Faith In The Rabbit Hole

faith, flesh, Romans 7:15-20Confused?  Yes.  Dismayed?  Yes.  Uncomfortable with your situation?  Yes.  Irritated and annoyed?  Yes.  Unsure about your direction?  Yes.  Lacking in confidence?  Most assuredly.

This describes me.  Does it describe you?  Ok maybe it isn’t every minute of every day but those descriptors certainly fit me often enough for me to notice and feel bad about it.  After all, I am a Christian, a saved child of God who is honestly trying his best to love the Lord and walk in righteousness.  Aren’t I supposed to have it all together at this point?  Shouldn’t I be mature enough in my walk that I am armored against such things?  Apparently not.

At times, I feel like I am living in Alice’s rabbit hole.

Wikipedia says the expression “down the rabbit hole” is a metaphor for an entry into the unknown, the disorientating or the mentally confusing and can also refer to an initial page or clue that opens a persons eyes to an alternate reality.  I think that’s a pretty good explanation for certain aspects of life as a Christian.

The flesh in me wants to act out so badly and sometimes, unfortunately, I let it.  And because I’ve let my flesh have its way I then berate and beat myself up about it instead of resting in God’s grace and immediately seeking His forgiveness.  This process of being fixed by God for His glory is described by the fancy word “sanctification” and sanctification, at least for me, is hard.

See if this sounds familiar to you.  Through prayer and life experience God reveals a weak area that needs attention.  You confess it, ask for God’s help in it and begin to see some progress in growing out of it.  But then you slip up and the old man, that old sin, comes right back to the forefront.  I think the apostle Paul understood this very well.

 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.  But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good.  So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.  For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.  But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. (Romans 7:15-20) NASB

How frustrating it is and how dismayed I am with myself when I do those things that I know I shouldn’t do and don’t do those things that I know I should!  Some days I just want to cry out to God to take this sin out of me and make me like Jesus, perfect and holy as He is.

But that isn’t how God works with us, is it?  This is a process.  The route of sanctification isn’t a short, straight line from point A (start) to point B (finish).  It’s more like a meandering path through hills, valleys, deserts, rivers, oceans, caves, jungles and an erupting volcano or two before we reach our goal.  At each new sight and at each bend in the road God is there to guide us and teach us something new, if we will let Him.  If I will let Him.

That’s where the alternate reality of the rabbit hole comes in.  Although we walk on this earth we are not of the earth and our destination can’t be found on any map.  Our spiritual eyes have been opened and we long for a home that we have never seen.  We long to be with our savior and to be like Him.

It is that dissatisfaction with who we are now versus who God wants us to be that can sometimes drive us to distraction but can also be a catalyst for great change.  Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic wrote “Dissatisfaction is the mother of change, and only change can drive improvement.”  Although he was speaking in a secular sense, there is still spiritual truth in his statement.  God does not want us to be satisfied and comfortable in our sin and until we hate it as much as He does there will be some things that we will not be able to overcome.  I am convinced of this.

This life we live can be weird, trying and downright exasperating at times.  Sometimes, the thing I am most exasperated with is myself.  Even so, I have faith that God is still working and that the process of sanctification that He started in me will be completed in His good time.  Until then I need to hold on and keep believing.  You hold on and keep believing also.  Don’t loose your way and don’t loose your faith in the rabbit hole.  God knows exactly where we are and He has a perfect plan to bring us home.  What we need to do now, is help each other get there.