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Expect the Struggle!

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Really?  

Since making my New Year’s commitment to God, it seems I have received more offers than ever in opposition to my vow.  Even after 3 months of practice I’m still having a hard time.  It’s funny how everyone has the same story.  I call myself making better choices, doing it God’s way, submitting to His will and then {BOOM!} something crazy happens that has me second guessing the whole thing.  Many people say it’s when you decide to do the right thing that the devil pulls out all the stops.  I say, maybe we’re giving him too much credit.

Look the devil and his minions are real.

There’s no doubt about that.  But after living a life solely led by my desires, I’ve realized it’s going to take more than a one-time decision to part ways from who I used to be.  For instance, if I were to stop eating meat, I should expect challenges in every area of my life.  My choice didn’t change my surroundings.  My family still eats meat.  I can’t watch TV without seeing it being cooked or sold.  There are billboards on every corner advertising it.  Meat is everywhere!  In my mind I might be thinking “Oh that no good devil is really making it hard for me” but, in reality, meat has always been everywhere, I’ve just become sensitive to it.  Because I am consciously avoiding meat, I am now made more aware of ground chuck on sale in the freezer section, chicken wings added to the menu at my favorite restaurant, and free bbq at the Sunday School picnic.

This is what happens after every hard decision is made.  We, being creatures of habit, are trained to do the same things over and over, so after we determine to change, struggling should not only be expected but anticipated.  Our flesh is against us. Our surroundings tempt us. Our hearts even deceive us, so we have to prepare.  Knowing our tendencies and shortcomings we have to have an answer before someone even asks the question.  I may not be able to walk through the freezer section of the grocery store.  I may have to write down my order and hand it to the server so my mouth won’t betray me when they ask what I’m having.  I may have to eat before going to the Sunday school picnic and simply go for the fellowship.  The point is I have to PREPARE!

Enemy Inner Me

The devil can only do what God allows him to do.  Many of our battles are internal and gain the victory over us due to misguided expectations and the lack of preparation.  When we blame the devil we dissolve responsibility for our actions and end up going through the same cycle again.  Know that when you choose God, you are choosing a path of hardship (Matt. 16:24).  Know that when you choose to submit,  you are choosing to tell yourself no.  Know that when you choose to be obedient, you are choosing to sacrifice your preference.  If it were easy it wouldn’t have taken you this long to decide!  Choosing right always has valleys, but the victory on the other side is worth it all! (I Peter 4:12-19)

Ps. For the record, I am a meat eater…yea I’m not ready for that struggle. (#nomnom)

#walkthetalk

-Sarah

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