Here’s the thing about being human: I can think that I have something figured out or that I can trust myself to do the right thing, but the absolute truth is that my own nature, my very heart, is desperately flawed. So selfish. So wicked. So… sick and twisted.
I cannot put my trust in my own will. I cannot put my trust in my own strength. I cannot believe that I will do the right thing by default. My sin nature has far too strong of a pull for me to not be sucked into it if I don’t fight it like the monstrosity that it is.
It’s almost like I keep performing experiments in my life; experiments designed to test whether or not I can take a break and rest on what I know to hold me up, just for a little while. If it’s an experiment, it fails every single time. It’s like treading water. If I stop, I drown. It I let go of my awareness of my need to fight the water surrounding me-even for a moment-I’m doomed. The unforgiving waves swallow me whole. What I know isn’t enough. Action is required.
The conclusion I come to after these many failed experiments is this:
I MUST remember always that I can’t stop pushing against the water even for a second. If I do, it will swallow me whole, into the depths where I can’t breathe. It will consume me.
So it is with the christian walk. Our sinful, selfish nature has so strong of a pull that we naturally can’t resist it’s charms. Friends, we don’t stand a chance! Not on our own.
The good news is that we aren’t (or at least shouldn’t be) trying to resist it on our own. When we decide that our selfishness can’t deliver the satisfaction that it promised, we can look to the One who is everything we need and more. He can satisfy our souls like nothing on this earth can. Everything here is temporary, but He is Eternal. There is literally no end to Him! So not only can He quench our deepest thirsts in the here and now, but He will never run out on us.
What I really want to get at is the fact that we can’t fight our sinfulness with our own strength. But that’s where He steps in. His Strength is bigger. Let’s not think that we can just relax and let Him act. It requires a very conscious and intentional choice on our part to rely on His Strength and not our own. Our strength fails because at our very core, we don’t actually want to fight off our self-seeking, self-gratifying, self-glorifying nature. We think we really are the bomb, but we’re so not. At His core, He desires for us to be in unhindered relationship with Him. He wants the absolute best for us. And His Strength is bigger than all of the ugliness that we would see in ourselves if we chose to look.
Friends, I want to urge and encourage us all to not stop fighting against the current that would sweep us far away from Him. I write this to tell you how important it is that we are always vigilant of the fact that our nature wants nothing to do with Him; it wants nothing to do with anything that will actually bring us fulfillment. Our nature says that we must always look out for ourselves because no one else is going to. But that’s a lie. He is in pursuit of what’s best for us even more than we are.