Thursday, September 8, 2011

He promised, I believe.

"Lord, I have an Israelite's unbelief, wondering at times if it were not better to have a grave in Egypt than struggle in this wilderness. But You have promised. I believe." -Jim Elliot

I first read these words in a very hot mud house, with 'zankey' yelling my name through the cracks in our broken door. I never thought that Jim's words would become even more familiar to my prayers when sitting by myself in a nicely air-conditioned room (while eating strawberries, no less)! It seems that, while spiritual warfare seems to be more clearly seen through the eyes of an American in a remote African village, Satan is much harder to recognize and demolish in the "Christianized" comforts of America.

Uncovering sin is a painful and humbling process. In fact, it can be so painful that Satan may whisper "keep it hidden" or "it's not worth it." As I'm ripping myself from sin, I have had a thought or two that maybe it would just be easier to live with the sin rather than deal with the pain of getting rid of it. Rather than struggling, I'll just "have a grave in Egypt." No need for God to deliver me from sin- I'll just sit right here in my pool of unglorifying thoughts & actions!

BUT- God has promised. He has promised to fight for us, to conquer for us, to eradicate sin FOR US. He says "return to me, for I have redeemed you." (Is. 44:22) We don't have to fight sin on our own- "the weapons we fight with . . . have divine power to demolish strongholds." (2 Cor. 10:4) Only the divine power of Christ can break down Satan's grip of sin on our lives!

It's okay to admit to God that you have a certain amount of unbelief, or that it would seem easier to submit to sin- He knows that already. It's not okay to submit to the sin. Struggling in the wilderness may last for a time, but it only serves to draw me closer to the Father! He has promised, so I believe. Deliver me from Satan's grip, King Jesus, and sweep away my offenses like the morning mist.

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