On Wednesday evening I was teaching my middle son Ethan how to make sausage rolls; they are his favourite and he is a budding baker, so it seemed a given he should learn to make them. They were a hit! Sausage rolls made and baking trays emptied, as I was putting some ingredients back in the cupboard, I noticed a jar of cashew butter I had bought some time ago with great intentions of stuffing dates as healthy snack/sweet alternatives. I knew if it was still in date, it would be a short date. So I turned, flipped on the oven again, and quickly searched on my phone for Cashew Butter Cookies. Bingo! an egg and one cup of granulated sugar.
I felt myself cringe a little, knowing fine well that on Monday morning I had sworn myself off all sugary snacks in a bid to shift middle belly jelly by Christmas. Still I continued with the recipe, made the cookies, baked the cookies, and then sampled the cookies… to my surprise they were delicious. Well, let’s face it, you could probably put a cup of sugar in marmite and it would taste good. So, after a small sample, I contented myself they were a good job and went off to watch a little tv before bed.
A short time later, I came back in to the kitchen to do the bedtime lockup, light switch off routine. I lifted tea towels to lay over the two trays of not yet cooled baking and, as I did my limbs took on a life of their own, my hand slipped down and took grip of the halved sample cookie and before I knew it my arm had joined forces with its out of control counterpart and lifted the sugary treat to my lips, then my already poorly controlled mouth eagerly received the sugar filled delight. Damn! I thought as I took the last bite of the humongous, but very delicious, treat. Damn you, Terri! You fool, I thought to myself as I started toward the stairs for bed. Bad enough I had caved in to my temptation, but even worse, late at night. Feeling defeated, as I slowly ascended the stairs to bed, I heard myself chanting inwardly, pick up, dust off and start again. On the fourth chant, as I entered my bedroom, I was aware it didn’t seem to be me chanting. Or I wasn’t chanting alone. With an unasked question, I wondered was this chant Spirited on, and quickly became aware that God wanted to say something about the tragic event that had just unfolded. As I flopped into bed on my final chant, I finally questioned, what are you saying God?
The download began….
I am going to try my very best to describe to the best of my limited ability what God then spoke to my heart in the matter of a few minutes. It felt like we had a three hour conversation, rich with insight and Godly wisdom. It went like this, it was a slip up, it’s not ruined, you can start fresh tomorrow. God wasn’t merely ministering to my heart about the cookie incident, but to my ever occurring slip ups in life on my journey to becoming the best version of Terri, the God created, God designed, uniquely wonderfully made version of Me.
In the moments that followed, God allowed my heart to understand how this was a well practised pattern in my life which had such severe consequences; when I slip up, I slip into defeated mode and quite often immediately partner with defeat. It made sense, I can absolutely recognise that fateful characteristic in myself, and what God lay on my heart was a resounding, but gentle, STOP DOING IT! Not the stop doing it as in the slip ups, although that would be the end goal. STOP writing yourself off in these situations. I understood clearly what God was speaking to me.
My heart whispered a sorry and a thankful acknowledgement of this character flaw God had so gently pointed out in a bid to correct me and strengthen me. My heart warmed in acknowledgment of the fact that slip ups, big or small, God just wanted me to Pick myself up, Dust myself off and Start again. Yes, yes there would be some natural consequences, and there are situations I should definitely avoid so as not to fall in to temptation, but even then, when I did like baking the darn cookies, he still wanted me to start again.
With this comes the knowledge of God’s grace to allow me the privilege of picking up and dusting off and starting again. I do not in anyway undermine the enormity of the gift of God’s grace, forgiveness and infinite unfailing love. In no way do I think this is a get out of jail free card. But neither is it a gift that still needs paid for. Jesus has already picked up the cheque and it would be a real tragedy for us to insist on trying to pay a debt he has already cleared for us.
I feel like there is easily a thousand examples from my own life I could lay out in this blog, but I feel prompted to leave it here with you the reader, to allow God to directly minister to your heart. In what particular area may you be partnering with the spirit of defeat?
Me and my defeated attitude… It may well be coming from years of making excuses as to why my homework isn’t being handed in. but I have become an expert in giving excuses for not doing better, trying again. I am a veteran of excuses. I can’t do it, I’m past help, I just can’t help myself, it’s in my nature, it’s just the way I am!!
What I will say is this, in the time I have been in this relationship with God, there have been many many ups and downs, where there was doubt and fear and worry and regret. In real heart wrenching trauma, obstacles ridiculously huge I thought I would never ever overcome. When battles in the spirit that left me floored. The situations every fibre in my body made me want to run and hide from. Addictions, life patterns to overcome, mindsets needed changed and deeply embedded unforgiveness that needed addressed. And with every single one of them, I can acknowledge I have been the main opposer to working through these. Not that nasty wicked worm the enemy, not God, not the situation, but ME!
And God is saying NO! No more excuses! No, that is not just the way you are… that is not just your human nature because you don’t have a human nature, you have a God nature now…
You can and you will, but you NEED to pick up, dust off and start again. Every time, in every situation, I want you to dust off that failure, and I want you to stop agreeing with defeat, I want you to start again. Even if it feels pointless, even if you feel stupid, even if you don’t really want to, I want you to start again AND I want you ask me to do it with you. Even in the areas like healthy eating, I want to be in everything with you..
My great friend has this saying… if you get a flat tyre, you don’t go out to your car and let the other three tyres down do you?? This perfectly describes what we do when we come into agreement with defeat and give up on the best version of ourselves.
We can and we will…
So go get the pump out and pump up that flat tyre today, and to continue this great analogy. give God the keys.
loves T x
““My old identity has been co-crucified with Messiah and no longer lives; for the nails of his cross crucified me with him. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, and dispenses his life into mine! “So that is why I don’t view God’s grace as something minor or peripheral. For if keeping the law could release God’s righteousness to us, the Anointed One would have died for nothing.””
Galatians 2:20-21 TPT