I had made such progress in my battle against codependency. Then a new issue came up, and I suddenly found myself embracing false responsibility, which I thought was a thing of the past.
Once again I felt determined to scheme to change people–their circumstances, their choices, the outcome of their lives.
It’s amazing when I’m on the road of spiritual freedom that I can so quickly slip back into my old ways.
Sometimes my reaction to sliding back into bondage is to avoid seeking the Lord. How disappointed He must be in me, is my thought. How I’ve let Him down.
Someone told me once that God is never disappointed in me because He knows exactly what I’m going to do before I do it. He is not surprised or alarmed by my defeats.
One thing I’m beginning to know deep in my heart is that God wants to help me overcome the sense of hopelessness I feel after a defeat. When I slip back into the pit, He wants to help me quickly get out of it. Instead of withdrawing from God when I feel defeated by my wrong actions or attitudes, I’m learning to run to Him. I remember and respond to Paul’s advise from Scripture:
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NIV
Not long ago while working on a song together, my songwriting teacher came up with this line. It is God speaking to me.
“The best in you is all that I can see.”
I struggled to embrace those words. Were they really true? Because I had people in my life ever since childhood who seemed adept at seeing the worst in me and letting me know about it, it seemed hard to believe that a perfect, holy God focused on the best in me.
The more I’ve thought about that line, the more I realize how true it is.
God does not look at what I’ve done that’s wrong but on all I can become. He wants to move me closer to my goal (given to me by Him) of being all I was created to be.
I must stop believing the lie the enemy repeatedly tries to tell me: God hates me when I fall back into sin, and I have to somehow earn His love back.
The truth is God has empathy for me when I sin.
Praying Psalm 51 has helped me when I feel down about falling again. Here is part of that psalm:
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me…Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me…a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Verses 11-12 & 17 NIV
When I fall—even if it is again and again–God is right there to help me up. He does not ridicule or reprimand. He holds out His hand to lift me back up to where He knows I long to be. His love for me is greater than I can even imagine. I pray for grace to live as if I believe that.
How about you? How do you handle a fall on your spiritual walk? Do you call out to God for help or allow yourself to be overwhelmed by hopelessness and defeat? Today will you go boldly to the throne of grace? Receive His mercy and move on.