You have that crushing feeling again. You’ve given into temptation and feel defeated. Really you want to hide under a rock or crawl into a dark cave and never face the world again. Hiding is the same reaction Adam and Eve had when they sinned. “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” (Genesis 3)
Quite frankly, this is what Satan wants us to do: hide, give up, and not be productive in the Lord’s kingdom.
There have been many times where I’ve fought and fallen in a battle of temptation and considered wholly giving in. Many times the one motivating factor that made me rise and continue is reminding myself that this is Satan’s plan – for me to give up and stop trying. In Revelation 12:9 Satan is cast out into the earth and in verse 17 he is angry “and went to make war with [those] which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Satan, who deceives the whole world (Rev. 12:9), wants us to forget that we are in a battle and ultimately surrender.
What if Peter had surrendered after swearing that he did not know Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75)? As Peter wept bitterly, he had no idea that 52 days later he would teach one of the greatest sermons ever heard, that would bring thousands of people to Christ. Who would have taught that great sermon on repentance had he given up on his walk with Jesus? If we give up on our walk with Jesus, what good deeds and words would go undone? “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
If you are barely hanging on to your faith in Christ, get amongst your brethren. After the death of Jesus, the women who went to anoint Jesus came to Peter and the other disciples to report what they had seen and heard. (Luke 24:8-9). Note that Peter was found with the brethren. For most of us, our tendency is to isolate ourselves as Judas did when he gave into temptation. He had the right attitude by repenting and confessing but took the wrong action. “Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood…and he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:3-5).
Here are some of the right actions that will help us recover more quickly after we have sinned:
-Mentally turn to God rather than hide > David did (II. Samuel 12:13, 20).
-Strengthen yourself in the midst of the brethren > continue attending services & classes (lions prey on stragglers and the weak – I. Peter 5:8, Ecc. 4:10)
-Be honest about your struggles with select sisters > this could be with someone in another city too (Ecc. 4:9-12).
-Study and read scripture more frequently > we need to be reminded of God’s lovingkindness (Psalm 103:11-12, Psalm 32:5, Proverbs 28:13, Psalm 51:1)
-Be transparent in your prayers > David’s great example – Psalm 51
Remember: Psalm 37:23-24 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.”
By Bridget Cook