Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sin Contributes to Unhappiness

"Sin always contributes to your unhappiness."  The Porn Effect

Finding delight in God and being content will never be ours if we are half clinging to sin and refuse to give up its passing benefits.  Isn't it amazing how our impure choices over promise and under deliver?

The stubbornness of the human heart to get our way no matter the warnings or certain consequences continues to astound me (my own heart included).  God is the author and source of joy, while all sin will steal our contentment and ultimately leave us dissatisfied.  We allow small compromise until sin is full grown and then cry out for God's deliverance from our bondage as though we somehow just ended up in addiction or with the wrong crowd, at the wrong place, etc.

"O God, there is much unconquered territory in my nature.  Give me pure desires, and longings after perfect holiness."  Puritan prayer

"Obedience, when it flows out of genuine love for Jesus Christ, is never wasted, and never regretted. "  Leslie Ludy

While God is indeed a might Savior who, although allowing consequences, is able to transform us, why do we treat God as if He was something lesser than what this world has to offer?  Why do we seek pleasure from the many sources of depravity in this world instead of running to God in full surrender and offering Him all we are, all we have, and all we hope to gain & become?  A dear friend of mine is a lovely example of what it means to pursue Christ wholeheartedly and leave the withering pleasures of this world behind.  She has learned that no matter the payoff we receive from sin, and regardless of the fun we have when living a life without boundaries, Christ is the only One who can truly satisfy.

With that said, I challenge each of us to:

  • Ask God to purge and refine your heart
  • Give you a love for what pleases Him and a hatred for what He calls sin
  • Break you fully, no matter what it takes
  • Give you a love for His word and an intimacy with Him through an active prayer life
  • The willingness to be set apart for Him and be distinctly different from those in the world
  • Use an internet filter on all your devices if porn is a temptation for you (You may use my affiliate code for Covenant Eyes in order to get the first month free)
  • Get rid of your cable subscription & cancel magazine or catalog subscriptions that hinder your growth in purity
  • Find healthy coping mechanisms to deal with the pressures and unexpected circumstances of life (having a plan in mind ahead of time will prove to be greatly beneficial)
  • Listen to a sermon every day (or more than one).  It will do wonders in your relationship with God and will enable you to see sin & life from God's perspective (once or twice weekly church attendance is not enough to sustain your walk with God, in my opinion)

"Lord, I am willing to receive what You give.  To lack what You withhold.  To relinquish what You take.  To suffer what You inflict.  To be what You require."  Jerry Bridges

What keeps you from pursuing Jesus with your whole heart?  How would you describe your walk with God over the last year?  What lessons have you learned?  What joys have you experienced?  What trials have refined your faith and transformed your character, dependence upon & trust in God?  What do you hope to accomplish in life?  What will your legacy be?  What place does God's word have in your daily/weekly routine?  Do you believe God's plan for you (meaning: a life totally devoted to Him which includes all the trials, difficulties, circumstances, events, people, etc. that He sees fit) outweighs your measly goals in comparison?

What have you been unwilling to surrender to God's control to handle and guide as His wisdom and goodness decides?

Are there friendships, places, music, TV shows, hobbies, time on the internet...that must be offered to God with a humble attitude and obedient spirit to be repented of if they do not align with the truth of His word?

Are you willing to live for Christ by keeping His word front and center of all the decisions you make?  Or will you choose (because it is a choice!) to disregard, blatantly mock, or compromise the holy standards God calls us as believers to in the Bible?

"It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.  We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.  We are far too easily pleased."  C. S. Lewis


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