I was shopping the other day and found a great clothes sale. While standing in line, I heard the woman in front of me talking to her daughter. She was telling her that they were only going to buy half of the clothes right now, and have the other half held until later that day. The woman planned to return to the store to purchase them when while her husband was at work so she could sneak them into the house and mingle them with the clothes already in her closet so he wouldn't be aware of her new 'threads'.
As she was explaining her plan to the cashier, she made a comment that they were saving for a new house, so she didn't want her husband to know how much she was spending! I had to wonder, did she really want these clothes more than she wanted that new house?
How often do we sacrifice our future for something that looks or feels good right now? We take a second helping despite being on a diet. We put off exercising because the weather is a bit too hot, too cold, too wet, or it's too late. We figure we'll take care of that 'check engine light' tomorrow when we aren't running so late. We go ahead and give in to temptation, thinking that it won't be so bad in the future and knowing that God will forgive us for this one little fall. I wonder how King David's life would have been different if he'd been thinking about making the right long term choice when he saw Bathsheba on her roof?
Proverbs 25:28 tells us that whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like city broken down, without walls. Each time we give in to our short-term desires, it is like knocking down another brick in the wall of protection surrounding us. After several poor choices we fail in our efforts, and then wonder why we can't succeed!
God tells us to stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and not to become tangled up again in the yoke of bondage we used to be caught in (Galatians 5:1). By standing strong, He promises to stand with us and give us the desires of our hearts. And eye has not seen nor ear heard nor has entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him! (1 Corinthians 2:9)