Do you ever feel like you’re failing? I mean like you’re trying but it’s not working? No matter what you try, you just keep screwing this thing up somewhere along the way?
And then just knowing God sees it all. He sits high upon his throne with a view of every single thing we do, in full awareness of our next mistake before it even happens. We can’t hide anything from him. Sometimes I just want to come running to God and say “Lord, I’m trying, darn it!”
I’m trying to clean this up, but I keep making more messes as I do. I’m trying to do better, but it seems my better isn’t quite good enough. I’m really trying darn it, but I don’t have a whole lot of progress to show for it.
Did you know in God’s holy word, someone else felt this exact same way? Someone else sat and wrote similar words, and they qualified for preserving throughout all these generations because God wanted to ensure we read those words today. Words that would speak exactly how we feel in frustration with ourselves.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7:15 ” I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
And in response we want to say, “Paul, SAME!!!! Dude, me too!”
Right, you too are confused by your own lack of ability to do the things you know you need to do. You too can’t understand why there’s a disconnect between knowing and doing. Oh girls, we don’t have a knowing problem … we have a doing problem.
We are directed by God’s Spirit which dwells within us. That Spirit is continually prompting us and showing us what to do. We know it. We feel it. But dang if we don’t resist it and do the thing we’re not supposed to do. We want to be good, but darn it, we keep doing bad.
The struggle is real. I’m not just saying that. Seriously, the struggle is real. Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers and authorities, and the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
The powers of Hell come out to fight against us doing the things the Spirit prompts us to do. Why? Because if our enemy can keep us feeling bad about every little we do, then we surely won’t have the confidence to do the big things God has planned for us to do. We’re off the battlefields and sitting on the sidelines, exactly where our enemy wants us.
But understand this my sister, no matter how bad we’ve screwed up, and no matter how many times we’ve been caught in the trap of doing the thing we said we wouldn’t do, God still wants us off the sideline and on the field of this life! He still wants us in the game, in the fight, showing up for the good plans he has for us.
God hasn’t counted you out. He hasn’t dismissed you from your destiny. He hasn’t cancelled your calling. Nope, he sent his best player in to cover you. He sent JESUS FOR YOU!
And this is what the Apostle Paul realizes, he realizes Jesus is for this exact struggle. Not only to save us for an eternity, but to save us right here, right now. To change the things we can never change.
Reading in the MSG translation Romans 7: 18-25 “I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. (Well isn’t that a peak into our soul, goals, our daily schedule, and our pantry?)
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can (help me) and does (help me).”
Reading these words is as if someone just bared your innermost struggle and thoughts publicly, right? Isn’t this exactly how you feel? You decide to do good, but darn it all, you don’t actually do it. You make decisions, but those decisions don’t result in actions. And it happens so much with you, it’s predictable. It’s predictable to the point that you’re questioning why even try again.
Is that where you are … questioning why you would even try again. Giving up. Settling right here. Oh sis, you’re hearing this right now because God isn’t letting you quit here. He’s not letting you settle now. He’s calling you on and stirring up his fight within you.
You thought you were alone in this? Girl, you’re not only NOT alone, you’re joined by all of mankind! Heck look back at Eve. Eve was given one instruction of what not to do. She had complete permission to eat everything there was, except for the fruit of one tree … and what did she do? She ate the dang apple she wasn’t supposed to do. She meant to do good. Her intentions were good. But she got tripped up.
And so do you. You get tripped up.
And let me assure you, God is not at all surprised by this. He anticipated your need for a rescue and he sent Jesus. Your answer for this is Jesus. Jesus CAN help you and he DOES help you.
Jesus, I’m trying darn it. But I still really need your help.
All this time God has been watching you. His eye has never left you. His thoughts have always been about you. And you know that thing you really screwed up … that legit worst decision of your life … that time when you world-class failed … that thing maybe you’ve never even been able to take full responsibility for and you’re still trying to hide after all this time … God saw it.
Yes, God’s eye was on you as you were screwing that up. And he didn’t turn away from you. Listen, because you need to know this, THERE’S NEVER BEEN A DAY WHEN GOD PANICKED AND THOUGHT ‘OH NO, SHE’S RUINED EVERYTHING’!!!!
That’s never happened. God’s never once been stuck in a corner, unable to work with the crap you’ve done. He’s never once felt you were too far gone or beyond saving. He’s never once written you off as broken, unworthy, or incapable of change. You’ve always been his girl. You’ve always been the one he knew was full of potential, and he knew it because he put that potential within you. You’ve always been the one destined for greater things, because he wrote that destiny.
You and I are just like Paul, coming to God and saying “Lord, I’m trying darn it!” Trying, but failing. Pushing to do better, but sometimes going backwards instead of forwards. But we’re here seeking. And Jesus promised when we seek, we will find. And what we find is Jesus here to help us. Here to redeem us. Here to strengthen us to do the things the Spirit prompts us to do.
Was God able to use Paul even though he clearly struggled to make himself do the good things he wanted to do? Absolutely. Isn’t he still using him today? For real, God is still using Paul to help us today, thousands of years later! And girl, you think God can’t use you in some way? You think your struggles and failures dismiss you from a life of purpose?
With Jesus, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. You haven’t ruined anything. God can work with this! Jesus, today, please help us do better.