What's Stopping You?
The only thing stopping you from experiencing all that Christ has to offer is you.
If you are striving for more of Jesus, you must allow all of Him and His power to work in you. When it comes to this, Jesus has NO interest in working out a time-share agreement. He wants His power to be flowing in and through you constantly. He is not interested in just being called upon to lend His power for the “big things” that come along. This is usually a recipe for disaster, since little things all too often become big things. Sadly, by the time we call on Jesus to deal with our big things, the damage has already been done. This was certainly true for Alex.
It happened by accident. Alex was just scrolling through a search engine webpage looking for images to liven up his business presentation. Some of the images that popped up in his search, however, had nothing to do with annual budgets. Unfortunately, those were the ones that grabbed his eyes. He clicked on a thumbnail image. It quadrupled in size almost immediately.
Lurid and pornographic, Alex hated it and loved it. He clicked on the image again and was led to a site full of similar images. His eyes scanned over all of them. He knew he shouldn’t be looking but didn’t want to stop. Heat washed across his face while a cold chill rippled down his spine. He could actually hear his heart throbbing in his chest as his slightly trembling hand moved the mouse pointer from image to image. Click. Click. Click.
It lasted less than five minutes, but it seemed like forever in his heart. Guilt and shame filled him. He could barely look at his wife during dinner, he felt so dirty. Alex promised himself he would not do that again. He loved his wife. He knew it was wrong. No more. End of story.
Only, it wasn’t the end of the story.
Alex convinced himself it was a one-time thing. It wasn’t that he had a problem; he just slipped up. No big deal. Everyone slips up, right? Wrong. Alex could not shake the images from his head and often did not want to. Four days later, he found himself pouring over pornographic images in his office again. Once more the feelings of guilt flooded his body, heat flushed his face, and his heart thumped loudly in his chest. As the pointer zigzagged across the screen, his hand trembled on the mouse. But he kept clicking.
Knock! Knock! Jolted back to reality by the pounding on his office door, Alex closed out the website. Later, while staring resolutely at himself in the bathroom mirror, Alex pledged to never view pornography ever again. That pledge would not be kept.
Again and again, Alex fell into temptation. His viewing became more and more frequent. If he was not consciously thinking of something else, a seductive image would settle in his mind beckoning him back to the internet. When Alex fully realized the extent of his problem, his wife and he had lost all intimacy in their marriage. Their relationship was a shell of its former self.
Meanwhile, his heart was filled with sin, his mind dwelled only on sex, and his fantasies were becoming dangerously perverse. By the time Alex called on Jesus, his heart, mind, marriage, and life were in desperate shape.
Sadly, stories like Alex’s are far too common. I am not just talking about stories revolving around porn addictions, though this is certainly a huge and growing problem in our society. What I am referring to is the fact that far too often people try to handle budding problems all by themselves. They foolishly think, “I can handle this 'little' problem.”
Satan loves that thought because he is a master at turning little problems into major dilemmas.
These “little problems” aren’t just about pornography. It could be lying. It starts with little white lies that we excuse as harmless and even necessary. These little lies grow in size to the point that we are soon living a lie. We don’t know what is true and what isn’t. It could also be gossip, or greed, or anger, or impatience, or any number of things. Whatever it is, little can grow big before we know it. As it says in James 1, Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
Don’t let that be the case with you. Whatever you have in your life, whether you view it as big or little, bring it to Jesus. Don’t talk yourself into believing that you can manage the supposed little things just fine without Jesus. Bring everything to Him. Let Christ’s power crush these little things before they grow and give birth to disaster.
One more thing in regards to this “size-issue;” it seems common practice to want to assign sizes to our sin. We have a list of big ones to avoid at all costs, medium ones we should be wary of, and little ones that we probably shouldn’t do too much. God, however, has no such sliding scale.
All sin is equal to God. Regardless of the size we wish to assign it, all sin is a willful violation of His standards. Any thought you have of your sin being “too little” to bother God with or “too big” for God to forgive comes straight from Satan.
Your next step then is to bring everything to Jesus. Getting more of Jesus requires that you give all of yourself to Him. Give everything over to Jesus—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Don’t worry about sizes, just bring it all. Hold nothing back. When you do that, you will truly start experiencing a full life in Christ.
Speaking of life, you will see in the next blog the kind of life that Christ has the power to give.