I can’t come up with clever, catchy titles to save my life! Maybe that is something I will grow in as I write more…..however, thanks for coming over anyway and seeing what the Lord has been teaching me from His Word in regards to temptation.
What lead me to seek the Lord on this particular matter was when I was having a really bad week with the kids. Just some honesty here- I was so quick to be angry at them, raise my voice- ok, let’s call it what it is- yelling, or the kind of talking where you grit your teeth together and open your eyes real big to really get your point across. But I am sure that you guys don’t do that. But I do, and I don’t like it or think it’s ok- but sometimes the old girl rises up and it ain’t pretty. And, it definitely doesn’t get the response from my boys that I want- it doesn’t reach their hearts.
Here’s where Paul’s words in Romans 7:15-23 are such an encouragement to me. I’ve spent this year studying Acts in our Bible study and if the man that I have seen be beaten and imprisoned and hungry and in the middle of riots and left for dead all for the sake of his Savior, can say these words, that gives me hope.
15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, cit is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
We’ll come back to that passage in a moment- but the verse the the Lord brought to my mind in reference to this temptation of dealing harshly with my kids is Hebrews 4:14-16. Certainly it applies to any temptation we face, but for me, this is how I have applied it in my own life.
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Even though Jesus wasn’t tempted with each exact sin that we are, he was tempted with the enticement of sin and the tug of evil. However, he remained sinless and did not give in, and more than that, stands ready to give us grace and mercy in our own time of need! My heart leaps even now as I write about this! To know that my Savior- a perfect, holy, righteous God is ready to meet me (and you!) where I am and help me. That he doesn’t look at me (or you!) with a pointing finger or a frustrated “Ughhh! Again, Lauren?!”
He says, “Draw near to me and receive the mercy (not getting what we do deserve) and grace (getting what we don’t deserve) that I want so badly to give you.” For those who are His own, the sheep of His pasture, this is the reality.
So, how did that change me or my day? To just come to him when I feel that anger or frustration rising up inside of me- “Jesus, please help me. I want to parent these boys in a way that reaches their hearts. To show them Your amazing grace, your infinite love, your holiness. I must decrease, you must increase.” And that, friends, is exactly what He does. He is so faithful.
To close, going back to the verse in Romans (actually 8:1)-at the end of that speech about being a wretched sinner that Paul gives is one of my favorite verses:
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
And for that, I am so thankful.