prime opportunities for spiritual growth if we are willing to let God meet us where we are at instead of hiding out in shame.
God thrives in the role of Hero. He likes to be the One who rescues us from peril, even when that peril is our own lack of courage. Don’t be tricked into thinking God is too disgusted to work with you now that you’ve been disobeying Him this long. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is an endless Source of fresh starts and surprising solutions. Obeying Him might look like certain doom to you, but He can make things work out in ways you can’t even imagine from here. Anything is possible with God. Keep asking Him to get this area of your life back into alignment with His standards and He will take you there one step at a time. Whenever He asks you to do something that’s just too scary, ask Him to help you overcome your fear. If you’re having trouble even wanting to repent, ask Him to help you desire obedience. God will meet you wherever you are stuck, no matter how far back that is. Don’t wait—take your first step back towards obedience right now.