"Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?"
There are days, and we all have them, when we just can't seem to get anything right. Yes, even I fall down and make mistakes. I sin, you sin. We all sin. It is an inherited condition we cannot escape. The sin-nature of our humanity cannot be avoided.
The thing about sin which is often easy to forget, is that its outward evidence (our behavior) is proof of a deeper, inner problem. It is easy to get caught up in frustration that we cannot seem to get free of a behavior; even more frustrating when we cannot seem to ascertain what issue of the heart is causing the behavior in the first place.
Delving further into the depth of 'why' we do what we do (or don't want to do) is a daunting task. Those unknown depths can be dark and scary. However, it is gravely important that we move beyond the surface of our behavior and begin dealing with those heart-issues therein. Why? We can pick the fruit off the tree all day long, but until we deal with the issue at the root, we can expect to continue dealing with the same ol' fruit.
There are all kinds of causes as to why we may struggle with certain sins more than others. Your entanglements may be different than mine, but we all have those 'certain' sins that we seem to get caught up in more than others. If we were honest enough with each other, I think we'd all admit that there are days when we're ready to just give up and throw in the towel... days when we're at our wit's end in daily struggles against that ol' schemer who suckers us in (yet again) to that sin that so easily entangles us. Have you ever been there? I know you know what I'm talking about... those days when all the right buttons have been pushed, when you just can't seem to get the upper hand, when you have slipped and fallen more times than you care to count... days when you find it difficult to stand firm where you are, let alone try to keep moving forward...
It's days like these that we need Jesus the most, but oftentimes we find it difficult to even seek Him out. Perhaps we are paralyzed with fear or condemnation, or have succumbed to the shame of our seemingly helpless condition. Our unending struggle has moved us beyond aggravation and frustration to becoming just plain tired and weary. We find it difficult to find the words to pray or even find the strength to fight the battle any longer.
On these days, when we are worn and weak, it is crucial that we remember to get ourselves to a place where we can hear the words of Jesus. Read your bible, have a time of worship, listen to a preaching podcast, go to church, get around other strong believers who will lift you up and not put you down, seek prayer... etc.
Jesus is never at a loss for words and always knows how to speak directly to those needs we cannot even begin to articulate. His word speaks to those deep and dark scary things in our hearts that are hidden from us but are plain in his sight. His word penetrates our hearts and has the power to get to the point much faster and better than we can. God knows us better than we think we know ourselves and He provides us with great comfort and rest as we put our faith in His word.
He alone knows exactly what will be fitting for us to hear in that (sometimes scary) moment when we surrender our weakness and inabilities to His power, authority, and ability. He knows whether we need to hear the sweet comfort of His words reminding us, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or whether it will suffice for Him to say with great encouragement and confidence, "Get up and walk." What is He saying to you in your areas of greatest struggle when you surrender? Whatever it is, be confident that you can take Him at His word.
Have you noticed something in particular you seem to be easily enticed and entangled by? Do you have a negative behavior you struggle with on a regular basis?
Have you ever allowed your struggles with sin to paralyze you with fear, shame, or condemnation that have kept you from Jesus instead of drawing you to Him? Have you ever felt so weakened or tired from the battle that you could hardly pray?
What area of weakness do you need Jesus to speak to? Be honest and talk to Him about it. Use your bible concordance, or use a website like BibleGateway to look up verses related to those areas and begin letting Him transform you with His word from the inside out. Meditate on and memorize those scriptures and use them often to pray for yourself.
For Further Reading: Matthew 9:1-8 , Luke 6:44-46 , Proverbs 24:16 , Psalm 37:23-24, Psalm 119:27-29, Isaiah 40:28-31, Romans 8:26-28, Hebrews 4:12-13