Updated: Feb 7
Somebody used to ask me (usually with a tad bit of frustration in their voice), "Why is everything always God or the devil with you?" My answer? Because, ultimately, it is. Even though we are born with a "sinful nature ," there comes a day for most when we know the difference between good and bad choices.
We may sometimes squelch it, rationalizing black and white into grey, but in our heart of hearts—we know. And, when we make a choice that we know is not the right one, we're sending an invitation whether we're aware of it or not. The opening chords of an age-old tune begin.
You can call it whatever you want. Sowing wild oats, living on the edge, walking on the wild side, the list goes on. The way I see it, we have all had the name on our dance card at some point.
We've danced with the devil.
You may not even have been aware when you were whisked out onto the floor dazzled by the distraction of the rush you were feeling at breaking the rules in some way and not getting caught. Perhaps, the feeling of acceptance by a group of friends masked a lifestyle that pulled you into the tangled tango of addiction. Maybe, the pain you have experienced has left the word revenge pounding, relentlessly, in your brain. Or, does a steady beat rhythmically claim you are worthless and undeserving? Some people even court the dance in exchange for something they want.
I've danced. 😩 It's not a fact I'm proud of, but it's the truth.
I want you to know that I am not just spouting off and thumping my Bible. I stand here before you admitting I have messed up and I am bound to do it again.
I'm human. But God is good all the time. He forgives me when I ask and doesn't hold a grudge. Seriously. The Bible tells us that (Psalm 103:12). When we repent of our sins and they are forgiven, they are as far from God as the east is from the west. That's a long way!
But I didn't always know that.
Nevertheless, I believe I stepped on my would-be partner's toes pretty hard once. Truth be told, decades later, I think he's still holding a grudge—and I've actually apologized to my husband for unknowingly dragging him into the mix.
I always have a little twinge of "Eeeeeeek!" when I so boldly throw a conquest for God in Satan's face. But, on the other hand, I should confess that I do it pretty often.
I "eeeek" because who wants the devil, himself, mad at you, personally? And, oh, I know it makes him mad! But, the angst subsides just as quickly as it came. Because my next thought is remembering the side I am on!
So, yes! I will do what I can to foil his plans at every turn. God says we should not be afraid, but be strong and courageous in the battle!
And, it is a battle, my friend. This attack hit hard, but I stood fast even though I thought I'd lost it all.
There I was, living smack in the middle of choices I had followed through within my life that were not wise ones. I was weighed down to the point that I was, literally, sitting in a corner on the floor tearfully pouring my heart out to God. I don't remember my exact words, but I was telling him what a mess I was in and that I wanted to get my life on track with Him.
Of course, I made sure He was aware of how I thought it would all work out for the best. In retrospect, I realize it was a "give me what I want (please) and I will be such a great Christian" kind of prayer. Totally sold out for YOU, God, but first...
Of course, now I realize that this was not the kind of prayer to be praying. The reason is because there was a me-first condition attached. God isn't in the business of granting wishes or making deals. He's got a perfect plan in place. He doesn't need my help determining what's best for me.
But, nevertheless, I was certain I had my best interest at heart and pressed on. Completely refusing to acknowledge that the resounding silence could be a no. I kept making bargains trying to sweeten the deal. I began to feel desperate and in my push to prove to God my sincerity I actually used the phrase I would sell my soul...
Instantly, I became uncomfortable. Actually, those words had always scared me because of the darkness associated with what comes next in the phrase. I was surprised I had even uttered them.
My master tool of rationalization was always at the ready and kicked in immediately. I most absolutely had not said the last three words of that phrase!
I was talking to God for heaven's sake!
I kid you not, it was at that exact moment my phone rang.
I answered and was amazed by what I heard. It seemed I had an immediate answer to my prayer.
God had totally trusted my judgment!
I hung up the phone feeling elated! And, needless to say, ready to thank God profusely, but the "th" sound had barely left my lips when the snarling thought came. I'm not kidding, y'all. It was snarling.
