Dear Faith Family,
I’m a man filled with hate. I hate the sins that seem to be unshakeable in my life. I hate that I seem to always do the things that I don’t want to do. And I don’t seem to do the things I really want to do. I hate that I am unable to be the husband I want to be for my wife. I hate that I am unable to be the pastor that I want to be for my faith family. And I hate that I can never really be the lover of my God and Savior that I know I need to be.
It seems to come so easy for some people, but it isn’t easy for me. Maybe you know the frustration I feel. Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to live a life of worship if that’s what we were created to live? Do you ever get so frustrated with your sin that you want to scream and curse yourself for your continual failures? I do. It seems the more I try to live right for God, the more I fall on my face in utter failure and despair.
Recently, God’s been working within me to show me a few things that I hope will be as helpful to you as they have been to me.
I’ve come to understand that the temptations we face and the sins we struggle with are not simply a judgment from God. Of course sometimes we do receive the punishment we are due for going against our creator, but that is not the only reason we face temptations in our lives.
Our Father loves us. And because He loves us, he sometimes allows us to be tempted for a purpose. The Bible is clear that He is not the one tempting us, but He does allow us to be tempted. He doesn’t allow temptation just to test us to see if we will love Him more or to see if we will be able to overcome sin by our own will power.
I believe one of the main reasons He allows us to be tempted is to drive us into His loving arms. You see we will never be strong enough in our own power to avoid the temptations and sins that we face every day. God does command us to be holy, but we are unable to work hard enough to beat the sin that so easily entangles us.
When we are tempted, it is God’s desire that we would humble ourselves and fall at His feet asking Him to deliver us from the temptation to sin against Him. He isn’t looking for us to try and defeat sin in our own power. He wants us to realize our dependence on Him and ask Him, our Father, to deliver us from our sin and even from ourselves. He wants us to tap into the power of the gospel by depending on Him, not ourselves.
The Christian life isn’t about us striving harder to be better people. It’s about us realizing we can’t will ourselves into perfection. It’s about us realizing we were not created to live under our own power, but we were created to embrace the One who holds all power over sin. We were created to be loved by God in order that we might then love Him back because of what He has done for us in Christ Jesus, His Son. When we love God and wholly depend on Him for deliverance from our sinfulness, we are finally living life the way it was originally intended. It’s not about us working harder to win the war. It’s about us depending on God and resting in the love He has shown us by winning the war for us through Jesus going to the cross in our place.
So the next time you are tempted to sin, don’t rely on your own strength. We aren’t strong enough…and that’s ok. God is strong enough and He simply wants to love us and deliver us as any good Father wants to do for His children…so let Him. Don’t try to take it all on yourselves. Instead, turn toward God and fall into His embrace, allowing Him to love you and deliver you. For this is why He has created us…to show us the love of a perfect Father.
Your fellow failure,