Our Daily Tug-a-War ~ blog

Have you ever played tug-a-war? That is where either two individuals or two teams are trying to out tug the other either across a line in the middle of a mudpuddle which seems to motivate a more powerful effort to win and not end up in the mud.

In case you have not noticed we are all in a tug-a-war battle every day. Our opponents are our flesh battling against us seeking to drag us back into sexual sin and our new selves straining to remain Christ-like.

However, the problem lies in the fact that we are not supposed to be in that battle with our flesh because if it is just us against our flesh we are going to lose almost every time. Some of us have spent years even decades strengthening our flesh and feeding it the porn and sexual sin on which it loves to feast.

Even the Apostle Paul had this battle every day in his own life. in Romans 7:15 he writes…

“For I do not understand what I am doing; for I am not practicing what I want to do, but I do the very thing I hate.”

That sounds familiar does it not? Even Paul faced that battle and concluded that his flesh is the problem because it still loves sin and he is desperately in need of deliverance…which he says he was experiencing and give thanks to God that he was winning his daily battle because of his Lord Jesus Christ.

Those of us who are living in this battle daily know the pain of our losing the battle. It cost me my career as a Senior Pastor and almost destroyed my family. We hate what we are doing but cannot seem to find a solution that helps us stay pure.

Well…I have good news and I have bad news. The bad news is that we are going to be in this tug-a-war for the rest of our lives here on earth. It is a battle in which we can grow stronger if we learn the biblical truths we need to know and have a community of other fellow strugglers to help us in moments of weakness.

Now for the good news. This battle will not be forever…just for the number of days we will experience while we are still alive in our flesh, are battling demonic forces, and live in a world where porn has become omnipresent. So, let’s focus on the reality that we are not only going to be made perfect, but we will be perfect forever.

Here are some tremendous verses that we should all memorize…

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

Paul was absolutely sure that the Lord…who met him on the road to Damascus knocking him off his ass and onto his ass, personally introduced Himself to Saul, blinded him, and had him stewing for a period of time before Ananias showed up. Paul tells us with all confidence that this salvation which has been given to us as a free gift by His grace…will be a work that He will bring to completion. We will be completely finished in that we will be holy…and holy forever. Man…I love that truth.

Here is another verse in Philippians 3:21…

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

This earth is not our home any longer. We have become citizens in the Kingdom of Christ and heaven is now our home. Plus, He is going to prepare us for our eternal life by transforming our lowly body, the one we have now. And as I get older is it is becoming lowlier all the time due to what I call “age sagging.” But my lowly body is going to be transformed into a body that will be like His Glorified Body…perfect…pure…and we will be that way forever.

Then we also hear from John in 1 John 3:2-3…

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”

We shall be like Him. We will see Him face to face and we will be like Him…in a glorified and eternal body that will never ever sin again, become ill, diseased, or deformed in any way…and when we make that part of our daily thinking and hoping it will be part of helping us purify ourselves in the present

Now I have never noticed that before in this passage. John writes that every one of us who hopes in this eternal transformation of our body into sinless Christlikeness that act of hope helps to purify ourselves in the here and now.

Do you know why that is true? Because now…in the present…our focus has been on our sexual brokenness and how much it is damaging our lives…and that thinking seems to be continuing to suck us into the pit of shame.

So, instead of continuing to think about how bad you are and how much you are failing…how about being thinking more about where you will spend eternity and who in it we will be seeing. We will be seeing the glorified Christ and that kind of thinking will help you purify yourself as Jesus is pure.

Spend more time thinking about your absolutely perfect and holy eternity. Use your imagination and read the book of Revelations and how it describes our eternal residence.

Rejoice in the Lord always…again I say rejoice.

1 thought on “Our Daily Tug-a-War ~ blog”

  1. Dear John,
    I have been in recovery from sex addiction since 1989. Interestingly we lived in Columbus and were members at Sharon Woods Baptist (1979-1982) – Go Bucks!
    I loved your analogy about the tug of war, but disagree with your conclusion. I don’t have to wait till I am glorified to be free -I am free now. Not through my strength but through Christ. You and I, like Paul, have been GIVEN, a thorn in the flesh -I’m sure you, like me, have begged God to remove it. His answer to Paul was the same for me. My grace (divine enablement) is sufficient, for my power is made great (available) in your weakness. My goal is to stay weak, so He can be strong – every day, one day at a time. God is not interested in making me stronger – I cannot claim any victory based on what I have done – only what He has done in me. He is at work making me weaker so He can be stronger. Is there a daily battle? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It does not matter, because I have already given my day to God and live in his power and ability. My only problem comes when I try to do it on my strength.
    I’m 73 and work full time with guys seeking recovery from sex addiction. I’d love to get to know you.
    Brian H.

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