Recently my nephew sent me a quote that really ministered to me, it was such an authentic quote, to an extent it inspired today’s segment of Relatable Monday. Today’s segment is not really my personal story but rather a common story I believe we all share but hardly or never talk about because it is an ugly truth. This is something we all know is true and we don’t want to talk about because we desperately wish it is was never part of our story. The quote read:
“How do you fight your inner demons, when they know your every move? How do you get the upper hand when, to hit you it’s yours they use? How do you outsmart them, if they can watch your brain? How do you survive in this psychological and spiritual terrain? You can’t hide anything from them because they keep the key to your skeleton closet. So, tread carefully, because they just might hide you in it.”
I’ve had many people approach me and say: Genesis I know the right thing; I want to live right but it’s like what I want or what I plan to do is exactly the opposite of what I find myself doing. Sometimes I feel like I have two people living in me one is a small innocent kind who knows what is right and wants to do what is right and the other is an adult who is opposite of the kid. Every time I am doing the wrong things or living away from what the scriptures say I hear the little kid scream save my soul but it’s like the adult’s desires for these things surpasses the kid’s broken voice when he screams. I only get to feel the brokenness of the kid after I have done the exact same things, I wish were not part of my story.
To be honest it’s that bad that I can’t even promise that next time the temptation will come I won’t fall for it. It’s not that I have little faith but experience speaks multitudes. There times I am from praying asking God to remove this from my life and ten minutes later I find myself doing the exact same thing. There days I repent and believe my freedom is finally here, days where I feel like I have finally overcome, days where I even tell myself look where my chains are now sin has no hold on me, but one or two months down the line I will find myself doing the exact same thing. The exact thing I planned in the morning I will stay away, the exact thing I prayed against in the morning, it’s like I want to be the light but there’s just so much darkness in me.
This experience has made me relate to Jesus’ words in the garden of gethsemane on quite a deeper level when he said, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” There days where I feel like even saying the flesh is weak is an understatement because if the flesh was just weak it would coordinate with the spirit and help me out, especially knowing just how desperate my spirit and soul doesn’t want this. I have tried to pray, I even fasted but still the flesh seems stronger than my prayers and fasting. What help video haven’t I watched on YouTube? What strategy haven’t I tried? They all seem to work for some time but still just a month later I will find myself walking on the same path moving from hero to zero. I feel so weary that sometimes I just get to believe this is just the story of my life and there’s no hope.
Having a genuine relationship with God and living for God seem very hard, I fail to relate to Jesus’ words when he said my “my yoke is light and easy to bare” my experience is far away from that, what makes me so weary is not that I don’t want to live for God, I genuinely want to do so, but I just find myself vulnerable to my flesh. I even fail to ask for forgiveness from God sometimes because what’s the whole point when I know I will find myself doing the same thing? What is the whole point when I will be on my knees again asking God to forgive me from the same things two weeks later and still it won’t be a guarantee that my chains are finally broken? Sometimes I feel like I have no control over myself or perhaps this is just the way I am supposed to be and my worst fear is that people who know me get to know this.
There days where I actually picture how the response can be if the people who look up to me were to know this. I have been broken for so long, I have struggled for a while now when will I stick together. It’s not like I wished this could be my life story but life experiences have got me here. I have been holding on for so long but will I have forever? When will I see the better? I honestly want to be free but why do I keep moving in the same cycles? Some people have tried to say all things work together for good, but what other good is there apart from me walking in the freedom I desperately need? It’s like I’m being held hostage and I have no strength to escape.
I have heard suggestions like open up to someone, trust me it’s not easy as it sounds. When I think about it, I wonder what if I open up to the wrong person someone who will put my dirty laundry in public? Someone who will leave me feeling worse and endorse every bad thought I have about all this? Imagine I decide to open up and things get out of proportion? What happens to the people who looked up to me, what happens to the little reputation I’ve tried to build? What happens to my effort? Opening up is not as easy as you people make it sound it takes a lot of risking and I am scared I’m not up for such kind of risks. Hiding these skeletons in my closet even though they keep the keys seem to be better than the risk that comes with opening up.
Moreover, it’s not just the fear of opening up to the wrong person but how do you even explain to people there days you do such kind of things? Where do you even get the strength or courage to share your dirty little secret? How do words even manage to describe those horrific acts? All I am saying is that opening up is not as smooth as people make it sound it’s rough and it requires a lot of sacrifice. There certain things that the mouth fail to comprehend and only the mind can. It requires rising above many thoughts, many fears, many possible outcomes to open up and I honestly think I am not ready to take that path.
I actually thought when I give my life to Christ things will automatically shift but I found myself having the same desires I had before. I try not to pay attention to them but they are quite deep I often find myself trying to meet their demands, by doing the exact things I have prayed and fasted for so that God can take them away from me. I am not complaining but this is a glimpse of what goes on in my mind. These are the thoughts I wrestle with on almost a daily basis, this is why I try so hard to remain busy and not think about this. Imagine, just from me explaining you’re exhausted and you want me to stop but what about me who can’t shut down my busy mind?
Mizu, is a word in Chewa that basically mean root. There two roots of this problem one of them is spiritual and the other is psychological and to face this struggle we need to approach both the roots. I want to start with the psychological only because when we have these discussions, we don’t address the psychological root and as long as this root remain unresolved relapse is inevitable. When Jesus dried the fig tree, he dried it from the roots because as long as the roots are in the soil the exact same tree will grow again.
You have to understand that in psychology there are triggers, in other words there are certain situations that make your mind release certain chemicals in your brain and they make you want to do somethings in certain settings, they’re triggers. For example, you’re on you phone and see a meme that gets your mind triggered leaving you with a desire to do something similar. You go ahead and do something similar or worse, it wasn’t just the meme but the trigger too. For some people when they go back into their apartment or in their room, when they’re alone by themselves these things happen.
