God Has for You a Better Life ~ blog
I have this very basic rule of thumb in regard to what I read in the Bible. It is pretty simple and basic and here it is;
It is true!
One must learn to do the work in understanding the context and culture of these words to have some guidance and make proper interpretations. Thankfully we have hundreds of years of writings from scholars who have spent their careers carefully examining the Bible and giving us commentaries. And thanks to the internet you can read the writings of these experts online for free.
Sometimes we find things that sound great but because we do not see them happening in our own lives we might question if it is true and applicable to us today. These three statements by Peter, Paul and James could seem to be texts like that. We have looked at these three statements over the past 2 days.
Peter tells us that we can become “partakers of the Divine Nature” 2 Peter 1:4
James says that we can become “perfect and complete lacking in nothing.” James 1:4
Paul teaches us that we can be “filled up to all the fullness of God” Ephesians 3:19
The problem is that those of us who have given ourselves over to the lusts of our flesh find these words hard to believe. We might want these to be true in our experience because who would not want to experience these things?
However, in the end, I have to conclude that regardless of my own experiences it must be true that this is what God wants to do in our own lives. This is not pie in the sky when you die. It is the experience God has for us and He wants us to become people filled up, perfect and complete, and partaking in the Divine Nature.
His will is not for us to be sloshing around in the sewers of filth our world offers to us and suffering from fear of exposure, deep shame, and self-loathing. He wants us to walk in the light, be able to tell the truth and have no secrets so we can be experiencing a full and fruitful Christian life.
So, where is the disconnect? Why is this not happening in our lives? Apart from the fact that sexual sin is a highly addictive behavior that we have been developing for years if not decades … what is keeping me in this garbage dump and how do I get out???
As you know there is no simple answer to that question. See sex is not the root problem for us. Sexual sin is the fruit of a deeper issue in our life. These evil desires that we have come from our sinful nature or flesh. And we have developed the practice of responding to any sexual temptation by giving in to porn and masturbation. Something triggers us … like stress and we are then tempted to escape the stress with another trip down Pornography Lane to experience a momentary period of pleasure.
I believe that the heart of why we continue to struggle with these sins, in spite of knowing that it is wrong and damaging to us and all of our loved ones, is that we are not willing to do the two things we so desperately need to do.
End Your Isolation.
Do the Work of Your Recovery.
I know how threatening the first requirement is. I had invested years in getting my education and serving as a pastor for 26 years. My wife and I had given ourselves to one another in marriage and the raising of our 4 children. I just could not find the strength or courage, to tell the truth, because I was afraid of losing it all and what people would think of me and the shameful things I had done.
I was definitely trapped and in the chains of the prison I build around me by my sinful actions. I lied to myself. I kept telling myself I could stop this and not lose everything I had given the previous 26 years of my life to building.
So, when I finally confessed to my deacons my shameful truth and then confessed to my wife and our 4 children … I was scared to death of what might happen … but I knew this … God, my Father, Jesus my Lord and Savior, and the Spirit my Comforter and Counselor … they would walk with me through the train wreck that was about to happen. That train wreck happened on September 9th, 2005.
Amidst the deep depression and fear of not knowing what would happen there was a strange peace that came over me and the million-pound weight of my secret sins was lifted off of me but then fell on my loved ones. Now, I had to do whatever was needed to help my family. And do you know what that was? It was me needing to do the work of my own recovery and entrusting them and their wounds which I had caused into the hands of God.
My words were worthless. Any promises carried no weight and were almost offensive to them. What they needed to see was me working on my recovery. Would I take the steps necessary to deal with my brokenness by doing whatever it would take consistently so that I was really being changed by God? Would I continue to tell the truth when future temptations would come and confess any future falls to my wife?
I can say that over the past 14 years I have done that work. I have told the truth. I am walking in the light as Jesus is in the light and the blood of Jesus cleanses me from all my sins. Trust has been restored because the necessary work has been and continues to be being done.
What is that work??? Well, that is for tomorrow.