Ditches

It seems like when I fast one of two attitudes plagues me. Either, (1) I hear this voice saying, “It’s no big deal. God didn’t specifically ask for you to do this. You can quit whenever you want. Eat something!” Or (2) I feel tremendously guilty when I do things I’m not fasting from. I’ll turn on the TV and think, “Oh, I’m not supposed to be doing this.” I sometimes even feel bad eating for the first time after the fast is over.

I don’t always feel this way. Most of the time I feel focused and tuned into God. I think, though, that these two attitudes are the Devil’s way of tempting me. On the one hand, he says, God loves you anyway. You don’t have to be obedient. On the other hand, he says, You’re not doing enough. Work! Work! Work!

The Devil loves these ditches. If he can’t get you with the one, he’ll get you with the other. It’s the old all-grace or all-works ploy. Amazing how easy it is to buy into that. Either side is surprisingly attractive.

It takes self-control to stay in the middle. Like a car that pulls, my flesh pulls. It doesn’t want to stay on the road. But the road is smooth in the middle and driving is easy. It’s not so easy or so smooth in the ditch.