Journal entry April 5, 2018
"Not me, Lord! I could never deny you," I prayed, sounding a little like Peter before the rooster crowed.
I surrendered that idol a long time ago. Or at least I thought I did. It was something that brought me comfort during difficult times. But God wants me to seek only Him when I need comfort. When I am tempted and my past idols dance around my mind like expensive Givenchy dresses on the runway, would I be strong enough to look the other way and not give in to sin?
I poured over the scriptures these last few weeks and story of Peter and the night of Jesus's death kept repeating itself to me.
All in the same day, Jesus told Peter that he was to deny Him that night. (Jesus gave Peter a heads up!) Peter didn't believe him. That night, the Bible specifically tells us that Jesus took Peter into the garden with him to pray. He asked Peter to stay awake and pray with him for one hour so that he doesn't fall into temptation. (Jesus provided a way out 1 Corinthians 10:13)
Peter didn't listen. Later that night Peter denies Christ.
I feel like the dreams were my "heads up." Even though I felt no temptation at the time, I trusted and dared not follow in Peter's footsteps to make the same mistake he did.
I have spent the last few weeks in long prayer and pouring into scripture, and during this last week, they came. They came like winds, unexpected, unseen, but strongly felt. Like the winds, they were capable of destruction. Never in my life have I felt such strong temptations from my past idols calling me back to my old ways.
The thing about temptations is it's never greater as when one has made a public declaration of their faith.
Jesus was just baptized (His public declaration) and then was lead into the wilderness for 40 days to be tempted by the devil. Jesus used scripture to fight off the devil's jabs in the wilderness.
I tried to imagine going from baptism to being in the wilderness. Jesus was just about to start his ministry. I'm sure for the average person, stopping to be tempted in the wilderness is not quite what one would have on his mind before heading out, on fire, to do the Lord's work.
Elizabeth Elliot writes in her book, Secure in the Everlasting Arms;
"All of us, I suppose, have at times felt strangely displaced, wondering how on earth we landed in a situation so far removed from that of our choosing."
I stopped, closed the book and made my eyes blink a tightly squinted blink. "So far removed from that of our choosing." Yes. This is exactly where I am.
What tempts me are the things and thoughts of comforts of being secure. Secure in who I am, my identity, and physical appearances. These things could easily turn me away from the path God wants me to be on.
The verse that God gave me to fight this battle is oh so humbling and so fit for this fight;
Psalm 16:5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
When I battle with my insecurities I must remember to be content and at peace with the Lord, and that! That is security!
O Lord, whose way is perfect, help us, I pray Thee, always to trust in Thy goodness: that walking with Thee and following Thee in all simplicity, we may possess quiet and contented minds; and may cast all our care on Thee, for Thou carest for us. Amen.
- Christina Rosetti