Binge Watching God ~ blog
The word INSTANT is a very appealing word. Especially as the world keeps spinning faster, time feels like it is shrinking, and the faster we can do things results in only more things piling up. So, if something is instant it seems to have more value.
Instant coffee was first tried by the Union Army in the Civil War. It was a packet of coffee, milk, and sugar which mixed with hot water created a hot cup of something with the consistency of axle grease. It was quickly discontinued. Then, in 1881, Alphonse Allais in France created instant coffee. And it started to catch on because you could have a hot cup of coffee in the time it takes to boil water.
Today we have any number of items that are classified as instant. Quaker has instant oatmeal. There is minute rice, instant cup-a-soup, instant mashed potatoes, and even instant tofu. The appeal is that one can have food fast without all the time of going to the store, buying the potatoes, peeling them, boiling the water, cooking the spuds for 20-25 minutes, adding the butter and milk, and then smashing them into creamy mashed potatoes.
However, we all pretty well know that instant food is never as good as carefully prepared and specifically seasoned to one’s own taste dishes of food.
I am afraid that so many Christian believers think they can have instant Christianity. I believe that our churches are filled with people who are going through the motions of going to church, perhaps even being in a small group and think that is the normal Christian life. They want instant and convenient Christianity because their work and families demand more of their time than they are able to give.
Add to that equation those spending time using porn and living in sexual sin. All of a sudden, the urgent demands on their time can be set aside as they give themselves to an hour or more of watching porn. Or watching sports, watching the news, bingeing on thousands of shows using online streaming but feel they are way too busy to binge on God.
On Saturday I wrote about what we need to be doing as people entangled in porn and sexual sin relative to not just building a strong defense against sin by setting boundaries and consequences. That is the beginning work of recovery. However, it MUST BE followed with a concerted and consistent effort to grow in our relationship with God.
What God wants to do with all of His children is to make us more like Jesus. This is not some casual pursuit that happens whenever we get around to it. It is the reason He saved us in the first place. In fact, here is what Paul writes in Romans 8:29-30;
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
And this work that He started in us … He is going to finish. We have all already been predestined, called, and justified and will all be glorified in heaven and the transformational process will be finished and we will all be perfect forever.
Our salvation is supposed to be a process of transformation where we are experiencing the Holy Spirit doing His work of making us more like Christ. I think all of us in our hearts really want that. Especially wanting to be free from our sexual brokenness where we have become so sick of this sin and or ourselves that we are ready to give up.
So, I have bad news and good news.
The bad news is there is no such thing as instant transformation into becoming more Christ-like. The good news is that some things have been instantly accomplished. When we first believed in Christ and received Him as our Savior we were instantly justified before God.
Our sins, all of them, past, present, and future were instantly forgiven. We were born again instantly into the family of God. We instantly went from being dead in our sins to being alive in Christ. And, we were instantly sealed with the Holy Spirit as God’s promise of our eternal inheritance. All instant. All the solo work of God. All fully accomplished by Him and given to us as a gift of His Grace.
This is where the instant work stopped and for us, the work begins. This is where we have to do the work necessary for our sanctification to happen. This is when, with the Holy Spirit present in us, we must begin to do the work of becoming the person God wants for us to be.
However, it does not happen instantly … it takes an understanding that we are in a battle that we cannot win but cannot afford to lose. Ultimately, we win and will be completely transformed in heaven … but until then there is work we must do.
This week I want us to consider what we need to do to grow and become more like Christ. Not in a guilt-ridden approach condemning you for your failures because I have had plenty of failures myself. My growth has been slow and difficult nevertheless it has happened and continues to happen one day at a time.
I want to teach you the basics of discipleship. I have no huge dump truck of guilt to dump on you. But some very basic things we need to do consistently, a little each day, which will result in the Spirit transforming you into the person God has meant for you to be.
More tomorrow …