It’s Ok, Come Back

It's Ok, Come Back

“It’s Ok, Come Back”

Written on: 09/28/2015

Devotional by: Bryce Malone (@609turtle)

We sin, it happens. Yesterday I made a mistake, one I haven’t made in months! I was stuck wondering whether I became too proud and thought I was strong enough to finally handle some things on my own or if God allowed me to be given over to this temptation to teach me something. God will never cause us to sin, but He can allow us to be tempted, rather than stopping us from being tempted, without affliction, we will never learn. Thankfully, He’s given me the strength to see the good in everything. When I make a mistake, I ask for forgiveness and the wisdom to avoid whatever caused the mistake to begin with. I ask for the strength and guidance to fight it off if it somehow crosses my path again. Many times we feel like with His help we improve so much with areas we used to battle with that we think we can sometimes take it on by ourselves. When we do this, we are testing God without even knowing it. What I mean is, we might be tempted with something randomly or by chance throughout the natural course of our days. We may overcome whatever it was because we remember we’ve come a long way and that God is on our side. We don’t fight flesh with flesh, we fight flesh with Spirit! When we do that, there is never a battle we can’t win. So as the day goes on we may feel proud that we got through those tempted moments, but we have to be sure we don’t feel proud and haughty of ourselves, because without God’s strength and the renewal of our minds through prayer and His word, we could’ve never done some of these things. This is where God allowing us to be tempter may come in, if you read my previous post ‘Experiences’ you will realize that God may give us over to some of our lusts for a time just so we can realize how silly we were to want something so worthless, something not infinite! So the day went on and I tested God as I said without even knowing it. I conquered, with God’s help, the temptation from earlier, and now I said “this is awesome what God has done inside me, I’m so strong now!” So although I wasn’t proud of myself, I was proud of how far I’ve come with Jesus! Noticing progress is great, but then I decided to allow the temptation to overtake me, it didn’t happen by chance this time, I went to it thinking I could take it on again, not realizing what I was really doing was back-tracking and testing the God that I am so happy to have in control. I wasn’t too far along that he couldn’t rescues me as he always does, but he needed to remind me that I made a mistake going to the very thing we’ve worked so hard to get past! This is the best expression I could come up with: It’s like I was forced to play Russian roulette 100 times that day, 99 of the times were forced on me and I remembered God was on my side and got through each time. Then I willingly played the 100th time. The first 99 times God was there to rescue me because he knows I didn’t put myself in the situation, the first 99 times I was playing with 0 bullets in the gun because God was on my side! Then I tested God unknowingly and went to the temptation and said “try me!” So I went from playing with 0 bullets, to 2! I realized afterwards that it was my fault, not only did I bring temptation upon myself, but I did it AND didn’t fight it with God’s help. If I did still fight it with his help, I would’ve realized I still made the mistake of bringing a sin to myself, rather than it just coming to me unknowingly. Seeing the good in everything, I immediately realized that He allowed me to fall into this, so I could come back to him even stronger, even more submissive and willing than I already was! I didn’t think I could be any more submissive and accepting, but I realized nobody but Jesus was without sin, the only thing we can do is get better and improve in the areas we struggle with every single day. A Christian will ultimately battle certain sins until the day they die, that’s just the truth, but if they are willing, they can also improve on those same sins little by little every day. I was reminded that I am only human; I’m not here to be perfect, I’m here to introduce people to the one who is perfect, Jesus! We too often try to change behavior of those we introduce to Jesus, rather than just doing that, introducing Jesus, a friend. Who doesn’t love a new friend? Especially one who can do the things he can do! Sometimes you will be tempted to do things that you shouldn’t’ do through the course of a day randomly. Sometimes because of your own selfish desires you’ll tempt yourself; sometimes you’ll conquer one and not the other. The important thing is that you never turn away from Jesus, that each time you get knocked down you turn back to him stronger than the last time. You can never give enough of yourself to Jesus; you can’t give him half your heart and pray it makes you whole. Don’t just give him the good in your life, give him the bad and the good, he can handle and improve them both. Through every mistake he can teach you the wisdom of how it happened, where the root of the problem exists and how to remove that problem. He can give you the strength to get through it over and over again, and the strength of mind and heart to remove the thoughts of that very problem from your brain completely. All you have to do is trust him, submit to him. I was thinking how people who have done nothing but sin their entire lives, kill, cheat, lie, can turn to Jesus and say “I accept you and I’m sorry.” I thought about that and thought how their minds and hearts could mean that 1% and the other 99% doesn’t, because they don’t know any better! We could be fully committed to following Jesus, we could be the opposite, we could mean what we say 99% and not mean it 1%, but he will treat us the exact same and love us the exact same. The important thing is that we all realize that we need Jesus, and it will never be otherwise. There is always room for improvement, you just have to be open to it, and just like anything else we try to improve on, It takes practice and trust; with Jesus it takes trust, willingness, prayer and love. Whether you’re beating yourself up for something you continually struggle with or you think you’re too far away to turn back to Jesus, it’s the same for both parties, we need Jesus. We don’t deserve His grace and mercy but we get it anyway! There is good in everything, there is good in the good, and in the bad there is good. There is opportunity to learn and become stronger. For those in the opposite seat, believing they are too far away to turn to Jesus, you probably should be considered too far away for most people, they’ll tell you to “clean yourself up” before you step into God’s house. But, that’s exactly what Jesus is for; you can’t do it on your own, so turn to him, accept him, and let him go to work on you. Again, we do not deserve his grace and mercy, but we get it anyway! Not because of whom we are, but because of whom He is! For me, I decided to read and pray more every day, more than I have been in the past (which was already pretty often). If he flows out of us in everything we do, there aren’t many battles we will lose, and even if we do he’ll still be there saying “it’s ok, come back.”

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