Is It Really Going to be Worth It? – blog
When someone who has trusted Christ as their Savior and Lord falls into sexual sin to the point where it has become addictive, they feel trapped. They have become entangled in the sin that “so easily entangles.” They fight to get free, while remaining isolated in shame, and wonder why God seems to be ignoring their cries for help. That leads them to begin to doubt if they are even Christians and perhaps have lost their salvation. At the least, they begin to believe that their sins are not forgiven.
I remember what that was like because I lived in that place for 8+ years. A strong understanding and knowledge of the Bible kept me from doubting my salvation and knowing that indeed all my sins past, present, and future were still forgiven. I just could not seem to sustain consistent sobriety from sexual sin which ended up ending my 26 years as a pastor and nearly destroyed my family.
I tell you this so that you will know that I know what it is like to be where you are. Alone. Afraid. Angry. Ashamed and somewhat desperate. Those were dark days and I am so thankful that for me they are over, and I want, with my whole heart to help you find freedom.
In the initial work of recovery, we have to do a lot of difficult and foundational work. What has been swept under the carpet and placed in our Denial Box has to be dragged out and examined. We need to learn why we are doing what we are doing and what steps do we need to take to stop this addictive behavior. This needs to be done by being part of a team of others to help you because nobody can do it alone.
However, once you have done that work and set up good boundaries for yourself with strong consequences and have weekly accountability in place with daily support from others, you are ready to turn around and start moving in a positive direction. However, the question arises;
“Is it going to be worth it?”
I mean from a very practical standpoint sexual sin has had some benefits in our lives. If it were not giving you something would you have kept pursuing it for all these years? It has given you moments of pleasure. It has been a very effective way to relieve stress, loneliness, boredom while on the other hand bringing with it a lot of pain.
Should we expect a good return if we begin to diligently begin to pursue Christ and actually do the things we need to do on a daily basis? What can we expect to receive in return beyond not having to deal with all the shame and guilt? Is it just going to be me becoming a goody two shoes Christian? What does Jesus ultimately want to do for me in the here and now?
There are three very distinct passages of Scripture which answer those questions. I will share them with you today and then we will dig into each of them over the next three days. If we were mining for gold these three verses are the mother-lode and the words come from 3 different writers of the Bible; Peter, Paul, and James (almost typed in Mary – 60’s folk group).
2 Peter 1:3-4;
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Those verses are telling us that the life God has for us is beyond anything we could ever imagine. We can become people participating in the divine nature of God. We can be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. We can become mature and complete not lacking anything.
I don’t know about you, but those things sound a whole lot better than wallowing in the filth of sexual brokenness. Those things sound like having an abundant life that will truly be the very best I can experience here on earth.
Tomorrow we will begin to unpack those powerful verses.