The one you thought you forgot


The event is going just right. You’re looking smashing…you feel like a million bucks. Cheek pecks are in abundance, laughter fills the air and the DJ seems to be reading your mind. Then it happens. You look up and you see him or her. Your EX. The one you never got over. What is he/she doing here???? OMG! What?? They are walking towards you. Not good. You’re trying to come up with a script for what to say and how to respond…how to look like you’re over him/her (even though you are not). You’re trying really hard to put on your poker face. You talk…you laugh…and lord knows what else happens…or “almost” happens…even if it’s only in your head.
The morning after conversation. You tell yourself that wasn’t supposed to happen, you remind yourself that you SHOULD be over him/her. You wonder why you were so vulnerable.

We’ve all been there; known someone who has, or imagined what it would be like.
Interestingly enough, it works the same way with sin…especially the sin we thought we forgot…only that it’s more lethal and subtle. This isn’t about comparing exes to sin, its more about comparing “the moment” of seeing an ex that we are not over yet, and coming face to face with a sin we thought we overcame or outgrew.

As we grow spiritually, we improve by God’s grace in many areas of our lives. We start to do those sinful things less and less, we gain more control of our bodies (hard …I know), we get a bit more confident and motivated in our pursuit of holiness, we build certain structures in our lives to protect that “holier” lifestyle-Church activities, quiet time, church friends, etc-

Then one day we find ourselves having the “moment after” or “hour after” or even “morning after” conversation with ourselves. Asking “how did I get here? How did I not catch myself before I said that or felt that or touched him…or her…or it?

Shame sets in. We start to think about how we were so good for so long. How could we just throw that away? How could we have been so sloppy and let out guard down against the very thing we know we shouldn’t do or say?

For some of us, we quickly look for the way back home. We run to the throne of mercy and we frantically knock on God’s door in the middle of the night. Knock! Knock! Knock!

Is he still awake? Does he know it’s us knocking? Does he already know what we did? Will he embrace us or will he slam the door in our face? Will he embrace us or will he order Michael or Gabriel to take us and lock us up somewhere?

He finally opens the door and finds us standing there…lower lip pushed forward… in the cold, shivering. We can t even look him in the eye. We feel filthy, ashamed and scared.

He lets us in and before he says a word we spill our guts and tell him all about what we did and how we will NEVER do it again.

His love for us is his weakness. He can’t stand the pain we feel for failing him. He is fighting the urge to scoop us up in his embrace, twirl us around, and tell us it’s ok. He doesn’t do that yet…rather; he puts us on his laps and turns us around like mother trying to see if her baby needs a change of diapers. He looks inside our hearts and sees that we are indeed filthy and full of doodle. Right away he orders a bath for us…a bath in his son’s blood.

What a privilege. What love from the one who has the power to kill and make alive.

As he releases us that night…fed, cleansed, forgiven, we look over our shoulders to see him at the door, watching us, waving at us as we go back into the world hopefully this time to be good for real. We feel so much better now…like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders…the weight of sin.

We still have to ask ourselves those important questions though. If we don’t take stock and objectively ask ourselves how we got there, then we don’t grow and sooner than later, we find ourselves right back at that door…knocking in the middle of the night for mercy. It gets old.

So how DID you get there?

1) You focused on the “record”. It stopped being a “one-day-at-a-time” thing. It became a holiness project. You hadn’t “done it” or “said it” or “felt it, him or her” for months and the fact that you’ve been so “good” becomes the source of your strength, complacency and ultimately, demise.

2) Your boundaries became a blur. When you started out trying to do better, you set these boundaries that were clear and well defined. You told yourself you weren’t even going to go near certain things because they got you in trouble. After a while, when those self disciplinary actions yield their good results of  keeping you out of trouble and keeping you focused on building a better you, you take your eyes off the discipline. You forget that YOU by yourself are not strong enough, complacency sets in and ultimately, your demise.

3) You forgot what it felt like to fail God.You forgot what it felt like to stand outside that door…shivering in the rain, lower lip pushed forward as you knock on God’s mercy door in the middle of a cold night shivering, praying that God hears you and gives you just one more chance. You forgot what it felt like to fail God. You lost sight of “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”. Complacency set in, and your demise followed.

