"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling" (Jude 24, NKJV). I read this in Jude as we were returning to the picturesque foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range in Choix, Mexico.
As I have contemplated this truth, the question I need to ask myself is, why then do I find myself shuffling along catching my toe on the root of depression or skinning my shin on the step of selfishness? Is it the fault of the root or of the step, or was I just being self absorbed by the dilemma of disagreements or too busy worrying about how I might be gratified or looked upon favorably? Either way, I am stumbling. Who is responsible for my sore body parts?
I. I? I! That is right, we are on the proverbial "hook" of blame. In James it says, "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (James 1:15, NKJV).
Notice the personal pronouns; he is drawn away, by his own desires. These are truths that we know. Is there a possibility of deliverance over what destroys? Is there a prospect of perfection?
I believe there is. I know there is! The answer does not lie in a self-help book coaching us on the correct way to harness the abilities of our inner strength. The answer is us asking and depending on His Spirit. Wow, isn't that easy to say? Why is it so hard to put it into practice?
If you are like me, it is easy to become comfortable being a Christian. We know well the expectations of a liberated life dedicated to Christ. We wake up in the morning with our path planned and prepared. We have our agenda penned in our pocket-sized notebook or safeguarded on our smartphone. Talk to God about our day? No time. Remember, our day is set, our plans are published. We shoot out of the gate and...stumble. We react utterly un-christian to the young man found snoozing on our steps. We glare disapprovingly at the driver of the Dodge positioned too close for comfort behind our car.
We thought we knew the path to peace and perfection. We have walked this way before. No need to look at directions nor request help, or so we thought.
Let us return to the verse in Jude. "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling" (NKJV). We know that He must keep us from stumbling. Why then do I not ask? Why then do I find it toilsome to remember to plead for help? MayI learn to ask God for the simple things daily. Lord, guide my mouth today. Lord, help my attitude be positive today. Lord, protect my eyes today. Lord, help me be compassionate today. The list goes on.
When we pray for help, is it a general call for help or is it specific? My challenge for us is to pray more specifically for aid today, for compassion today, for protection today.
Today is upon us, yesterday is past, tomorrow might never arrive.
Let’s ask our Sustainer for sufficient strength for...today.
--Written by Loren Yoder.