Excerpt from The Seeking Heart

Let’s talk about the wrongs you allow your­self to fall into. I am not talk­ing about major sins — delib­er­ate dis­obe­di­ence to God on major issues is not usu­al­ly a prob­lem a com­mit­ted Chris­t­ian deals with on a dai­ly basis. I am talk­ing about not stop­ping a sharp word, or being delib­er­ate­ly quar­rel­some. These things you have some con­trol over, but you let your­self do what you want.

The clos­er you get to God, the more mis­er­able things you will find in your heart. This is not a neg­a­tive thing — God allows it to let you lose con­fi­dence in your­self. You will have accom­plished some­thing when you can look at your inner cor­rupt­ness with­out anx­i­ety or dis­cour­age­ment and sim­ply trust in God. But, you should try not to let your­self fall into temptation.

There are two resources against temp­ta­tion. One, be faith­ful to God with­in you. Avoid all that is bet­ter left avoid­ed. Of course, you are not always able to avoid these sit­u­a­tions. Some are brought to you by God and will do you no good to flee from them.

The sec­ond resource is to turn to God when you are tempt­ed. If you find that you’ve half con­sent­ed to temp­ta­tion, then head straight back to God. Take the exam­ple of a child who hides his face in his moth­er’s bosom as soon as he sees some­thing that fright­ens him.

Prac­tice stay­ing in God’s pres­ence so that you are able to respond to His lead­ing imme­di­ate­ly. In a way, there is lit­tle to do in doing the will of God. It is true that hold­ing back noth­ing from God is doing quite a bit. God’s love search­es the secret places with­in, look­ing for any­thing that resists Him.

On the oth­er hand, Chris­tian­i­ty is not found in a mul­ti­tude of rules, nor in hold­ing your­self back from every plea­sure. Just yield your­self to God with­out reserve. Live in the present moment. Let God do what He sees fit with­out resist­ing Him, and agree with God with­out try­ing to jus­ti­fy what you want to do. Temp­ta­tion is a nec­es­sary part of a Chris­tian’s life. Don’t be upset by even the most shame­ful temp­ta­tion. Look at God and dwell con­tin­u­al­ly in His pres­ence — He will keep your feet from falling.

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

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