I’m a work in progress. Some days it feels like I am a newborn baby Christian, just barely grasping the application of the commandments of my Father over the flesh. Other days, I can recall all the appropriate instruction from Scripture yet fail to see how to apply it to the situation right in front of me.
Victorious With the Full Armor of God
We all deal with difficult people and circumstances at times and we should always be prepared with the full armor of God (Eph. 6:10–18). Recently, I was grateful that I had purposely gone into a difficult situation with all my armor. I even had a memory verse I kept reciting over and over in my head. Despite the temptation to speak in a way that would have brought glory to my feelings, I held my tongue. I later felt that I was successful in resisting the temptation and thanked God for empowering me to do so.
Tripped Up By the Flesh
Truth is, I was successful in resisting the temptation when it was right in front of me, but the enemy is a reviler and I fell into his trap later. What I wasn’t prepared for was the way he kept reminding me of the situation over and over again, replaying it in my head, and stirring my emotions after the fact. I didn’t realize it was getting to me until I started rehearsing all of my imagined “comebacks” in the shower later that evening. As I did so, I started to feel disgust inside. I was grieving the Spirit with my unleashed ugliness, even though no other person was around to hear it. My public actions might have passed, but my thoughts and private words certainly did not.
Take Every Thought Captive
It is very uncomfortable to be reminded that Jesus says that what we think about is as sinful as us actually doing it (Matt. 5:28). In my Savior’s eyes, I might have avoided temptation when it was right in front of me, but I certainly didn’t when I failed to cast off the thoughts of it later on. That’s why it’s so critical to “take every thought captive” (2 Cor. 10:5). Otherwise, we can be taken off guard by a false sense of security. Sin is crouching at the door waiting to destroy us (Gen. 4:7).
A Continual Work of Grace
As I shared this confession with a friend tonight, she let God speak through her and said, “God can work on words in your heart. Nothing can fix words that come out of your mouth.” I loved this. Praise be to God for this reminder through my friend. I might make a living out of words, and I might love His Word more than anything, but my heart is a continual work in progress to make pure all that overflows from it. This comes only through His grace, especially in my moments of solitude.
Joanna Sanders is a graduate of Villanova University and Moody Theological Seminary. She’s also the founder and head writer of Colossians46.com, which provides biblical content support, writing, and editing. Most importantly, she is wife to Geoff and mom to three godly men-in-training. Her blog name “The Landing” comes from the account of the Ark resting on the mountain, creating a settled place — a landing — for man to start over, which echoes her new life in Christ.