When they’re at church or with a group obviously these things don’t happen, when they are with friends it doesn’t happen, but when they are on their own it happens, meaning being alone is part of the trigger. If an individual finds them self in such a situation it is important to find out; when does this usually happen? Where am I when it usually happens? What usually triggers the whole scene? It is important to figure out the problem place, problem time and triggers this will help you deal with the psychological roots by committing to adjust to these triggers and it will demand a lot of sacrifices.
THE BAIT OF SATAN
When a person asks, how many times should I keep returning to God if I keep repeating the same sin? Often, they are at the verge of giving up and giving up or growing weary is the bait of the enemy to cause people to despair from the mercy of God or lose hope that the will ever change. How much mercy does God have if I keep confessing the same sin over and over again? It doesn’t even look sincere and such thoughts is the starting point for the enemy. The enemy uses this point to bring in thoughts like, if God is all powerful and he loves me so much as he says why can’t he just take away this cup from me? Why do I keep doing the same thing?
There is no sin that God can’t forgive us no matter how many times we fall short, keep approaching the mercy seat, keep going to the throne of grace, keep returning to the city of refuge that is your home, there is absolutely no sin greater than God’s grace. Every time you confess your sins and ask for forgiveness, God forgives you even when you feel it’s too much perhaps that’s why you are not God. No matter how many times you have confessed the same sin before when you confess again, he forgives. I love the response Jesus gave when Peter asked how many times, we should forgive our neighbors when they wrong us in a day.
I am sure when Peter suggested seven to him, he thought Jesus would be impressed like wow all that even five is enough Peter but no Jesus say 70 times 7 which is equal to 490. If the lord expects that much of forgiveness from us it is pretty obvious, he is going to live to his standards and even more because he is God. This portion of scripture shows us what the personality of God is, he doesn’t grow weary when it comes to forgiving us, even with the same sin. The enemy has set a bait which is us growing weary so we can give up and when we give up there’s no more hope. You can continuously approach the mercy seat, don’t give up, don’t lose hope in the mercy of God.
We have two aspects of us the spiritual and fleshly nature that’s why we feel like we have two people living in us the spirit is gentle that’s why we tend to describe him as a kid, the flesh is rough and these two are always battling, to make one thing clear gentle doesn’t mean weak and rough doesn’t mean strong. Understanding the old sinful nature and new spiritual nature will make us realise we are on our journey to healing and perfection and the journey to perfection will always be there as long as we live. This will make us be patient with ourselves and God too, overcoming cycles sometimes take longer than we expect. The margin between our expectations and reality is called disappointment, let us learn to embrace the process.
SHORT CIRCUIT GRACE
Every time we confess our sins God forgives us but that should not be an excuse to keep sinning instead it should be a strong foundation to our journey of healing. When we confess our sins only to stop feeling guilty, we short circuit God’s grace. When it just ends on confession without renunciation and repentance, then all we wanted was forgiveness and not repentance. God’s Grace goes deeper than just forgiving our sins, God’s grace empowers us to live free from sin but that is not a one-day event it’s is a process, nothing that huge was built in a day and that’s where patience with self and God comes in.
Renouncing and repentance requires us to take some intentional steps, the fact that you have realised you keep confessing the same sin over and over again is a sign that you are weak in that area. When I realise I am weak in this area I need to pay special attention to that area, I need to make serious verbal confessions that this has to stop, of course not in my strength but God’s strength. I have tried my strength and the end is always the same what if I tried strength from the author of strength? When we decide to depend on God’s grace as we take intentional steps, we fully inherit what Jesus did for us on Calvary and not short circuit his grace.
Rom.8.1 – Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
The opening part of the book of Hosea tells a story of Hosea’s marriage to a woman named Gomer, she was unfaithful, she was a prostitute even after marriage she still went ahead and committed adultery. The intriguing thing about this story is that God tells Hosea to go and find his unfaithful wife, pay her debts to her lovers and commit to his love and faithfulness to the wife again. Then God says all this the broken and repaired marriage, the children it is all a prophetic symbol of telling a story of God’s relationship with Israel. God has been like a faithful husband to Israel, he brought them out of Egypt, he entered into a covenant with them at Sinai and asked them to remain faithful but when they entered the promised land, they worshiped Idols
God had all the rights to divorce them but instead he chose to pursue Israel again and enter into a new Covenant with them because of his love, mercy, compassion and faithfulness. Where do we fit in Hosea’s story? We’re like Gomer we are unfaithful but because of God’s love and Grace he still pursues us. There’s no amount of sin that is greater than God’s grace. If there’s a sin God cannot forgive, then what happened in the garden of Eden is greater than what happened in the Garden of Golgotha.
At your very core, in your very epicenter you’re a son or a daughter of the most-high God. You’re bought of a price and God has loved you with an everlasting love, you were chosen before the foundation of the earth and he loves you to pieces even though you have rebelled, even though you have done what he doesn’t like, he loves you and he can cleanse you. He will not give up on you and neither should you give up on him. Everyday is a new page Yes, yesterday you sinned against him but tomorrow is a new day he is saying “neither do I condemn you go and sin no more.”
Today, I won’t pray but I want you to listen to this prayer I will take it as the closing prayer please click here.
Thank you very much for reading today’s segment
Please share in the comment section down below how today’s segment has resonated with you. If this is something you’re going through or struggling from please feel free to contact me by clicking here.
If it is something you struggled with before please tell your story in the comment section it might be a page in someone else’s survival guide.
Otherwise have a Blessed week and see you next Monday!