Goal: To follow Christ faithfully all my life.
Reality: Stumbling through life barely seeing, fearful at times that I have completely lost my way.
My spiritual life doesn’t contain much ‘plain sailing’. It is much more like a game of snakes and ladders in which I plod along for a bit, climb to heights occasionally, to be brought back down again by all too frequent attacks from the serpent.
No doubt spiritual attacks from the evil one(s) are fairly constant but some have a more crushing impact than others, bringing me tumbling from a proud place way down into the pit. Perhaps because I thought I was doing OK for a while.
All this climbing and falling, up and down, delight and despair, confounds my will to live in Christ. I want to walk in obedience, for:
…whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:17 ESV)
Yet this proves impossible, my wretchedness oozes through (Romans 7:24). I certainly am under no deception regarding the reality of my own sin (1 John 1:8), yet this condemns me because acknowledging my sin shows I am walking in darkness (1 John 1:6).
Both chapters 8 & 9 of Romans and also the book of 1 John address what following Christ is really like – blameless in Christ yet wandering off into the darkness and filth of sin. John blatantly writes:
I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin… (1 John 2:1 ESV)
In the end I take up the words of a hymn in prayer to God:
Oh to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let Thy goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above
(Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing)
Image of Snakes and Ladders game: Flickr, Sezzles