When the Garbage Surfaces (again)

Trash_heapWell, it happened again. Not that I’m surprised. I messed up.

As much as I am tempted to just brush it off as something minor, I still sinned.

And it will happen again.

The Bible makes it clear that every one of us is on a path to sanctification that will continue until the day we are given our new bodies in the next life, which means as long as we are here on Earth, there’s going to be junk that surfaces on occasion. Ideally, these occasions become fewer and fewer with time, but they will never fully go away.

To be honest, I hate this reality. I want to be fully sanctified now. I want to be done with sin. But I can see why God set things up this way. If we no longer struggled with sin, we’d all become self-sufficient, wouldn’t we? We’d forget how much we need a Savior. And man, I desperately need a Savior.

What amazes me the most in this latest stumble though, is the timing of it. At the risk of sounding like a heretic, it feels to me as if God almost “scheduled” me to sin to remind me of the full depth of His Grace in this moment. I’m not fully comfortable saying that’s what happened, but it sure feels like it.

You see, I’m pretty new to this whole recovery ministry thing. I honesty have no idea what I’m doing. But God keeps opening doors and I keep walking through them. That’s all I know how to do. For some reason, even though I’m not perfect, God seems to want to use me to help other men. In the past month, He has allowed me to launch this blog, continue working on writing the book, and even share my story in what could end up being an amazing documentary on pornography. Satan hates all of this. The more of these doors I walk through, the more Satan will try to tear me down or derail me. He wants to sift me like wheat.

I believe that is exactly what is happening right now. The Bible tells us the Devil prowls around like a lion seeking to devour us. It also tells us we are fighting a very real battle against spiritual forces. I’m not an expert on war tactics, but I’ve seen enough guy movies to know the enemy wants to take out Rambo and William Wallace a lot more than the average Joe who wont even pick up his weapon. Now, I’m not saying I’m a spiritual Rambo by any means, but I am without a doubt more of a threat to the plans of the Devil now than I ever have been before. I am venturing into enemy territory to rescue captives, and it will not go unnoticed.

This is one reason why I find the timing of this stumble to be interesting. I can see God working in my life. I see this ministry starting to take root. I also have seen a tendency for me to become prideful because of it.

If I’m being honest, there are moments where I start believing there is something special about me and my particular skill-set when it comes to helping others. The reality though, is any help I could ever offer anyone is only possibly by Christ working through me. So I believe God is humbling me through this, reminding me You cannot do this without me my son. The more I use you in my Kingdom, the more the enemy will attack you. If you let me fight the battle for you, he will not prosper. If you become self-sufficient, he will tear you down before you even realize he is there. 

In God’s mercy, He is teaching me full reliance on Him now, in the infant stages of this ministry, when the stakes are much smaller.

The other reason I wonder if God didn’t “schedule” this stumble is where I am with the book: 10 Lies Men Believe About Porn. I’m about to begin writing the chapter entitled “Lie #5—They Believe their Pornography Habit Separates them from God.” Even though the chapter is focusing specifically on porn, the concept is the same for all sins: We tend to believe God pulls away from us when we sin. We see our sin as a rotting pile of trash that we must clean up before God will allow us to be anywhere near Him. And this is the lie Satan wants us to believe.

It’s a great tactic when you think about it. If, after you sin, you view God as distant, angry, and judgmental, you will never come to Him for help. You will try to fix your sin by yourself, which will never work. On the other hand, if you come to understand the truth of Grace which tells us over and over that God will never pull away from you because of your sin, then there is finally hope for healing and freedom. You see, God isn’t standing on the other side of your trash-pile of sin waiting for you to clean it up. He sent Jesus to your side of the pile to clean it up for you. Jesus is standing right there with His arm around you, reminding you all of your sin has already been paid for at the cross. You are no longer defined by the pile of trash. As for as God is concerned, the pile is no longer even there.

As I sit down to begin writing this chapter about the Grace of God, I am experiencing His Grace as only one who has become painfully aware of their own brokenness can. My most recent affair with sin has reminded me how God’s grace really does cover everything…Thank God. And as I start putting words down on the page, I won’t be beating myself up for being such a failure, but will be experiencing the full depth of God’s Grace and love for me.

How much does He love a sinner like me? Well, he answered that question for me last night. In my moment of brokenness, I turned my iPod to shuffle and God spoke to my heart through the first song that came on:

I don’t know how to explain it
But I know that words will hardly do
Miracles with signs and wonders
Aren’t enough for me to prove to you

Don’t you know I’ve always loved you
Even before there was time
Though you turn away
I’ll tell you still
Don’t you know I’ve always loved you
And I always will

Greater love has not a man
Than the one who gives his life to prove
That he would do anything
And that’s what I’m going to do for you

~Third Day, I’ve Always Loved You~

How have you experienced God’s grace in your life?

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

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