The theory is this: each of us has one area in which we are weakest to temptation. That one thing that the world could offer us that is so important that it might sway our hearts to fall away from grace. Or even if it couldn't sway us to fall, would be enough to divert our eyes or manipulate our choices. One major thing.
What is that thing? It's different for each of us. For me, the answer comes so quickly I don't even need to think about it. It's the thing that sustained me for many years of life before I knew the Lord. The thing that satiated me, tricked me into thinking I had it all and was happy. It was also the thing that haunted me during my most difficult seasons walking with God and caused me to think, "If I just had this back I would be okay". It screamed at me when it was lost, "It was easier to be happy when I had ______ than it is to be with God," and of course, "God, if you really loved me you would give this back to me."
What is your one thing? The one thing that you believe secretly, deep down, could sustain you (or at least make life bearable for awhile) if you didn't know the Lord?
Maybe its perfect health? Maybe it's the right partner? The perfect marriage? A perfect body and eternal youth? Unlimited money? A brilliant mind? Professional success? The perfect home? Or maybe it's a person.
My story may be unique, but first He took it away. Painfully, I learned how I relied on it, and how I put my identity into it. Until I stopped. I woke up to it, and saw that I could be a different version of myself than I had been my whole life – a different girl. I learned how to rely on Him to strengthen and identify myself.
And then, one day, it was within reach again. I could have it back. He gave me back what was once the crutch that had allowed my crippled soul to limp through life. At first I tried to walk with it like I always had before it was gone; I thought it would make my steps easier, more comfortable. But something was different this time. Since I had learned to walk correctly, I no longer needed my crutch. Trying to walk with it only slowed me down and made me clumsy. You cannot run with a crutch like you can with healed, strong, healthy legs, and I had learned to run!
So, what is your crutch? And where are you with it? Are you still using it to walk? Has the Lord taken it away and you're discouraged because you feel like you are now only capable of crawling? Have you begun to learn to walk again, without your crutch, on shaky legs? Or is he for you like He was for me, giving you an opportunity to beat it once and for all, by giving it back to you. The opportunity to reject what was once stripped from you, and in so doing, overcome it fully. Because, like everything else in the kingdom of God, He gives us the choice. The choice makes it sincere, the choice makes it personal, and ultimately it makes it most valuable to God. When you choose to finally reject the one biggest thing that the world has to offer you, you win. And this time around, it is not because you can't have it, it is because you don't want it.
A different kind of 'fear of rejection'
You may be wondering, "How do I reject it once the Lord has given it back to me? And what if I don't really want to?" Something that plagued me a lot was, "If I still enjoy having this thing, how do I know that I'm truly free of it?" Don't freak out! He knows what He is doing. If the Lord gave it back to you, He knows you're ready. You can handle this trail and come out victorious.
For starters, to reject it you don't have to pretend it doesn't exist or pretend it isn't a blessing. You probably don't even have to pretend you don't want it or enjoy having it. The only thing you need to do is surrender it. Use it for good and not evil; to glorify Him and not satisfy your flesh. Turn your crutch into your greatest weapon.
So for example, if your thing is financial success, and the Lord has brought you through a season of great financial hardship but now you're blessed, it is not necessary for you to start living like an ascetic and only eat rice and water everyday to prove money has no hold on you. Enjoy what God has given, but bless others with it more. Don't rely on it because, as you have learned, it is never going to be enough to sustain you.
You've got this.
Tina Hakimi is an Arizona-raised, Sydney-based writer. She's (obviously) still figuring it all out.
Tina Hakimi's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/tina-hakimi.html