Chapter 2 in Six Qualities in Women of Character by Deborah Evans is titled "Belief." I claimed belief in God exactly half my life ago. At age 17, I believed that I am a sinner and that I need a Savior and that only Jesus, as God's Son, can provide that salvation. So how does this chapter apply to me today? What affect does it have on my sinful condition?
There are many things that we can believe about God. Some of them are true and some are not. Let us stick with Truth for now. I can believe God is gracious, kind, merciful, the perfect judge, righteous, and holy. I can say I believe God is all-powerful and sovereign, but my actions reveal otherwise. When I return to my addiction I am saying God is not big enough, strong enough, loving enough. My actions show what I truly believe.
Evans writes, "Without belief, we become vulnerable to all manner of attack; with it we are protected from trouble, surrounded by songs of deliverance, in a hiding place where no enemy can effectively assail us...When our troubles trap us and threaten to defeat us, we can ask the Lord to reaffirm our belief in His strong presence as we wait upon Him, in all our undeniable weakness, to renew our strength."
My addiction happens to be pleasing to me, as well as being an escape. Sometimes I turn to it because I am lonely or afraid, but sometimes just because I want to. 1 John 2: 16 says, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world." It is all about pleasing myself.
I like what Evans says later in the same chapter, quoting the 12th century monk Bernard of Clairevaux, "Inordinate love of the flesh is cruelty because under the appearance of pleasing the body we kill the soul."
I need to believe with all my heart that "As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him." Psalm 18:30. And that I can trust Him no matter what. That sentence sounds very "Sunday school," but it is simple enough for even a dunce like me to understand.
I want to stop killing my soul.