Happy new year beloved daughter and welcome to part 1 of a 3 part series that I’m beginning on life lessons!
When I started this blog it was on my heart to share more of my life in a way that edifies you, so that’s what I’ll be doing in this series. I want to highlight how God speaks to me through the seemingly mundane occurrences in my life in order to teach me to become more like Christ. I hope you can relate to these experiences and apply the principles to your walk with Christ this year.
Lesson 1: Know thyself
For a while now God has been calling me to live a fasted life. I’ve always been fascinated by the book of Daniel and how His devotion to God was expressed through prayer and fasting. Over the last couple of years i’ve studied the purpose of fasting and started practising it as a regular spiritual discipline myself. I can honestly say that it is one of the MOST EFFECTIVE ways for me to crucify my flesh and intentionally draw closer to God.
So what does this have to do with knowing yourself?
Towards the end of 2018 I was fasting, and it was going really well. I was spending time in the word and with God. I was having a pretty good week and as I was close to finishing I started to trust in my flesh.
I convinced myself that it’d be a good idea to not only buy myself a multipack of KitKat chocolate bars but also to keep it in my room.
Bad idea number 2.
We all know what happened from here. My willpower and the desire to deny myself was overcome by the desire to eat and please my flesh.
I went in for one which broke my fast.
I felt bad realising what I had done, but instead of stopping I compensated by having more. It was much easier eating more after having the first one so I went back 3 more times. At this point I was no longer exercising any form of self-control and restraint, I was indulging myself and yielding to my foolish decision earlier.
Looking back on this now I can clearly see how this was very unwise. As I thought it through after I had realised what had happened in the short space of 4 hours, I laughed at myself and understood my downfall.
I know I like chocolate, and I know I’m fasting so why did I let myself tempt myself? Not only should I not have bought it until the fast had ended, but I also should not have kept it in a tempting location.
I trusted in my own flesh and strength instead of fleeing from the very source of temptation and I fell, and great was the fall.
I confessed it to God and he reminded me of this verse:
Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12)
We must not trust in our own strength or track record of brilliance, we must trust in God. We must always acknowledge that we have a sinful nature, and though we are made new in Christ and often want to do the right thing, we can still be lured away by our own carnal desires if we aren’t careful.
Knowing and humbly accepting your frailty and weakness in the face of sin is what will drive you to not only stand in the face of temptation but also avoid all routes to temptation in the first place.
You may also struggle with discipline in fasting, or for you, it could be that you are trying to overcome an addiction such as drug abuse, alcohol misuse or sexual sin. The best advice I can give you is to not put ANY KIND OF CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH, it will always let you down.
When you think you are strong, you are actually at your weakest so put your confidence firmly in Christ and he will give you a way out every single time.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV)