Last weekend it seemed like joined about 80% of the population of Pierce County in the personal enjoyment of a head cold. I’m not sure if we were all sharing these colds due to the fact that kids were finishing up their second week of school or if it was due to the month of solid rain. Nevertheless, I wasn’t feeling well and when the alarm clock went off early on Saturday morning I punched the snooze button.
I chose not to get up and take my normal morning walk, and mercifully the dog didn’t even whine (at least not very loudly) and I went back to sleep. Later that day I reasoned with myself that I had done what any normal or sane person would have don in going back to sleep. That may or may not be the case but what I found myself doing was congratulating myself that it was the first time since I had started these walks more than a month before that I had missed one.
That felt pretty good and I began to add up the days so that I could properly congratulate myself – until I remembered. Two weeks before, dragging around after staying up too late the night before, I had slept right through my alarm. Now it seemed like my “streak” wasn’t really a streak at all. In fact, it was more like a Florida Gator winning “streak.” The reality of the “streak” was in the delusion of my mind, as it is in the minds of Gator fans.
Enough about the Gators, I actually have a serious thought here. I began to think about how many times I purpose not to do something again: get angry, jealous, bitter, and a host of other sinful thoughts, plans, and ideas that I struggle against. Almost every time that I succumb to such a sin I quickly resolve; “to never do that again.”This resolve is usually followed by strident attempts to keep myself in check. These are good things but they will ultimately fail in some way and I will find myself saying again, “I’ll never do that again.”
I haven’t stopped my early morning walks because I have failed to get up twice over the last month. In fact, the reality of the other 30 plus days can help to encourage me to keep on getting up. However, when it comes to sin; when it comes to an attitude, an action, or a thought that can seem to control us, we have another difficulty. That’s why the truth of Scripture is so important to us.
It is our weakness that reveals the strength of our Savior.
In 2 Corinthians 12 the Apostle Paul is describing a vision that he was given and a subsequent struggle with a physical weakness. In verse 9 he records this statement from God; “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.
I must be clear here; Paul was talking about a physical affliction that God had given him, and not any personal sin. However, the same truth still applies to you and I. It is in our weakness – our declaration that we are in need of the grace of God – that we receive our strength. We are told by the Apostle John that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us, and cleanse us of our unrighteousness.
Just as missing two days in the month revealed the strength of my habit, so to will a personal, daily, declaration of our dependence upon Christ reveal His strength in our lives.
Personal confession is a statement of belief: belief that Christ Jesus did come to save sinners, of whom we all could claim to be chief.
A daily admittance will send us not to a place of complacency but rather seeking shelter; shelter which we will only find in the One who came to give His life for us, that we might have an abundant life.
A declaration of dependence will consistently drive us to seek; to seek a greater and fuller knowledge of the God we serve. This knowledge is found in Scripture and is revealed through the work of the Holy Spirit.