25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever. (NIV)
What do you do when you fail God?
The Apostle Paul, even at the height of his ministry, expresses this same idea we find in our passage today. He says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do.” He goes on to say, “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” This is the plight of every sincere believer.
We ask the Lord in prayer to help us stop sinning and He does. He empowers us to obey His Word, and in this, He transforms us. He changes our appetites from that which is destructive to what is holy. Yet, the Bible clearly says that if we try to claim that sin is no longer in us, we are liars. The road to perfection on this Earth is never-ending and too far for us to reach. Perfection will be our state in Heaven where there is a complete cleansing of all imperfections. But for now, we will often identify with Paul’s frustration. We want to do what is right. We don’t want to do what is wrong, but we struggle to carry this out.
Why doesn’t God quickly cleanse us completely of all temptation and sin? We would wish that God would make us perfect at some point. Perhaps at salvation, or maybe a little more into our Christian walk, it would seem God could just help us out a bit. It would be great for Him to remove the possibility of our hearts being lured away to sin. But if He did this, we would suddenly receive all the benefits that might come from never sinning. This could lead others to turn to Christ, not for Him, but for the perceived benefit. This would illuminate the power of God, but hide the love of God
Also, it is our struggle with failure that illuminates the love of God. He loves us even when we fail miserably. And ultimately, it is His love that draws people to Him. If we never struggled, no one would see the love of God. And His love is the only thing powerful enough to move a sinner’s heart to love Him more than they love themselves.
Lord, teach me to not berate myself in condemnation when I fail, but let me turn to you in my failure being confident that You will never stop loving me. Amen.
DaveMarch 1, 2023 at 4:41 pm
Thanks for the devotional Pastor. A good word of encouragement. I like your explanation about heart adultery.
Pastor LeeMarch 2, 2023 at 11:10 am
Thank you Brother! I hope you are well.