Scripture Reading: Exodus 24:1-18
So Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the Lord has said we will do.” (Ex. 24:3 NKJ)
The children of Israel had the best of intentions with their promise of obedience, but when Moses was up in the mountain receiving the instructions for the building of the tabernacle, the people’s good intentions gave way to the worship of a golden calf. They said to Aaron, “Come make us gods that shall go before us, for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” (Ex. 32:1 NKJ) Someone has said, “Hell is paved with good intentions.”
We are no different than the people of Israel. We make all kinds of promises beginning on New Year’s Eve only to break them by February 1st. We began our diet and exercise program with great enthusiasm; the cigarettes were tossed away, the vulgar language cast aside, the meditations faithfully kept, and daily prayers uttered. Man, we were on a roll! Then one by one, they all disappeared. What happened? Why couldn’t we maintain the momentum? What caused the procrastination? Why did we fail?
I believe our failure is due to the fact that even though we have good intentions, we still possess the old sinful nature. We mean to follow through with our promises to God and ourselves, but something always interferes. That something is our sinful flesh. After praying to his Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus confronted Peter, James, and John with a startling truth. He came and found them asleep and said, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mt. 26:40 NKJ). The problem is that while the heart has been redeemed, the flesh has not. A war is going on with us between the spirit and the flesh. (Gal. 5:16)o
That’s the bad news. The good news is that God knows all about our weaknesses. The Bible says, “For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14 NKJ). The worst case scenario is that we can’t begin to fix ourselves. No amount of righteous works can solve our problems. There is no self-solution. Self cannot redeem itself. How then are we going to solve our dilemma? How can we make the changes necessary to get on the right side of God?
If you want to turn failure into victory, then release control of your out-of-control life into the outstretched hands of Jesus. Give up your self-efforts and allow Christ to change you from the inside out. Placing your faith and trust in Jesus Christ will initialize the change.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to cast aside my self-effort, and give control of my life over to you.