Monday, January 08, 2007

Only by God's Grace

When you pray for potatoes, have a hoe in your hand.

In case you were wondering, this saying applies, it would seem, to blog posts as well - particularly this post. At the end of the post, I wrote this little prayer:

I hope that God will work each of us through our own personalized little training exercises today so that when we have trials, we can run like a sprinter rather than sit and quack like a lame duck.

Well, it wasn't a prayer per se, but I guess God took it that way for, not even two days later, God allowed satan the opportunity to see if I would succumb to my great temptation. Who knew that God was paying attention in the blogsphere?

Now, I don't think you need to know all about my struggles with sin because, good night, nurse!, we would be here all day. But I will be completely honest in saying that there was a time when satan used some situations which challenged my faith and my beliefs - not only in my Christian walk, but also in myself. Those were not pretty days, but by the grace of God, he got me through the minefield of lies to safely arrive on the other side.

However, the temptation of that situation came back into my life unexpectedly. Hence the post from yesterday. This beckoning happens to be one of my constant cravings to veer off God's path and onto a sinful one, the one thought that taunts me into seeking my own will rather than my Father's. It's the one thing that I still pray about it not having control over my emotions ever again.

What do you do when a past desire comes back into your life, especially when you're not looking for it? How do you say no to something that once made you feel so special, so alive? How do you not flirt with something that makes you feel good? What harm can come from it?

I started praying immediately, hard and fast. And here is how God answered my call.

I wanted to talk to my good Christian friend Jenni who is in full knowledge of my past; she would know how to best advise me. Unfortunately, her number had changed recently, and I did not have it with me. Ugh. I would have to wait until I returned home to talk to her.

So after work, I ran by Circuit City to get my upgraded Verizon cell phone and renewal. And as I finished up the long process, in walked Jenni and her family. Now here's what was odd about finding her there: First she was about 13 months pregnant; she looked big and miserable. Secondly, this store was no where near her house. They were out of their normal shopping arena. They "happened" to be out and about, and they chose to eat at the restaurant next door. Personally, I think it was all a God thing. I was able to talk with her and her husband, and I felt better equipped to know how to tackle this situation.

I also talked with Mr. Right to get his take on the situation too. I love that I have such a wise and loving man who is such a tower of strength for me. He defines helpmate.

You see how God answered? He brought the unreachable to me - my friends with Godly wisdom. He gave me a relationship with my husband so that I can talk to him about anything and everything. He gave me Himself on which to lean.

So here's the outcome to my situation. Perhaps it would be better to just show you.

After taking steps to refuse to be lured to this enticement, I actually called Mr. Right and told him that this was exactly how I was feeling! What an awesome realization to know that if I call on God, he will give me the strength to deny my selfish desires. I literally had that same course of energy running through my veins when I ever-so-politely-yet firmly closed the door that, in the past, I would have left cracked, in hopes that the temptation would "sneak in" so that I could claim that I had nothing to do with inviting it into my life.

Whew. I feel a lot more confident in myself, and I'm doing a lot more praising of God. And that, my friends, is a great feeling.

Do I think this enticement is over? Probably not. But the next time it comes around, I'll have more of a reserve to resist.

So I do pray that same little prayer again. I do pray that God will give you little exercises of faith so that when a doozy comes your way, you will know how to "just say no".


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