On the day that I got saved, I didn’t realize that I had made a big mistake: I had put my salvation way ahead of God’s work on me in the way of sanctification. “Sanctify them through thy truth. The Word is truth.” I believed all these initial joyful feelings would go on forever. Satan wouldn’t dare bother me now–I would never sin again. My life would be great now.
Oh, how wrong I was! I knew very little of God’s word concerning the flesh and worldly temptations, or that Satan would work to destroy the joy and assurance given to me at the moment of my salvation. I didn’t expect that Satan would invade my mind, my feelings, my emotions, and even attack my family. Though God’s timing was perfect in saving me from a physical and spiritual death, it would take a long time to change a lifetime of lust, alcohol, drugs, unresolved feelings, abuse, distorted thinking, moral decay, and bad habits, accumulated during my thirty-seven years.
In each failure, Satan was there to prod my thoughts with all sorts of lies: “you’re a failure, God’s tired of your sins, your sins are too bad to be forgiven, maybe you were never really saved, give up, it’s no use,” and on and on. Unfortunately, I was believing those lies.
As a new Christian, I felt God’s rewards should be enjoyed instantly. I felt slighted as they never seemed to come, allowing Satan to sow doubts about God’s promises. In my pride I felt “Well, I didn’t steal anything from work this week, so where’s my reward?” “I haven’t lied, cheated or cursed this week, so why aren’t things getting any better?” “Where’s my blessings?”
“Rejoice ye in that day; for behold, your reward is great in heaven.” (Luke 6:23) “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me to give to every man according to his work.” (Rev 22:12) Here we read that rewards are given in heaven not earth. Even though God may choose to bless us in some way which would be for the good will of His own pleasure, we will be judged by our lifetime of deeds.
God also speaks of being content in those things we have, counting all suffering as a blessing, and know God provides those things we have need of, not wants. (Matt 6:8 and 6:19-21) These are only some of the things I struggled with over the last fifteen years.
All Satan needs is one small crack in our armor, and he will try to destroy our faith. Once he gets into your head, you can become easy prey if you do not embrace the truth of God’s word. This all goes back to God’s timing. For me it was a very slow process because of my Catholic background and my ignorance of God’s word. The Bible was a total enigma to me. It took many Bible studies to start to understand its pages.
When I first realized all the sins, habits, and addictive behaviors I had, and how they would have to be changed, all I could say to God was “good luck, and please forgive my resistance.” I never tried to appease God with false promises I knew I would never keep on my own. I loved my sins, and I didn’t want to stop, but I also wanted what God had to offer. I was totally honest about my condition before Him. I told Him how weak my will is, and how easily I am distracted or carried away by sin. I asked Him how I could love the sins that I do, and yet hate them because you hate them.
All I could do was throw myself at the feet of Jesus and beg that His mercy and grace would sustain me. Never did I feel so unworthy of anything Christ had to offer me than at that moment. I felt that I was the worst sinner in the world, and that my sins were so gregarious that surely God would not dare to forgive them. Yet, He did.
In closing, let God do the work, and all we need to do is follow His guidance. Be patient and don’t give up. Be confident in the fact that He chose you. God will do what He’s going to do, when He’s going to do it, in His time, and according to His plan for your life. Anything we do to try to speed up that process is pride and of your own work, not of God’s. It is worth nothing. (see Eph 2:4-9) Only God knows the perfect timing – how He will bring it about, and when His work will be most effective. Until then, we must rely on His loving grace. (see 2 Cor 12:9)
You may send your comments and encouragement to Robert Zukowski at:
Robert Zukowski / GH7444
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL. 33733