(Based on the book Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore)
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40: 1-3)
So, last post I told you about my Monday night group and a great book we are studying about pits; what they are, how we get into them, and how we get out. Again, I encourage you to read the book if you’d like more in-depth information.
I defined a pit and told you about three criteria to determine if you may in fact be pit dwelling: 1) You feel stuck. 2) You can’t stand up to your enemy. 3) You’ve lost your vision (your ability to see beyond yourself and your situation). Let’s continue by looking at how we can end up in a pit in the first place.
We can be thrown in. Yep, that simple. Sometimes we are in a pit through no fault of our own; someone just throws us in. Kind of like the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis.
Real life examples might look like this: you can be thrown into a pit…
à by a sudden tragedy, like the death of a loved one in a car accident
à by a violent crime
à by an alcoholic parent leaving a devastating path of destruction thru your childhood.
à by a life-threatening disease
I could go on, but I think you get the point. When you are thrown into a pit, it isn’t your fault and you did nothing to deserve it. But still… you are stuck in the mire, unable to stand and fight or look beyond your circumstances. And you are certainly unable to get out on your own.
You can slip in by accident. You really did do something that eventually led to a pit, but you honestly didn’t try to get stuck in the mud and mire. You thought you had everything under control, it wasn’t that big of a deal and BAM! the next thing you know you’re knee-deep in the mud.
Sliding into a pit could look any number of ways. Consider the following:
à You just needed to be free from the pain for a little while so you could do your job and enjoy time with your family. You never thought you’d end up with an addiction to prescription medications.
à It was just harmless flirting; after all, you’re both happily married and have been for years. Now you are in one of the biggest messes of your life!
à You wanted to lose a few pounds after the last baby was born. You know, regain your girlish figure. You never intended to end up with an eating disorder and you hope you can make it stop before anyone notices.
There are any number of items you could add to the list. It is painfully humbling to realize that you got yourself into a mess that you cannot get out of on your own. Beyond the embarrassment of the mess, the hardest thing about this type of entry into a pit is learning to forgive you. And the devil is quick to capitalize on our tendency to beat ourselves up. It saves him a good deal of work.
You can jump in. Yep, you can weigh the cost, consider the outcome, take a running start and leap in with both feet landing right in the center of the pit. Almost everyone has done this once or twice during his/her lifetime. Consider the following examples from pg 77-78 of Beth Moore’s book: You wanted
- to steal the money
- to have an affair
- to hurt the other person
- to experience something illicit
- to be drunk as a skunk, high as a kite, and lower than a snake’s belly
Some of us are chronic pit jumpers; we do it often and for one reason only: we like the ride. Chronic jumpers tend to have issues with authority. They will not listen to someone else; they will do it their own way. And while the cost of the trip is not pleasant, the ride makes it worth it.
The biggest problem of a chronic pit jumper is this: his “want to” is just messed up. He wants things that are bad for him. Period. And before he can ever stop pit jumping, he must allow the Lord to fix his “want to”, which in turn means he must submit to an authority higher than his own.
Regardless of how you may have ended up in a pit, you do not have to stay there. Consider the following statement and plan on learning about how to get out of the pit in the next post.
The devil cannot force you to stay in a pit; the best he can do in try to convince you that you belong there. Likewise, the Lord cannot force you to leave a pit; the best He can do is show you that there is a way out.