Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Prone To Wander

"And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD,..." — Judges 13:1, ESV

"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 

I read Judges the other day and thought, "It blows my mind how often the Israelites walked away from God."  But then it hit me: how often do I? How often do I sense within me the desire to wander.  How often do I feel the need to "just take a break" because "I deserve it"?

As the Holy Spirit confronted me with my wandering tendencies, I was humbled.  It is easy to forget how prone to wander I am as a Christian when I ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit and only focus on the failings of others.  It is easy to become relaxed in my walk with Jesus.  It is easy to take my eyes off of the goal for which I press on (see Philippians 3:12-15).  The writer of Hebrews says this:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,... — Hebrews 12:1-2a, ESV

But then look at one of the most encouraging verses I have ever read:

Consider [Jesus] who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. — Hebrews 12:3-4, ESV

Did you see it? IN YOUR STRUGGLE AGAINST SIN... Scripture tells us that we are struggling against sin.  Therefore, Jesus knows that we struggle against sin.

Keep struggling.  Keep fighting against it.  You and I are prone to wander - we can feel it.  But, when you sense the temptation to run, cry out for God's help.  And by his Holy Spirit he will keep you.

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