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I went for the Salvation Army.
Why is it that I want to get better, I want to be unstuck from where I am, but I don’t do what I should do? If I really wanted to experientially know and serve God, I’d at least try. But I don’t. How to I really learn to WANT something desperately? Resolve in my heart that I want it? People keep saying resolve in your heart to follow God but I don’t know how to want something that badly no matter how much I’ve suffered and no matter how much good I know He is. No one seems to understand.
So a long, long time ago (in a galaxy called here) was a dude who had the same problem, and he wrote about this struggle in a letter that we now call the Book of Romans, in Chapter 7, which says,
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. … For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
I almost want to yell, “SURPRISE %@$#^&!!”
That was Apostle Paul, who was probably the holiest dude of his time but fully acknowledged that he struggled like crazy.
I’m not trying to be cute here. Paul was describing the entire dang human condition.
Hang with me a bit longer. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about his “thorn,” some crazy affliction that he doesn’t ever name, which God didn’t take away. This is Paul, who by the way could revive dead people and also heal the sick by his shadow or handkerchief, and he couldn’t heal himself. It was something so drastic that it probably caused others to doubt God, but Paul writes,
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
The truth is: You can NOT do this on your own.
There’s no willpower, no personal resolve, no inner-strength, no part of your flesh will ever get to the place where you can say, “I made it.”
Maybe not the pep talk you were hoping for.