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Temptations & Experiments

Posted by Lorraine Serra on August 13, 2013 at 1:25 PM

I'm sorry!  I know it has been a month, but, finally, here I am with another episode reflecting on God’s hand in my life and reasons to believe He is very much guiding my path.


Adolescence can be such a rough time of life.  The challenges to healthy, wholesome living seem to increase with each generation as the culture moves to a more hedonistic posture. 


The pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification with a demand for tolerance and freedom in that pursuit is the norm now. The dangerous consequences seem all the more devastating, too. My commentary ends there.  


I had my share of experimentation.   And I can say now, looking back, that it was all based in rebellious pride; my way, my choice, my life, my, my, my, my!  as well as the desire to be cool, fit in, be accepted.  Yep. Peer pressure is old as dirt.   So are various parenting styles.



Don’t you think that any guidance or instruction based in fear, guilt, shame and threat of punishment only seems to deepen the curiosity about whatever is being forbidden?   Shouldn’t it be that the promise of reward would be more motivating than that of punishment?



I would like to believe that the reward approach is more effective temporally and spiritually, though that was not my personal reality.  Today, I can say that elevating the beauty, wonder, and pleasure of God as Lord and King is much more satisfying than any guilty pleasure in this life. 


Ah, if only my relationship with the Lord had been so deep and sincere that I could have been spared some of the hurts and disappointments of empty temptations and experiments in those adolescent and young adult years.



It is no wonder that the Creation account rings so true…we are just like Eve, and subsequently Adam.  Despite the splendor of Eden and total access to everything, including a face-to-face relationship with the God who created all things, the introduction of one tiny boundary, one restriction, was just enough to plant the seed of doubt.


 
 What is God withholding from me?  What am I missing?   Why can’t I eat of that tree?  Is He selling me a bill of goods about this “you will surely die” routine?



Isn’t it interesting that we, who are the created, think we know better than the Creator?



It is not unlike the teenager thinking he knows better than his parents, or his teacher, pastor, or the Law.



That said, we are all guilty of lesser and greater infractions, whether or not we admit it or even feel guilt over it.   God's tender mercies are the foundation of His boundaries, yet we question, we rebel.


The grace of God brought me safe thus far, as the old hymn “Amazing Grace” states.  The wonder of God’s eternal and all-encompassing love is that He has redeemed all of those sinful failures and taken the punishment upon Himself.  How's that for motivation?  Acquittal for us!


No matter what I have done, or what has been done to me, deliberate or accidental, God offers a clean slate, forgiveness and a fresh start.  He offers healing and restoration and a new life as we turn to Him, and accept our cleansing from Jesus. 


The stain of sin and the memory or stigma of it have been conquered by the love of our Risen Lord Jesus. It’s never too late.  His arms are wide open.  Lay down your burden.  Jesus has carried it all away.



I have no need to list my sins and the errors of my ways here because Jesus has forgiven and forgotten them.  He has placed them “as far as the east is from the west”, says Psalm 103:12.  “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered”, says Psalm 32:1, covered by the blood of Jesus which has washed me whiter than snow.



“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. “  That is the promise of  1 John 1:9.  Halleluia!  Guaranteed  "do-over".



God protected me from all sorts of possible calamities, not all consequences, but the serious troubles such as addiction, a bad marriage, accidents, even death.  Why?  Hah!


There is no answer but, Grace: The undeserved, unearned, unmerited favor of a loving God.   Why?  Because that’s Who He is; because He had a plan to take me beyond my own pitiful, limited view of what life and love and relationships were about.   Why? 


Because He is in the business of exchanging beauty for ashes, hope for despair, treasure for trash.



The compassion of God draws us to surrender to His ways.   I am grateful that after several years of rebellion and selfish passions God’s grace brought me to my knees in a most dramatic and unexpected way.  What can I say.  Some of us need to be smacked up the side of the head!!



But, that’s part of the next episode.   In the meantime, dear reader, consider how much your own pride and ambition exalts itself before the Living God.  


We all do it.  Are we so proud to think we know better than the Creator?  



There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just and righteous ones.  Luke 15:7


Grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2Peter  3:18


For you have been bought with a high price, therefore honor God in your body,  and in your spirit, which are God’s.   1 Corinthians  6 : 20


Why obey God and do things His way?   Here is a real promise AT WORK IN MY LIFE:      


 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and confidence for ever.   Isaiah  32:17



Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, baby.   Seek Jesus HERE.

Categories: Real Answers For Life

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