So I’ve been feeling really guilty, mainly because I got drunk this past week for my friend’s birthday festivities. Shout out to Brooke for turning 21! Whoop Whoop! But on a serious note, I’ve been feeling guilty because last semester I asked God to help me stop wanting going out, party and get drunk every weekend. Because I literally used to go out EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND last year and the year before. I was a hot mess. So long story short God delivered me from that this semester. I was at a point where I didn’t really drink and if I did I wouldn’t get drunk. And if I went out, I’d end up going back home within 15 minutes because it just wasn’t fun for me anymore. So this weekend I ended up getting drunk, because I knew I had to have liquor in system to have “fun”. On this past Sunday, after all the festivities were over, I was reflecting and I just felt soooo guilty. Like I was a screw up for falling back into what God already delivered me from. But I had to remind myself that God still loves us even after we mess up! Those feelings of condemnation don’t come from God.
Romans 8:1 (NIV) tells us “1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”
HOWEVER, conviction does come from God. There’s a difference. Conviction is Godly sorrow.
1 Corinthians 7:10 (NIV) says “10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret”
So Godly sorrow is when we’re deeply hurt that we’ve sinned. It’s when we’re mindful about how much our sin dishonors God. It comes when you’ve see the trueness of God and His word. And now you’re able to now see sin for what it is, how God sees it. You experience this deep regret which leads to repentance. True repentance is not just confessing your sins and being sorry. True repentance is when you confess your sins and have no intention of returning to them. You try your hardest to turn away from them and actively pursue Christ instead. Keyword TRY. Because we’re all going to mess up. We all get tested. And all have a stronghold or two or three or four. BUT we have the power to overcome them.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Nothing we’re struggling with is too difficult to overcome. It’s not impossible no matter what you may think. The Bible tells us God isn’t going to let us be tempted beyond what we can bear AND He provides a way out of it. It’s just that most times we don’t WANT a way out. We’re enjoying our sin. When we’re about to get drunk, we have the power to NOT take shots with everyone but we still do because we want to have a good time. When we’re about to let homeboy/homegirl come over at 2am to “Netflix and chill”, we have the power to say NO but we don’t because we really want some “company”. When we’re about to talk bad about someone, we have the power to NOT say anything at all but we do it anyway because it’s just too juicy to keep to ourselves. So there’s always a way out. We just have to be willing to take it. And stop thinking God is the one testing you because God doesn’t test us. I used to think that all the time too but
James 1:13-15 (NIV) says “13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
So like I said God isn’t the one tempting us. We’re tempted when we let our ungodly desires build up and take control. We’re all sinful by nature but we have to learn how to NOT be a slave to our sin. Because once we let sin dominate us, it’s a wrap, we’ve lost control. We start and we just can’t stop. When we get the desire to do wrong, we have to cast it down. And trust me I know that’s easier said than done, but it all starts with the mind.
Romans 12:2 (NIV) says “2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
We HAVE to renew our minds with the Word of God DAILY, because our minds produce our thoughts and our thoughts lead to our actions. So if you’re struggling with getting over something (or someone), think about what you’re feeding your mind. When I finally overcame my desire for the turn up, it had a lot to do with what I was feeding my mind. I took alllllll the non Christian music off of my phone at one point. All I listened to was gospel and sermons for a few months. So then after I had overcome all the drinking and partying I thought I was good. I slowly started back listening to my beloved trap music (I also wasn’t spending time with God like I used to) and what happened? I found myself backsliding! And this is just an example. What worked for me might not work for you. But what I’m saying is know your triggers. Know what’s enticing you to make bad decisions. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Just like we use our mouths as entry points to physically feed our body, our ears and our eyes feed us too, spiritually. If you’re struggling with something, think about what you’re listening to and what you’re watching that’s not good for your spirit. In order to kill a fire you have to stop feeding it.
So whatever sin it is you might struggling with, drinking, sex, drugs, lying, gossiping, whatever it is, know that you CAN overcome this. Giants do fall. And if you’ve already been delivered from it but you feel yourself backsliding don’t beat yourself up. We’re all going to mess up from time to time. A good friend told me “everybody makes mistakes, but it’s how you move forward and respond that really counts.” So after you mess up, think about how far you’ve already come and make the bold decision to keep trying. Understand that God still loves you soooo much and with His help you can overcome ANYTHING!