Philippians 3:12-15 (ESV)
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.”
I’m on a diet. Again. And I am admitting it here. A thing I never thought I would do. Again. Who wants to admit their failure. Again. (I’ve said that word a few times, haven’t I?)
You get the point. Sometimes when we just can’t seem to overcome a problem in our lives, we can feel shame over it all and get discouraged. Lose hope. When would it be my turn to finally be done with this aspect of the battle of the flesh.
Yep, I said it. As I talked with my husband last night about the daunting reality that adults in our age spectrum (ha!) only need about 1,000 calories a day, I was sad. For real. Which revealed a part of the real problem, right?
It’s not like I threw in the towel. This, and other rationalizations have kept me from feeling too badly about myself, but still inside was this secret hungering (pun intended) for sweet victory. Just consoling myself. that, hey, at least I am still a size 10, somehow did not ease what I really knew. It was not my size or a number that mattered. It was that I needed to be healthy. And it would take hard work.
But maybe this stumbling around has achieved something, after all. As much as I wish I could have kept the success I had the first time, this struggling has caused me to see my real need. Dieting and food were just a part of the underlying symptoms that God so kindly reveals. We all stumble in some way in our flesh. We each have different strengths and weaknesses. Different burdens.
These “issues” we face are not the real problem. The real problem is whether or not we will continue to stumble until we thrive. Or will we give up, discouraged that the battle continues.
God is inviting us to face the battles we do with Him. He is too kind. to leave us in our sin and battle alone.
Knowing the battle is there every day for us all, we don’t have to grow weary in well doing. We just have to face it with the One Who overcame it all. And He, like Paul, says to press on. It is only when we give up that there is no more progress. And no victory. Don’t give up, friend. Don’t. The goal is faithfulness. Not perfection.
Maybe if we could stop being surprised at this battle and expect it, instead, we could face each stumbling with a bit of sarcasm and humor. And a big dose of humility and dependence upon God. We know we are not perfect. We should expect such a battle from our flesh. But our perfect God has called us and He will be the One to complete the work He began in us—for His glory alone as we cooperate and stay in the flight!