An actual conversation ensued.
He had nothing to do with it! You said the words. I gave you what you wanted. You go to hell now.
I was stunned, but immediately retorted, "Wrong! I wasn't talking to you!"
You said the words.
'Well, never mind then! I've changed my mind!'
You said the words.
'But, I'm a Christian!'
You said the words.
Sadly, it didn't take much convincing. There was no denying it. I had said the words. Some of them anyway.
Freestyle didn't get me very far and there is no way that I was prepared to use the choreography taught us in the Word. I didn't even know I could have Jesus cut in immediately by using the power of His mighty name.
Instead, I believed that old liar.
'Well, then, what's done is done.' I conceded grudgingly (and felt surprisingly calm, all things considered!) that if he was right, then, so be it.
Even so, I wasn't ready to hang up my ballet slippers just yet!
My admission did not come without taking a mighty stand for someone who thought she was doomed to eternity with Satan, himself. I made sure he understood—in no uncertain terms—that I was at that very moment in time vowing to help as many as I could to find their way to heaven without making the same mistake as I!
Oh, yes, I did.
It was my "Touché!"
I may not have been more than a babe in Christ, but I understood our need for a Savior! But, because I was a babe, I believed I had made a serious mistake in saying those words. I believed that I lost my salvation by saying, "I'd sell my soul."
I am so glad I didn't go around sharing that information because it is not true! 😳
I wish I could tell you that I delved into Bible study and began to discover the wealth of information contained there. But, no, not yet.
Hang on, God.
Since I might be doomed anyway...
I have what I asked for dangling right in front of me.
It's right... here...in reach!
I... almost have... what I... want!
I did that.
I am shaking my head at me.
Baby steps, I guess. Spiritual maturity takes time.
Praise be to God! He didn't give up on me! And a few years later, when I made the decision to press in and learn all I could about God—still a work in progress by the way—things started to click in my brain. And, they clicked in place for good!
Oh, happy day, when I realized what a goof I had been to ever think that the lie I'd been told might be true! I was already a child of God that day (albeit an ignorant one 😉 ) and my soul was not for sale!
Jesus paid the price for my sins and came into my life as my Savior and Lord when I prayed the prayer of salvation. He was not about to hand me over to the enemy just because I used part of a catchphrase! 🤣 I am laughing out loud right now.
You aren't for sale either. I don't care who you are or what you've done. Even if you asked to dance (maybe even said those words) so you can have what you want, it is not set in stone.
You can walk away!
Believe the One Who Loves You Most and not the father of lies. You, too, can be saved. And, if you accepted Jesus in the past and then "backslid," all you have to do is tell God you're sorry and turn your life back over to him. Trust me, he hopes every single day that you'll do just that!
The only unpardonable sin, my friend, is not accepting a gift freely given to all who will accept it. The gift of salvation provided through Jesus.
You guys, the devil is a liar. I know I say it a lot, but he and his minions are at it constantly. Whatever it is that is making you feel uncomfortable—unworthy—of God's love is rubbish, I tell you!
Push through! God's plan for your life wasn't to deny you His love... quite the opposite. He gave you free will to choose and He desperately wants you to choose Him. He's got something AMAZING planned. There's no doubt about it.
You are made in the image of God. He wants you to know Him! The yearning in your heart isn't for anything of or in this world, even though there is one who would have you believe that. What you yearn for is the Father. Your Father.
Press in toward Him. Join a Bible study class, ask friends and family who believe to answer your questions, talk to God... discover for yourself the mighty, all-encompassing
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious love of God and His Son, Jesus.
At some point, I took off the dancing shoes and took up the sword of the spirit—the Bible, which is the Word of God.
You should consider doing the same.
The struggle is real, but the war is already won! Let's be at the ready to fight the good fight—always.
*Taking the proper stance*
I am praying for you. I'm praying for all of us.
See you next time. Love, C
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