Save Me from Myself
Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. Genesis 20:6
Prior to my last relapse, I could sense God warning me. Don’t do this. I didn’t listen. I did what I wanted, defying a direct command from God. I told myself that I’d ask forgiveness the next day. Upon taking those pills though, a switch flipped in my brain. It’s as if God tried to stop me, but when I refused to listen, he let me embrace my disaster. The next day, I didn’t feel connected to God, and I didn’t want to ask forgiveness. I wanted more pills. I wasn’t going to repent, and I wasn’t going to stop. Months later, I reaped the bitter reward for my defiance of God as my life came apart.
There’s this frightening passage in Romans that described my condition: And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done (Romans 1:28). In deliberately turning my back on God, something horrible happened in my mind as God allowed me to go my own way. You really want this? Fine. I’ll allow you to discover the consequences.
In recovery now, I’ve experienced the opposite. I certainly don’t live perfectly. Daily, I sin and make mistakes. Daily though, I also make a genuine effort to point my life at God, pursuing him and his will. In doing so, I’ve experienced God’s grace and blessing. Is my life perfect? No, but I’ve found contentment, joy, and peace in daily seeking God and his will.
Today’s passage seems to address this grace that God extends to those who, although imperfect, make a genuine attempt to do what they know to be right. In the story, Abraham traveled to a new land where he worried that the king there may kill him to claim his wife, Sarah. So, Abraham once again lied, saying Sarah was his sister, not his wife (actually, she was both). Sure enough, Abimelech, the king of Gerar, took Sarah as his own. God then came to Abimelech in a dream, warning him that he was going to die for taking Abraham’s wife. God saw Abimelech’s integrity though and had already protected him from touching Sarah. Abimelech returned Sarah and all was well. God protected Abimelech from sin because of his integrity.
There will be temptations that I don’t see coming. Evil will try to entice me, and I will find it attractive. So, daily, I pray that God would protect me from evil. I daily attempt to seek God and his will, as I ask for his shield over me. It seems that I enjoy this protection as I follow God though. I can’t simply live however I want and expect that God will save me from myself. I can’t control the world, but I can follow the one who does.