Monday, January 08, 2007

Constant Cravings

Perhaps it's a
  • a passing scent
  • a savored taste
  • a forgotten song
  • a chance meeting
  • traveling by a memorable place
  • the certain memory-filled time of year
  • a glance in a mirror
  • a turn of a phrase of words
  • a memory sitting in corner of your mind, waiting, just waiting to be bid to come

that brings to mind a desire that should not be active in your life. It will not be beneficial to you and cannot offer any uplifting encouragement, but still, it lays dormant, patiently awaiting the time it will be pulled from the shelf of your mind, turned and admired, remembered. It tempts you to pursue it, even if you have tried to put it to rest.

I don't know about you, but I have a constant craving, a temptation that beckons me to consider it, touch it, relish it, know it - if only for a short time. No matter how often I ask God to be released from its grasp, it still remains encamped in a corner of my heart, wondering what would happen if it weren't just memory, but a tactile part of my life again.

For some it may be

  • a reformed smoker's satisfying drag of a cigarette
  • a recovering alcoholic's sip of wine
  • a past relationship that still makes you think feel special when you dwell on it
  • going by porn sites, just "for a look"
  • the wallowing in an anger about a cheated past, situation or life
  • a prideful glance at oneself, thinking yourself better than others
  • a best-to-be-forgotten-yet-it-is-not memory that is viewed from all directions, admired, savored, and then set on a high shelf in the mind where it is easy to see and easy to reach
  • some addiction/temptation that calls you to leave the safety of God's forgiveness, "just for a moment"

So what do I do with my constant craving? How do I handle this enticement that encourages me to think solely of myself? What goes through my mind when my temptation is so strong that I wish to do more than think on it, but rather act on it?

I remember that God is bigger and better than I am, and that with him, I don't have to worry about overcoming my human desire. He'll do it for me.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

God is faithful and his presence in my life alone will curb my craving because my battle/struggle/wrestling belongs to him. He will fight for me. When I am weak, he is made strong.

Did you notice I did not say he will remove my craving? He may do that, but I am completely satisfied if he doesn't remove it, knowing that he can help me endure it. Who knows... God may keep it prevelant in my mind so that I can help another who is struggling with the same desire.

Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. I Peter 2: 10-11

If I can accept God's mercy, then I can accept his power to strengthen me when my selfishness attacks.

Romans 8:31, 35-39

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thank God that includes myself.

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