4) You changed environments.You see, when we settle on this path of “trying to be better”, we create structures around it in an attempt to protect ourselves from the opportunities to screw up. We cancel subscriptions to magazines that make our blood flow south bound at the speed of thought and we change our spending habits. We downgrade from micromini to miniskirts and we change from painted-on jeans to skinny jeans. We pack our week with church activities, we make sure Friday night is packed with one church event or other; we even throw away the things and the friends that get us in trouble. Structure. Its good but it can only take you so far because soon enough, the structures if really backed by your daily thirst for holiness, will probably keep you out of any major trouble. What happens however, when we are taken out of that environment?

We go we go on a staycation or a vacation, old friends back in town or new friends we don’t want to disappoint? A social event out of town or a business trip? A trip with the boys or girls night out? Suddenly, we find out that the structures that seemed to protect us are not there for that moment. We are out of our element. What happens when suddenly, we are not accountable to anyone or anything in that structure? Those sleeping giants wake up and want to get a taste. They want to wild out and you let your guard down. The sin you thought you forgot, remembers you. You feel the rush. You get a taste. You see, you failed already by putting your strength in the structure. Your holiness was not sustainable. Your complacency was always lurking and unfortunately, so was your demise.

You see, you failed already by putting your strength in the structure. Your holiness was not sustainable. Your complacency was always lurking and unfortunately, so was your demise.

So what do you do?

TAKE STOCK, REPENT AND REGROUP. This time, let your holiness be a day by day thing where your strength is only found in the spirit of God.

Sometimes that’s all you CAN do. This time though, let your holiness be a day by day thing where your strength is only found in the spirit of God.

P.S You might want to read:  That Moment When You Feel You’re Losing Deep Connection With God 


 

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  • Sabrina

    “…It gets old..”, It really does. Being a constant back-slider gets old. This message was definitely for us. Shame will set in, I was a back-slider and I constantly asked myself How? and Why? Why would I do that route KNOWING that being in his grace is the best place. You answered that.. “We forgot what it felt like to fail God”.. Getting comfortable with God isn’t a bad thing, but when that fear fizzles away.. so does everything else. Thanks for the wakeup call!

  • Geat points editor; love the “STRUCTURES” I think you are right on point. We often forget that our “structures” are there for a moment. Christ said “Without me, Ye can do nothing” I belive that pretty much sums it up! When you Seek him first, That’s all you need. NO STRUCTURES NEEDED. All other things shall be added. #thatsall.

  • Dayo

    Love the changes.. love the take home points.. it’s something to constantly keep on mind and definitely practical! as I said before, great article – engaging, practical, great imagery!!!, fantastic intro and ending and I love the underlying humor. Keep up the good work! Can’t wait to see the part II

  • Yemi A.

    True talk. Looking to self for growth, depending on past glories and compromising always brings us back to where we don’t want to be. Awesome blog- I’m glad you finally did it!!!
    So proud of my friend (tear drop trickling slowly from left eye).
    I know you’ll do awesome things with this and I really hope you run with it.

  • Momo

    Hmmmmmm really deep…where do I really start from? You’ve done well by exposing our secret thoughts and struggles! Who really hasn’t been there? Beating yourself over the head cause you remember not so long ago you were down this wrong path and you swore you’ll never stoop this low again….hmm as if it never happened before here you are again… crying over the the same old mess the same old mistake the same old struggles. I think you are right we easily forget what it feels like to fail God or what it feels like to fail ourselves…. the shame the disappointment the time/effort wasted…
    We often deal with things on the surface and hope its all taken care of. We forget to deal with the roots and sometimes that’s why we have them re-occurring in our lives….It’s so painful to look within and expose ourselves to the roots of why we do this or think that way… so we just brush it off and promise to do better next time… I sometimes call it MLGJ “Momentary lapse of good judgement” only problem… sometimes these mistakes could be just too costly!
    Thank God for His unfailing grace and divine mercy over us!!!
    I mean most of us would be cast-away’s …no hope
    Thank God for His forgiving nature…. for some of us can’t find the heart to even forgive ourselves….
    Thank God He allows us a do-over!!
    Thank God!

  • Tasia

    Amazing words of inspiration!!! Getting comfortable knowing that we will go to heaven no matter what is something that happens to EVERYONE (those in salvation), more often than most would like to admit. We are saved by his stripes but we make a decision to live under the rule of man here on Earth or live above the world…the choice is ours and you completely hit the spot here.

    I LOVE your blog because it is a healthy balance of real life and our “rule book”…giving conviction to the word!! AMEN!!!! YAAYYY!!!! Thanks for starting this AWESOME blog!! 🙂

  • Adeola

    I can SOOOOOOOOO relate to this..probably more than I should admit. But the fact is that, the guilt and shame WILL continue to happen because of our inherent sinful nature. We should worry when the guilt disappears because it means we don’t care anymore. There is also a fine line between continuously asking for forgiveness and just giving up and feeling like the battle is lost. Why bother?? That’s where the guilt comes in. It gives us no choice but to bother.

    CONGRATS ON THE WEBSITE LAUNCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WOO HOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Taiwo Durowade

    I pray regularly for his fear to be instilled in me anew, it definitely needs to become a daily thing. Losing sight of that fear is what makes you “tolerant” of things that would make it easier to fall back into those sins. It is a dangerous place to be, I pray He never gets tired of my apologies, I find that I have to apologize all the time even when I know better, thank God for His enduring mercies

  • Kehinde

    this was pretty amazing, the imagery is fascinating, and i saw a lot of myself in it…funny thing is that not two or three days ago i realized that it is when i have a great session with God and i’m feeling good about my spirituality, that i do something stupid or think something stupid or everything just sha falls apart. it fits perfectly in your “you focused on the record” part. hmm….now i have to consciously make striving for holiness a day-by-day thing. It is well. I realize that why i do these bad things is that i have lost my fear of God…if you fear God, you won’t do anything to upset Him. and b/c we don’t see Him, or we can’t appreciate his super-powers and His ability to just strike us down at His will, that’s why we’re messing around. I read something the other day, these guys were fornicating and God said until they were all killed He was going to continue plaguing them, Imagine!!! We have the option of running to Him for mercy, at the time of Moses, He required that they be killed! ahhh mehn God have mercy on us for taking Him for granted, for taking Jesus and His death for granted. Anyways, thanks for sharing this…it was really needed.

    • sometimes i wonder if its the same heaven people like Paul and Daniel gave their lives for that we are going to. God’s love really is amazing – He still said that despite their amazing lives/ministry, “they without us should not be made perfect”…

  • Hansy

    So true, we should not rely on our own strength but in the holy spirit. Always remember the holy spirit knows us and He knows our thoughts. Surrender your thoughts to God. Because I believe that before you do something, it starts in your mind. You must have thought about it, planned it or thought of possible outcomes before actually doing it. God is so faithful, compassionate and so forgiving. I am glad I met Jesus because I don’t know what I would have done without Him. He keeps me sane and he makes life beautiful. He is like a breath of fresh air.

  • Man loved this article… kind of felt like it was talking to me. I know I’ve definitely put my faith in my structure sometimes instead of putting it solely on God. I know I definitely had to move away from people and stop doing and saying certain things I would use to say. It’s a struggle in some areas, but I’m just really really trying to learn to walk in faith in God everyday.

  • Lovethispiece!

    This is a very good article. it just boils down to….only the Spirit of God can help us achieve complete holiness, not our structures or disciplines….Hmmmm.
    Time to knock on the throne of Mercy! 🙂
    Thanks for this piece!

  • Thanks so much for introducing me to your website. I really am having a good time browsing through you posts. God bless you. My email will be visible to you as you approve the comment. Do send me a mail when you can about what you mentioned.

    Keep up the good work!

    Temi

  • Leo

    Hmm! I’m just lost with words. This was about me knockin, knockin, knockin everyday and then still going back to the old sinful self. I know its a gradual process but God is with me. I will get there.

  • Sharran

    I’m intrigued and on the edge of my seat. What happens next, Tobi? I am eagerly awaiting Part 2. =)

    • ijustmetme

      You know Sharran, I should write a second part! I am really really glad you enjoyed the article and that it connected with you. Stay tuned!

  • if i were God i dont think i’d answer me one more time. and my heart breaks each time i remember all the unfulfilled promises and vows over the years. By His grace, this year I am doing better but there is a looooonnnnnggggg way to go to come into that fullness…

    • ijustmetme

      No need to feel that way. Bask in the goodness of God. Bask in the fact that you are white as snow and that when he forgives; he does so completely and does not remember our sins. Remember that there is nothing we can do that will make God love us less. Here is the secret. If he loved you perfectly when you didn’t know him, there is no reason to love you less when you know him just because you fall sometimes.
      His arms are always open to embrace us and love us when we miss it.
      Bask in that knowledge and know that as imperfect you as you are, you are loved perfectly by a perfect God.

      So happy you came across the article!
      Have an awesome day!