The Battle Within
Several times I have fallen into despair in my Christian life because of my sins. The thought of being a failure once again lays heavy on me. How could I have fallen prey once again to the snares of the enemy to my evil desires? Did I not learn my lesson the last time? Did I not resolve never to fall into the same pattern of foolishness again for sin and temptation happens way before it consummates in an action? Indeed, in both retrospect I can trace from whence I began to fall and I judge that I was aware of what I was doing, I was never ignorant but aware. Would I be wrong to say that I took pleasure at the time in doing that thing which now I hate, which is shameful and which now condemns? And as if that evil isn’t enough comes an even greater evil. The voice of the enemy beats at me when am down whispering lies to my soul. And what’s the lie? It’s that there is no hope for me. He brings to the stand his witnesses: my previous resolves, contrition, repentance, past mourning, and they all testify against me and they are right. I was there, myself am my witness. And thus, he makes his case his conclusion that I cannot be trusted, I am living a lie, that it’s futile to try again, the outcome won’t be any different, and the question is why not be just what my “nature” seems to indicate I am? Why “deny” yourself? And this may even begin to make sense.
The Great Advocate
Then suddenly there’s a commotion in the courts of my heart and mind. The great advocate has come and immediately with an authoritative voice declares “that’s not so.” And everyone is wondering “what, can any plea be made? is there any hope?” Though my situation is desperate I am attentive, I feel that sweet light hope kindled in me again and I am aware it’s because of the presence of this person. He has a book in his hand and hands it over to the judge whose countenance before one could not bear but now has suddenly changed, there’s happiness in his eyes as if in the presence of a friend. The terrifying yet now happy judge looks at the book for a while and in a twist of events rises and makes the declaration not guilty. What! And interestingly am the only one who’s surprised even my accusers doesn’t seem at all moved it’s as if he already knew the outcome. Everyone but the judge and the advocate clear the court room. The advocate walks towards me but am ashamed to look at him and so I sink my head to my chest. How can I be justified when I know am guilty of the crimes accused of? What now, what next. The accuser made a good case, I was a recurring criminal. But he whispers something in my ear “are you now to give up.” And I suddenly realize what that means. Giving in as the devil would have me do sealed my destiny to eternal doom. I realize that his attack wasn’t based on the fact that he knew he had a chance with the outcome declared by the judge but rather he was hoping that the judgement would come from me. And now I remember why I always got up back again, because there was hope. I am overwhelmed and go sown on my knees and as the great judge for forgiveness and he looks at the advocate and replies with a piercing warm calming smile “it is well.” I mean am beside myself, I can’t explain what it is I feel at the moment but I love it. The judge clears the room but his smile and words have forever been inscribed in my heart. Then the advocate as he prepares to live hands me that book that he previously gave the judge and upon opening it I find my name written on it and beside it the words that he sounded previously. And the reason is written right below: that my debt had been paid once and for all and who paid it? The great advocate. And as he leaves, he tells me “go and sin no more” And I cannot tell you how much I want to live up to that admonition. My motivation will be the great kindness I have been shown. Yes, am weak but he is strong. He knows that I will fail time and time again but his promise is this the verdict will always be “not guilty” and let that serve to motivate me. All this I found written in that book he left me.
Friend, if it were left to our works to be justified in the presence of God then we would be right to despair but thanks be to God he knew that we are without ability in of ourselves to live up to his standards and so he sent his Son to do that in our stead. And now he sanctifies us day by day through his word hence true the text:
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2nd Corinthians 3:18 ESV)
Therefore, let us not despair this would prove dangerous but let us keep fighting for our victory is assured. And so in times of need( whatever it may be) let us with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us and we will for we have a great high priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses because he’s no stranger to them but has firsthand experience. And so, the admonition is “let us hold fast our confession.” In all things, even those dreadful times may we look to him. There’s always forgiveness and a willing strong and ready hand to help us. And may we find grace to do just that. Amen!
By Ron Dennis Mwenda