Map to Victory

Kids today just don’t know the joy of maps, or hand-written directions.

I still remember being a passenger in the car and trying to help the driver navigate.  I’m the first to admit I am map-challenged.  GPS’s and Google Maps are awesome inventions and I am sure that arguments between drivers and passenger have had to decrease dramatically.  Of course we now have different problems, like making sure the driver is looking at the road in front of them and not staring at a screen.

Yesterday, I used Google Maps to find a business that was no longer where Google told me it would be.  The outrage!  In all seriousness, it gave me pause. I am so dependent on Google.  And I don’t question it.  I make a lot of decisions based on Google and my belief in my own abilities to navigate.

That is exactly what I have done this week.  Navigated a very hard and bumpy week on my own.

And I am left feeling broken, inadequate, and completely tapped out.

WHY do I do this to myself?  I know, I have heard, I BELIEVE that I can do nothing in my own strength, and yet, time and time again, I revert to my default, wrong thinking: I can do this.  I can push through.  I am a capable, intelligent, resourceful woman.  And in the moment, I think I’m actually doing it.  I’m going to make it.

Then I crash. Physically, emotionally, spiritually.  I’m not made to walk on my own.  None of us are.  There is no strength within me.  Whatever I have, whatever I am, my source of strength comes from the Lord (Psalm 121:1-3).

I fully relate to what Paul says in Romans 7:18-19 (NLT), “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.”

That is how I feel when I hit bumps in the road.  And lately, there are large potholes everywhere!  Some days, I feel like I’m trying to avoid landmines.   I’m trying to walk around them instead of stopping and leaning on the Lord, who invites me into His loving arms and says: “Abide in ME” (John 15:13).

Why do I put my head down and push through hard times instead of putting my head down and praying?  As I write this, I acknowledge that I want to pray and seek the Lord before as I stumble through hard times.  But my flesh flares up, kicks up, and before I know it, I am doing what I don’t want to do: relying on ME.  There is nothing good that comes from that!

So what do I do?

First, I am so grateful for my Bible Study and the probing questions it asks.  It is through my “Taking the Truth to Heart” that I recognized some habits I have, habits I revert to, when I am stressed and heavy laden.  The Lord has been gracious to bestow growing wisdom, wisdom that comes from His Word alone.  He is training me up to cry out to Him vs. looking inward for a strength that doesn’t exist.

“Abide in me,” He says.  “And I will abide in you” (John 15:13).

Paul goes on to describe his state, “I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart.  But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death” (Romans 7:21-24 NLT)?

He then says,” Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord”  (Romans 7:25 NLT).

We are not left to deal with our sinful natures on our own.  Jesus Christ our Lord has paid the price for us.  He has overcome the world; we are victorious through Him.  But we must stay connected to Him, we must abide in Him.

One of my action items this week is to journal and ask God to show me the signs – when I begin to fall into one of my “old girl” habits.  I want to acknowledge my weakness before Him – before I try to fix my weakness on my own.  The Lord has given ALL of us an unfailing GPS – His Word.  May I follow HIS map and not my own.

Growing in Grace



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