by Sandy Asoofi
As children of God, one of the toughest lessons God can teach us is how to run to Him even in the midst of our failures, frustrations, pain, and disobedience. The easiest decision a believer can make when he or she finds themselves in backsliding situations is to take a step away from God and head in the opposite direction.
We have the tendency to separate from God for several different reasons. Sometimes it could be a frustration from unanswered prayer, secret sin which is present within our hearts or even a feeling of condemnation when we fail Him. We have this urge to step away from prayer because our flesh convinces us that’s the best solution.
Only after being away from prayer do we realize it was definitely not the best solution. Neglecting our time in prayer with God is never a solution.
We must come to the realization that the way we picture ourselves in the midst of our failures and struggles is not the same way God sees us. His Word reminds us,
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
When we have no idea how to bring our failures and struggles to God, we decide to neglect prayer and take time to “fix” everything before we continue to commune with God. Consequently, the point at which a person makes the decision to turn away from the Lord in times of hardship is the beginning of a continuous and destructive cycle. You begin to find yourself on your knees in prayer when all is well and apart from the Lord when trials and failures come your way. When we don’t put a stop to this cycle, our relationship with God becomes very superficial and we feel as if God is always angry at us. There is no satisfaction in prayer or even the Word of God with that kind of mentality. Eventually our prayer lives are at risk.
When we find ourselves in these types of situations, we need the Word of God to reminds us,
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)
One of the reasons why we face these situations is because of the war which is continually present between the spirit and the flesh. The Apostle Paul describes this fight between the flesh and spirit in Roman chapter 7. After he expresses his frustration of living in human flesh, he writes:
“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24-25)
We can rest in the fact that God is the solution to our problem. He is the one that saves us from us when our own flesh is against us. This is why communing with God is so urgent. If we don’t allow God to be our solution, than who will be?
Pastor John Piper calls these moments in which we sin against God yet obtain His mercy, ‘broken boldness’.
“I have sinned against Him, and so I am broken beneath His holy indignation. But this very God—this very same angry God—will soon plead my cause, He will take my side and vindicate me, and so I am bold in His grace. Broken under his indignation, bold in His grace.”
That is the amazing grace of God which humanity cannot comprehend. We may continually struggle to understand the grace of Almighty God, but we must learn to stop trying to comprehend it and simply accept it.
God is aware that His children will fail Him plenty more times, it does not shock Him. He is a Father who seeks to correct and discipline His children. He teaches us to lean on Him in these unpleasant situations. He shows us how desperately we need Him in our lives. God’s intention for teaching us these tough lessons is to purify and refine us. After all, those whom the Lord loves He disciplines (Hebrews 12:6).
“God’s design in discipline is not to hurt ultimately, though it does hurt temporarily (Hebrews 12:11). His aim is not punitive; it is not vengeance; it is not retributive justice; it is purification and refining.” -J. Piper
Whatever the failure, frustration, pain, or disobedience in our lives, we must allow God to teach us how to run to Him in theses times of hardship instead of away from Him. God is a part of every aspect of our lives, and He will correct us if we pray and ask Him to. We need to see Him rightly and know that He is for us, not against us.
We must learn to take all our struggles, sin, temptations and disobedience to God and turn it into a conversation with Him. We should not settle for a superficial relationship with God but allow the Lord take us deeper in our prayer lives. We can’t afford to be away from God in prayer, He is our source of life. We need to be aware that we can’t survive apart from Him.
No matter what comes your way, allow God to be on your side. Or better yet, be on His side. Seek and ask for His presence continually. Seek Him always, in every situation, at all times.
“Realize that in your persistent temptation God is calling you to seek Him and turn these temptations into conversation with Him and intercession for others.” -W.D. Thrasher
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