Today as I started my devotions I felt this ache in my gut. It was as if I’d failed God’s assignments for Christmas break. I had two weeks to get things done and ready for the beginning of this work in 2018. Now that it is Jan. 7 and I have only gotten some of it done and there is much still to do. It is not that I haven’t tried. People were sick and the meetings couldn’t happen. I took all of this to God and just as He always does, reminded me that His Work is done in His timing–not mine. I wanted all the steps to be done as I go back to working with schools tomorrow. He wants me to surrender my will to His much Greater Will. It is His Will I want to complete anyway. I just so often have to remember that Will and Timing are in His Control and not mine.
Matthew 12:43-45 says: (and I paraphrase here) “that when an evil spirit leaves a person it goes into the desert seeking rest. When it finds none it returns to the place it left finding it swept clean and put in order. It then goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself and they go in and live there causing the condition for the person to be worse that it had been. ” As I’ve been reading through Romans this message keeps talking to me. I, along with any other person wanting to break a sinful habit, needs help to do so. I confess it, giving it up (casting the evil spirit out) and Christ’s forgiveness cleanses me. I feel good and move forward. Of course we all know that the temptations return and we fight them but eventually if we are doing it on our own, they win out. As I’ve been reading Romans I see a plan I often overlook. It’s God-intended power helping us resist. We all know that replacing a bad habit with a good one is the right thing to do. So, as I’m attempting to break a habit I replace it by confessing the bad habit to my accountability person or sponsor and then call him when the temptation returns. Calling and confessing the temptation is the new habit taking root instead of allowing the old one to return. If I try and fight it on my own I almost always lose and cave. This is like allowing the evil spirit to return with more evil. Starting the new habit takes humility because I (we) hate having to admit we struggle with it. Yet, when we confess, there is a peace that only comes following confession. We never know it without confessing. Jesus waits for us to take this simple, yet humbling step.
For several years now I’ve witnessed my own failures along this line and those of others wo don’t want to call someone. However, as I’ve been reading of late God is showing me how critical it is to replace the old habits with new ones and the need for us to come along side the new habit giving it nutrition. It doesn’t matter the struggle, we all need help/support. I sure don’t want to be a silent failure any longer. Being bold and vulnerable in this arena is what God is asking me to be. He is also reminding me to Trust in Him. This is His Work and the Timing is now.