I’ve had some struggles lately and my entire life to do right. I’m encouraged that I’m not alone in this. Paul, the apostle, and others talk about this struggle. I recently listened to Episode 345, The War of Art and Business where Steven Pressfield, author or The War of Art, where they discussed how we self-sabotage is a force against us. I believe this ties together with the fall of man back in Genesis.
Do you even struggle? Do you want to loose weight and still eat the cookie? Do you want to win with money but still spend money you should save? Do you want to be in shape but watch TV instead. Do you want to live a life that pleases Jesus but instead don’t hid His Word in your heart? So often we do the ironic things instead of the things we should do in order to do what we want or to accomplish what we want. In the examples above, can you see the irony?
We want to be in shape but we eat the wrong things too often. It’s not that we do it on occasion. With losing weight, for a healthy individual, it’s mostly about what we eat. One cookie wouldn’t be that bad but a bag of cookies, some chips, the extra bread, the extreme portions, and then a slice of pie after that. It all adds up so easily and quickly. Before you know it, in one meal, you’ve consumed more than your great-grandparents would have had stored in the house at one time, or at least would have eaten in a day. Not only that but they had physical labor in order to get the food and most of us now sit at a desk or at least don’t labor intensely all day in order to produce our food. Ironically, we end up doing the opposite of what we want to do. Over time, we gain weight and do not adopt the eating habits we need in order to accomplish the goal of being healthier and weighing less.
With money, we seek to gratify quickly too. We, at least in America for sure, want more than we can afford. Even in what we can afford, we think of monthly payments. If we can afford the monthly payment, we can afford the thing. Why do we think this way? If we can’t afford the whole, why do we borrow money so we can pay for it over time. Instead, we should be patient and save the money until we can afford the whole thing. That’s true in my mind now with anything but especially true for anything other than a house. That goes for a car, truck, new toy, vacation, and anything else money can buy. Instead of winning with money, we choose to borrow and pay interest to others. We end up paying interest on cars and houses among other things. This interest could have been part of our savings that could lead us to success with money. Ironically, we choose the opposite of what we want.
Instead of exercising to be in shape, we spend too much time watching TV. We don’t use our bodies or burn the energy we take in. We want to exercise but we waist the time instead.
In Romans 7:15, Paul says, “For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.”
This is a universal struggle. Not just with spiritual matters. So often, spiritual things line up with natural things closely. Take financial health and physical health for instance. They act in many ways like spiritual health. Paul is speaking about the difference in his spirit and his body.
I’m mainly thinking about temptation of sin but this applies to anything we are tempted with that takes us away from our goal. Those who love God demonstrate their love by obeying what He says. “For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands. Now His commands are not a burden,” 1 John 5:3
In the Gospels Jesus was tempted by Satan and every time he battled the temptation with God’s Word. Words are powerful!
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:5-9
Memorize scripture that speaks to your struggle. Hide the in your heart. Plant them in your mind. Keep them in front of your eyes. Entrain them into your life.
I hope you are encouraged!