Everyone finds themselves battling some form of sin at some point in your life. It’s sad that in the church we have people that believe in “big” and “little” sins. You know, those who secretly gossip, lie, steal and hate others, but they don’t think they are a “bad person” because they aren’t fornicating or a homosexual. Please understand this before reading any further, you need Jesus. I need Jesus. Those people that hurt you need Jesus. WE ALL NEED JESUS!
As I was saying, it is normal to have a struggle, the issue is what you do with your struggle. Let me give you two biblical examples of how your issue can become your downfall or it can be used to your advantage depending on how you control it.
The apostle Paul
Other than Jesus Christ, Paul was arguably the most influential man in the New Testament. The guy practically wrote half of it. Many of us look at Paul and we pray things like, “Lord, let me be as effective for your Kingdom” or “Lord, let me walk with that sort of boldness and faith”. Those are great prayers, but did you know that Paul still wasn’t perfect? If you read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, you will see that God gave Paul a thorn in his flesh. Some argue that it was a sickness, some say a struggle, but that is besides the point. The point is that God will allow us to go through certain things that may not be pleasurable, but it will help mold us into His image. Paul says he sought God three times to remove that issue, but Jesus responds to him saying that “His grace is sufficient”. Paul didn’t want to remove his issue to have an easy life, he honestly thought that thing was just a burden to his purpose. Your struggles can push you into the presence of God instead of away from Jesus. I know this thorn in Paul’s flesh may not have been some form of addiction, but it was something he couldn’t shake. Many of you aren’t struggling with “sins”, but you have some spiritual weights that you need to be freed from (Hebrews 12:1). You feel trapped now, but allow that weakness to push you deeper into God’s grace and in His presence.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Some guy named Judas
Judas is easily the craziest guy in the whole bible. At least, that is how we often view him. For a man to walk side by side with Christ and still manage to not get it right is sort of appalling. However, many of us live the very same way that Judas did. We follow Jesus, but we won’t die to our carnal nature. Judas didn’t appear to have an issue with what Jesus was teaching, because he was more interested in what Jesus was doing with the money (see John 12:4-6). We follow Jesus, but our love for the world continues to get in the way of that. Do you believe that Judas ever loved Jesus? I believe he partially did, he just never placed his addiction under subjection. Paul says that we can preach the gospel and still not make it into the kingdom of God, and Jesus said that many will be doing things for God, but never had a relationship with Him. So yes, it is possible to jump, shout, preach and sing and our hearts still be on the way to Hell. Don’t let that be you. I pray that isn’t me. It will be sad on judgment day if we have helped so many people go to Heaven, but we do not get in because we had a godly appearance, just not the lifestyle or heart (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Are you willing to admit you have issues that God wants to free you from?
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Corinthians 9:27)
If you find yourself not being able to live without someone or something other than Jesus, then that is an idol that you either need to remove out of your life or get it placed back into its rightful place. Many people love their bf/gf or spouse more than anything. Yes, loving others is great, but it should never exceed your love for God. The day you want to be with the person you’re dating more than Christ, you will see your life go downhill and that relationship hurt you in the end. The day we turn to pornography, sex, lust or masturbation in our times of weakness instead of Christ, we will see how much those sins will drain us. If you have to turn to alcohol, drugs, parties, etc. to ease that pain or fill some void, you will continually be empty. Those are just a few issues to name, they are not the only ones God wants to free us from. If we gossip and slander people to make ourselves feel better, God wants us to repent of that as well.
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1 John 5:21)
The woman at the well is a clear example of a person that has a void in their heart and not know how to fill it. She was constantly sleeping with a new man, yet she was empty inside. Jesus saw her emptiness and offered her Himself, the Living Water. When we turn to Jesus instead of to whatever our “vice” is, we will be satisfied. Whenever we turn to our addiction or habit that isn’t pleasing to Him, we are still empty, full of shame and guilt, and desperate for more. Sin will never be satisfied. Sin will always take us further than we planned to go, keep us longer than we planned to stay and take more than we planned to give. I know you feel disgusted by your sin and maybe even in yourself, seeing how you continue to struggle. But that is why we need Jesus. The power of the Holy Ghost can help you overcome every single struggle and issue you face. Please do not condemn yourself. Get back up, repent and keep following Jesus. You may finish this blog and within the next thirty minutes find yourself on some XXX rated website. You may read this and go back to your binge eating to help your sorrows. I’m here to tell you that God is able to deliver you. You are not alone, Jesus is on your side. Do not allow your weakness to push you out of the will of God, allow it to cause you to keep seeking God so that you can permanently break that cycle.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalms 16:11)
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)
Grace and peace,