Temptation is a very personal thing. Each of us struggle with our blend of habitual sin. It’s not that we’re failures in the spiritual life, it’s that we all have our weaknesses. After weeks, months, and years of confessing the same things, it’s tempting to let ourselves be overrun.
Why keep fighting a losing battle? Why keep going through the same cycle, never with a different result? Why fight a battle for 80 years when it seems like we’ll never beat that sin?
The answer is found in our failings. The battle has already been fought, and won. The battle is not ours to fight, it is God’s. Why should we accept our reality as his children, and then resign ourselves to lesser things? We were made for greatness, and we were made to be loved.
The feeling of being overrun with sin is a tool of the devil. As CS Lewis masterfully illustrated in The Screwtape Letters, if we can be simply worn down to the point of giving up, then darkness wins. While we may feel overrun, we can never be made to give up. That’s a choice that we have to make ourselves.
For the first time in my life, I’ve successfully kept to a “Bible in a Year” reading plan. The Old Testament is shockingly graphic, full of the best and worst of humanity. The brilliance of it all is that the story of the people of Israel is our story. We are close to God, and at other times, we cast Him off. Despite it all, He remains faithful.
Never give up, never surrender; finish the race and win.