By: Carole L. Haines
My son has often expressed that some of his favorite characters in movies and stories are the ones who are conflicted. You can tell they want to do good, and succeed at times, but they also have a dark side to them that is unpredictable and scary. The Bible has characters who express this as well. They are aware of their dark side, but long to do right and be holy. David and Paul are two great examples of these kind of Characters. Paul expresses it this way:
15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. (Romans 17:8 NASB)
David expresses it another way:
Incline Your ear, O Lord, and answer me; For I am afflicted and needy.
2 Preserve my soul, for I am a godly man; O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You.
(Psalm 86: 1-2)
David reveals himself as needy, conflicted, weak; yet also as godly and trusting in the Lord. Too often I think we feel guilty when this conflicted nature shows up inside of us, but it was right there inside of two of the godliest men who ever walked the earth.
When we see this inside of ourselves, often we try to cover it up, like Adam and Eve did, with fig leaves and hiding from God. But Cod calls us to do something else when we feel conflicted like this.
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
The Word of God examines us, it reveals things about us, such as our motives and intentions. We are then told that nothing is hidden from God’s sight, so running and hiding like Adam and Eve tried to do, is not only futile, it’s defeating the purpose for which our sin is revealed to us. So, what do we do? The next verses from the above Scripture tells us exactly what to do.
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 12:14-16)
We still run. But we run to the throne of God, to our Great High Priest. Jesus the Son of God. We need to look at one another through this lens of truth. When your brother or sister in Christ seems conflicted, pray for them, acknowledging the same plight within yourself. When we embrace this within ourselves and train ourselves to run quickly to the throne of Grace whenever we feel its grip; we can be used of God to help others learn to Run toward God, instead of away from Him when conflicted. So, let us come boldly, together, with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may, together, receive mercy and grace to help each other in time of need