The Victory and Defeat Cycle

I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something bugged me about the way ‘spiritual highs’ and ‘lows’ seemed to repeat themselves. I wanted to know why. What caused the ‘high’ to start? To end? What could I do about it?

As I thought and prayed about it, and talked it through with friends, I noticed a cycle. It looks like this:                                                      

When I experience victory in Christ, I sense the Holy Spirit in every part of my day. I 'pray continually', and see God’s hand at work in my heart, my circumstances, and the lives and words of others. I am in awe of God, seeking, praying, reading and obeying. It’s a great place to be.

Pride and Judgment:
At some point I begin to take credit for all the awesomeness around me. I pat myself on the back. “Good job, Kim! You are a great person!” It doesn’t take long for that to turn into “You’re an even better person than them! My! How spiritual you are!” That’s the terrible sound of the floodgate opening. Out pours judgment after judgment. I can’t seem to stop myself.

At that point, the depth of my sin should be enough to cause immediate repentance. It should break my heart that I’ve sinned against my Heavenly Father. (that would be the shortcut). So far though, I allow the cycle to continue...

Insecurity, fear, isolation:
After pouring out such judgment, I generally feel insecure – as though everyone is judging me too. I’m always reminded of Luke 6:37 when I get to this point. “Do not judge others and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others and you will be forgiven.” I know in my heart that I deserve every ounce of the judgment I’ve poured out. At this point I feel terribly isolated, insecure and fearful. It’s awful. 

Humility, Confession, Restoration:

            When I finally have enough of writhing around in my own simpering insecurity, and pride – when I finally have enough of isolation and fear  – I realize I am a disgusting, hopeless sinner (not the spiritual guru I thought), and I NEED GOD. Ah. Hello, humility. It’s been awhile. I’ve missed you. As soon as I collapse before God’s throne, confess and repent, I am healed and restored. I am filled with thanks and praise, and desire for God’s presence.   .. and victory in Christ begins again.

I pray that I would choose humility as soon as I recognize my pride. It should be enough to send me to my knees before God. So much pain and heartache – and time – could be saved if I would choose that. I’m the worst example of a Christian when I allow the cycle to fall to its bottom.

Lord, help me to find humility quickly. Help me to cling to you. Thank you for showing me this cycle and helping me to understand. Thank you for loving me enough to teach me, and to forgive and welcome me back every time. Amen.


Amy Sullivan said...

My husband and I were just talking about this...the diagram is great though. Can't wait to show him.

Ashley K said...

I had discussed a similar cycle with my grandmother about a year ago. And she told me that there will always be this cycle, BUT as we grow more mature and deeper in Christ then we will recognize the low coming sooner and be through it sooner and return to living in victory where Christ intends for us to live :) Pretty much what you said. It's always nice to have a reminder.

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