The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7:15, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Even he had the same problem we all face – our flesh, temptations, and our selfish desires to deal with. And as a human, he like all of us – made wrong choices.
I feel sometimes people look at my life and think, “wow…I wish I had it all together like he does!”. But, nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t have it “all together”. I make wrong choices, give into temptation, and follow the desires of my flesh too often as we all do. I’m human. I DO strive to live right, to follow Jesus, to obey His Word, and to be a Light in this world. However, I’m not near perfect, and I sometimes do what I know is wrong, even knowing the outcome won’t be good, simply because I’m just too tired, or I’ve had a rough day, or because of some other reason or excuse.
The thing is, when I do make wrong choices and wrong decisions, it doesn’t take long before I realize, “Joshua, you shouldn’t have done that!”, and I know life isn’t going to be too much fun until I confess it, make the necessary changes, and get my life back on the right track.
The worst times in my life, where I’ve just felt miserable inside, are because I’ve selfishly chosen to make the wrong decisions. And ALL of the best times in my life, where I’ve felt awesome inside, are when I’ve purposefully chosen to obey God, and follow Him. I’ve ALWAYS found that when I think I can do things on my own, and I don’t need to follow His commandments, I make GREAT mistakes, and I mess things up. He IS GOD! He knows what is right….I’m not sure why that is so hard for us to learn sometimes.
It’s NOT always easy to follow Jesus and do what is right. It’s NOT always easy to turn the other cheek when people are mean or hateful to us. It’s NOT always easy to put others first in our life, especially when we don’t think they deserve it. It’s NOT always easy to let God completely control EVERY part of our life, when we want different things than He knows are best for us. It’s NOT always easy. But, God never promised it would be easy. He simply promised that He would be with us, and we could find IN HIM everything we need.
I know from my own experiences that no matter how hard or impossible it may seem to obey God, we’re ALWAYS 10,000% better off when we make the decision to follow Him no matter what it may “cost” us!
Yes, we ALL make wrong choices, we ALL fail, and we ALL do stupid stuff sometimes. So did the Apostle Paul, and every other human being who has ever lived. However, the thing we can learn from Paul’s life is that he NEVER let those things keep him from following Jesus Christ. When he fell, he got right back up and continued on seeking to be like Jesus.
Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith”. He lost some battles with his flesh sometimes, he gave into the world like we all do…but he NEVER gave up on following Jesus. And when sin and the flesh made their way into his actions – he got things right with God.
I also have made wrong choices, done stupid stuff, and have given in to temptation more times than I want to think about. But, I’ve not let those things keep me from loving and striving to follow Jesus. That’s what makes the difference.
Yes we all fail sometimes. But when we do fail…DON’T STAY DOWN!! GET UP AND CONTINUE ON!! That’s one of the key parts we must learn in life – we fail. Until we admit that we fail, we never will realize how much we need God in our lives. Until we realize that in our own strength we CAN NEVER be what He commands us to be, we will not begin the “healing” process and realize the true meaning of His love, His mercy, and His grace in our lives.
Don’t give up on God simply because YOU made a wrong decision. Jesus NEVER changes, His Word is ALWAYS true, and HE WILL guide and help us to live right, when we seek Him with all of our hearts, when we learn to hate what He hates and love what He loves!
Now, that doesn’t mean that we just say; “Well, I’m going to fail anyway – I might as well not even try!”. NO!! The closer we stay to God, the more we read His Word, the more we pray and fellowship with Him, the less we fail. Yes, we all fail, but there is something we can do about that – keep our eyes on Jesus!
I don’t have it “all together”, but I DO have Jesus Christ – and He’s ALL I NEED! I just have to follow Him daily, and seek Him with everything I am.
It’s NOT always easy – but it is WELL WORTH it! That much I can PROMISE you!