Sunday, November 28, 2010

*SMACK* Between the Eyes

I love church. I can't remember a single Sunday that I didn't come away with something that stayed with me and helped me grow as a Christian or in my relationship to Christ - not a single time. God uses every message our pastor gives in one way or another in my growth.

So I have come to anticipate God speaking the things I need to hear every week through him, but today was something altogether different. Of the most pressing spiritual areas I'm pondering or struggling with, he hit them all. Bing, bang, boom! But there is one thing I wanted to write about because of its relevance in my life right now: I have been using the wrong shield!

The following is a direct quote from today's sermon, in reference to the shield of faith in Ephesians chapter 6 (that I thought I knew all about!):

"Many are using the wrong shield. We try to conquer the temptations & flesh in our own strength.
We fail time & time again, yet we keep trying, hoping that some day we will get it right.
Often we are not properly using the shield, & wondering why we are not victorious against the fiery arrows of the evil one. We have the Word of God, we know the Word of God, but we don’t practice the Word of God.
"James 1:22 says, 'Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.'”

Here's where I go wrong! I do listen to the Word and I do do what it says in most cases - ie, not lying and stealing and murdering and such - but when it comes to conquering temptations and flesh, I vow to do better next time, or I try harder and harder each time...and like he said, I keep trying and hoping some day I'll get it right. Oh, I'll throw up a prayer, "I'm sorry I failed yet again, me to get it right next time." But what do I change? what do I DO, according to the Word in James 1:22? Do I keep doing the same things that lead to my failure, reading the Word, but not doing what it says in relation to my temptations and flesh? Do I USE the Word to know what to DO, what I need to change? Or do I listen to it, read it, and not change a thing yet still attempt to "do better" next time? Do I have believe that the shield of faith can protect me...but then just leave it hanging on the wall and not pick it up and put in front of me?

"Yeah, God, I know that shield hanging on the wall over there will protect me, I read all about it, blah blah let me get back to trying to gain a little ground against this temptation here...oh, and will you help me please?"


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