Struggling Christian, God Wants You to Flourish
As a woman who has walked with the Lord for almost ten years now, it is to my great shame and embarrassment that I sometimes still see myself struggling with some of the same sins the Lord rescued me from when He saved me all those years ago. There are moments where I weep while questioning His saving of a sinner like me: surely this was a mistake, surely the Lord is done with me, surely He can't love me anymore. Perhaps you've been there, perhaps you are there right now. What does the Lord think about you and your struggles?
HE KNOWS THE OUTCOME OF EMBRACING SIN
First of all, we need to talk about sin. Sin is heinous, sin brings destruction, sin harms us and robs us of joy and our flourishing. If sin were a small matter, it wouldn't have required the shedding of Christ's blood on the Cross for our atonement. The Lord knows the outcome of pursuing and embracing sin. He knows it will bring you feelings of guilt and shame, make you fearful before Him and leave you with a desire to flee from His goodness and presence. Therefore, He wants to keep you from it. Throughout Scripture, we see warnings for those in Christ to be vigilant and on guard against sin (Romans 6:12, 13:14). We are at war with our sinful desires, and we do battle by renewing our minds and by walking by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:11, 12:1-2; Galatians 5:16).
If you are struggling with persistent sins, you need to bombard yourself with truth from God's Word. We know that in Christ, we dwell secure and nothing can snatch us out of His hand (John 10:28-29). However, that does not give us a license to sin (this is Paul's point in Romans 6). There are consequences for the believer that persists in pursuing and embracing sin and like a loving Father, the Lord will discipline His children for their good (Hebrews 12:6). If you belong to Christ, you were bought with a price and not only did He save you from sin, but He saved you to live a life of holy joy and satisfaction in Him.
HE WANTS HIS GLORY AND YOUR GOOD
What is God's desire for you, struggling Christian? He wants your greatest good and He knows that will only come from you being truly satisfied in Him. Far too often in our spiritual lives, we spend our time focusing on God's "no" to something, rather than His "yes" to something greater. Consider for a moment the Garden of Eden, we are told there were four rivers that flowed forth from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:10-12). Evidently, it must have been a pretty large area. In that large host of fruited trees for Adam and Eve to delight in and eat their fill, God said no to only one and that one no, became their sole focus and desire. Struggling Christian, God wants you to flourish. Wherever He says no to something, it is for your good and His Glory. He knows what will bring you harm and He knows what will bring you peace and joy. Trust Him, lean on Him, seek Him, draw near to Him, cling to Him, the Purchaser and Finisher of your redemption. He who called you is faithful and good: "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)." He has said yes to you enjoying Him, delighting in truth and beauty and peace and joy and freedom from bondage. Dwell on His Excellence and linger on His promises concerning His glory and your good: "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6)."
"And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail." Isaiah 58:11
Spend some time focusing on the devastating consequences of sin and the beautiful blessings that come from embracing and following Christ. Read through Romans 6 and Psalm 16.