I’ve been open about my past here before…but “purity” is not a word that I would use to describe myself. Once upon a time when I was naive and completely unaware of things like spiritual warfare, I walked a pretty straight line. If you were to ask my parents, they’d likely tell you that I was a great kid who caused very little issues. I was quiet. I was reserved. I did not really make waves of any kind. Yet, at some point in my life (and I am pretty sure I know about when it happened) , I started to battle feelings of worthlessness and the idea that I never measured up. Feelings that I have continued to battle on up into adulthood.
You see, feelings of worthlessness give way to temptation and temptation gives way to sin. I once heard someone say that the enemy doesn’t come to you with horns and a pitch fork. That’s too easy. You’d be on to him if he did and he’d never get a hand on you. Instead, he comes at you disguised as everything you’ve always wanted. That’s why when he came to Jesus in the wilderness he brought bread. Don’t you know that any kind of bread after 40 days of fasting would have been like a little piece of heaven? Despite knowing that carbs are not my friend after having three babies, I have a really hard time turning them down. French fries, y’all are my nemesis.
During my time in college, I lived with three other girls. We were the best of friends, even though we didn’t really know each other before we all moved into our apartment together. It didn’t take long for us to start trying to make sure we were in the same classes together and we went out together every night. We added a few others to our little group and eventually we all worked at the same restaurant together. We were inseparable. But, as with any group of girls, things eventually became a competition. There were always guys around and it was nothing for one or all of us to feel a little “less than” when someone brought home another boy, even if he wasn’t the “right” boy.
I remember that two of my roommates went out with two roommates one night. To an actual movie on a real date. To say that I was jealous would be an extreme understatement. I spent a lot of time after that questioning why them and not me? What did they have that I didn’t? I started to question everything about myself. My morals, my looks, my personality…all of it. If I couldn’t manage to get a date, then there had to be something wrong with me, right?
In walks that temptation…guy after guy. Wrong motives, wrong mindset, wrong intentions. Needless to say my “purity” was out the window. They seemed to feed my desire for feeling like I was worthy. That I was good/smart/pretty enough to be worth someone’s time. They looked like everything that I wanted…attention. I thought that I was fitting in and that I was worth while. Long story short, those quick relationships didn’t last and I ended up feeling exactly like I had always felt. You see, the enemy fooled me into thinking that that was the kind of person that I needed to be in order to be worth someone’s time. I was vulnerable enough to fall for it.
Fast forward 13 years and I am married with three kids. I have a family that I absolutely adore and I found the one that I was meant to be with. Our marriage hasn’t come easy and there have been a lot of hard times and a lot of tears…there have been way more of those tempting moments in our marriage than I want to even really delve into, but with each moment like that that has come, I can CLEARLY see that it came because of the lack of depth in my relationship with Christ at the time.
If I were your enemy, I’d tempt you toward certain sins, making you believe they are basically (even biologically) unavoidable. I’d study your tendencies and proclivities till I learned the precise conditions that make you the most likely to indulge them. And then I’d strike right there. Again and again. Wear you down. Because if I can’t separate you from God forever, I can at least set you at odds with Him for the time being.
We tend to think that when we aren’t getting what we think we need or want, that God just isn’t there. That’s a lie my friends. What the enemy would have us believe is that what we want is the only right thing and the thing that the enemy wants for us is the only thing. Our responsibility is to stay in the word and measure each and every decision against what the Lord says. It’s not always easy. It’s not always fun. But, it’s worth it.
I would rather live in the will of the creator than walk blindly into the way of the enemy. At least when I’m walking with God…invested in my relationship with the Lord…I can spot trouble. I can sense the mistakes before they are made and I can fall back on the only thing that’s always been and always will be…Christ.