I was scrolling through YouTube the other day and came across this trailer. It’s pretty awesome. There’s a few aspects which stood out to me and yet the quote at the end is what hits my heart the hardest.
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The line ‘the mountain is just a backdrop for you against yourself. It’s as far as you want to take it.’ Both of those sentences are great and I’m going to tackle one at a time. If I don’t have enough space to deal with both, I’ll just have to come back to the second one next week.
So, I love the idea of the mountain being a backdrop for the battle against ourselves. This lines up with my experience of going through the Regeneration process. The process itself is long, intense, and at times complicated.
At the same time, each day of bookwork and every one of the twelve step can boil down to a battle against myself. There were many days I didn’t think the bookwork was worth doing. Most of it seemed like truths I’d been learning for years.
Looking back though, I don’t regret one day of book work. Even when I’d heard all of the great truths on those pages a hundred times, it was an opportunity to humble myself. Just because we know something in our heads doesn’t mean it’s sunk into our hearts.
I need this reminder every day; maybe even every hour. One of the sin problems I struggle with is self-righteousness and it’s so easy to tell myself I’ve got all the knowledge I need. Each day of book work was a chance to fight this dangerous lie.
They gave me an innumerable number of chances to sit before God and ask him to teach me what I assumed I already knew. There were more than a few times my prideful heart raged against this. It tried to tell me I didn’t need this book work and that I didn’t need Regen.
God still met me on many of those days though. With the gentle, kind, and sometimes firm words of his Scripture, he spoke truth into my heart. You see the problem was my head was filled with knowledge while my heart starved for God’s truth.
On multiple occasions, one of the Regen lessons would ask ‘Do you know God loves you no matter what?’ On multiple occasions, I answered ‘My heads knows this, but I am not sure about my heart.’ God’s patience and faithfulness to me while I walked in my pride, and other sins, helped to teach my heart this truth.
I didn’t stop being self-righteous or worshipping people’s approval after the first few days of Regen. Sadly, those sins continued as I went through the Steps and still rear their ugly head from time to time. God and his people didn’t give up on me though.
Grace, love, and truth waited for me every time I dropped the ball.
This was really important because I often feel the temptation to quit after I fall back into sin. A little voice in my head tells me I’m not going to be successful at this whole Christian thing and I should stop trying. These are some of the toughest points in the battle against myself.
My sin nature and desire for comfort is pulling me to give up and put the battle against sin on auto-pilot. “Life doesn’t have to be this hard” they both say. This is followed with “Can you really keep this up for the rest of your life?”
Without God’s love, grace, and truth calling me forward, I would’ve quit at some point.
God has poured out all three of those things onto me and many of the times he used Regen to do it. Whether it was the encouragement of a Christian brother or a great truth in the book work, God came through time after time. It’s crazy to me that God used the thing I was so judgmental and self-righteous towards.
I wouldn’t have done that. I would’ve become upset and bitter if someone was prideful towards my teaching method. God isn’t like me though.
He is patient, kind, and loving even when I am criticizing the way he does things. It is these differences which help win the battle against myself. I know what it’s like to do things my way and I’ve followed that path many times; it never works out.
When the battle rages and my sinful desires along with my flesh pull me towards giving up, I know to choose God’s way. It is so much better than mine. While it might require facing difficult circumstances and fighting my sin, God’s way leads to peace and joy.
Even after the process of Regeneration will end, each day will offer troubles, some new and others old. They will form a new backdrop for the battle against myself. I won’t choose God’s way every time and yet God will remain faithful.
I hope to choose his way more and more though. I’ll let you know if this becomes the case.
What has formed the backdrop for the battle against yourself in your life? How has that battle played out? Do you know deep down in your heart that God is faithful and pursues you in love regardless of what’s happened in those battles?
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