Save Us from Evil
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age . . . Galatians 1:3-4
It’s not uncommon for the one struggling with chemicals to desire recovery and to put himself in treatment, only to find out he doesn’t want to be there. He knows the pain and misery that his addiction has caused, and he wants his life to be different. Once he sobers up though, he looks around and sees that treatment is going to be hard work. Not being able to use is going to be miserable for a while. He wants the new life, but he still wants the old one too, and so, he leaves, returning to his chemicals.
I’ve been there. Maybe I never left treatment early, but I’m familiar with wanting help while refusing it at the same time. I was miserable in my addiction. I hated who I was and what I was doing. I desperately wanted things to be different. So, I cried out to God to save me from evil, to save me from myself. When I saw his plan though – confession, treatment, life change, honesty – I decided I didn’t want it that badly. When the withdrawal and cravings set in, I realized I didn’t want to be saved. I just wanted my drugs back.
Though it may not involve chemicals, a lot of us have found ourselves here. As Paul stated in today’s passage, Christ gave himself to save us and deliver us from evil. There are those who simply don’t believe in Jesus and thus, have no need for him. Obviously, they don’t want to be saved. That’s not what I’m talking about here. What I’m referring to are those of us who believe in God. We want to be saved and we desire deliverance from evil, but still, there’s part of us that clings to it.
We don’t want to live enslaved to our self-destructive, sinful appetite. We long to be free from our lust, drugs, pornography, greed, resentments, anger, or pride. We ask God to save us. When we see what it takes to get there though, we begin to miss the old life and we just want to go back. In theory, we want to be delivered from evil, but in practicality, we’re still in love with it.
Jesus sacrificed himself for our sins, delivering us from self-destruction. Now, we must respond. Do we want the old life or the new one? In returning to the old, we’ll find nothing but misery and pain. In the new one, we’ll experience joy, purpose, and meaning. The daily choice is ours.