I’m not going to sit here rattling off thy righteous deeds I have done. Though if I were to, they would not be of my own will but of the Most Righteous One whom I know. Nothing I do will ever repay the debt I owe Him. All I can do is give Him all the glory. This post is addressed to those in faith for help or encouragement but all are welcomed to the table of the Lord. I do address repentance if you have not repented (have not submitted to the saving faith of Jesus Christ). But you must remember that to break an addiction you must submit to God through repentance. Grace is a free gift when you turn to God. God gives you this gift. However breaking free from addiction is not the problem, YOU ARE SET FREE WHEN YOU RECEIVE TRUTH. Truth which is Lord Jesus Christ. The problem many people have and I had is staying away from it. This is what I’ve learned and what has helped me.
I feel as though…no I know for sure that God wants to teach me a lesson and really drum it into my mind, into my very existing faith, and keep it there for eternity to come. A lesson which took many years to set up and spans over a year with anguish, shame, guilt, unsure-of , many questions and the questioning of God Himself. The ‘whys’. But with that came a renew of faith, hope, powerful understanding and knowledge of the Creator of the universe and my favourite…the breaking down of pride into humility. Oh and not forgetting patience.
When push comes to shove and time comes for one to admit that one doesn’t listen to what God is saying through His word, I’m the first person to put my hand up. Maybe patience should be atop my list of lessons learned. Here’s what I was like before….every time I read the bible I was expecting a clear-cut message at that instant. End of story, thank you, come again. That was me. But this is what I’ve learned, that God speaks in extraordinary ways. There are even times when you will have no clue that He is speaking to you until the perfect time arrives. Yeah patience is key.
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Which leads me to my next lesson, where I did recognise but didn’t want to really believe. Our time and God’s time. A good analogy to put this in is the Second Coming of the Messiah. I mean we know it’s close but I’ve heard people say if we do this, it will hurry God along to send Jesus back for the second time. A good bible example (I’ll give two that came from the top of my head) of God’s own time is actually shown from the start to finish of the bible itself.
Example 1…..did God send Jesus to redeem creation immediately after man’s fall? No. God worked to bring creation back to glory. And that is still going on as Jesus hasn’t returned yet to finally restore what God created.
Example 2….is Abram (Abraham). Genesis 15:18 where, “… the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates …” First of all Abram was childless at that time (another good example of patience and timing with God). Second it was God’s timing that Abram had a child and it was God’s timing that Israel inherited God’s promise to Abram. None of which Abram asked the Lord to come through with immediately.
Now you might be wondering, what do these have anything to do with the title Top Gun? I clicked on your post, give me my time’s worth. Well this is my background story. This is where I am at with my lesson. You may recall above that I said the lesson took many years to set up. I was engulfed in an endemic which is somewhat silent in this world cause “it’s no one’s business” and if it is, it is “normal” on some accounts. And when I mean silent, I mean the kind of silent that equates to shame. Pornography. (Please don’t mind me when I use the long form, my web filter is awesome and I wouldn’t be able to view this page. Haha so please if you wouldn’t mind it using too 🙂 bar the trolls who would use the short form)
OK back to my shame. No really, it was shameful which was “best kept hidden” or so I thought as I kept feeding the lies. I even ignored my “knowledge” of God for a few moments to satisfy the flesh, which brings an adrenaline rush and the feeling of being on top of the world. BUT the draw back is a lot more costly. The feeling of guilt, shame, stress, acute depression, worthlessness, every one of these things and more come rushing through your body and you fall from fantasy world back to the solid surface of reality.
All these were before the Lord reached out to me just after I finished high school, and I had finish working during the summer, waiting for university to start. But He didn’t come full forced into my life, delivering a rapid change in my life. No, I am thankful to have had the Lord’s light shining in my life constantly, through my mother, even if I didn’t acknowledge this shining light. So yes I wasn’t in the dark about God, I knew He existed but I didn’t surrender to Him…yet.
Three months. That’s how long I debated the “atheist” for on YouTube, claiming to “know God” to justify–if you could even say that–God exists. Six months later during mid-semester break, I tried to carry on what I had left, thinking it was my duty to do so. Unknowingly that month would lead me to finding old worship songs which I grew up with. This then lead to me giving my life to the Lord and receiving Him as my Savior who has redeemed me from my transgressions and iniquities.
So next came one of the best moments of my life which lasted a month. I used to be at awe when I listened to or read of such rapid and in some cases overnight changes of those lost in darkness and fed-up of living like that. Me, that happened to me that night when I came into repentance. The next morning I had this burning desire that I had never felt before. This desire is never-ending. The only way you could get rid of it is walk away from it…no run away from it. That burning desire was the seed that God placed in my heart when I chose to follow Him that night. That desire is there but during that month I raced ahead on some days, imagining what I could do, what I should do. I had not learned of patience or waiting for God.
It’s not that God is slow to react. Your expectations of where you should be are different from that of God. After all we are humans in flesh that is in conflict with what God expects. I learned not to run ahead of God. Jesus spoke three times about His death to His disciples. Yet He knew that they would not understand until the time was right. My point is: God is sovereign, in control. He knows everyone who has ever lived, not only by name but by their hearts. He knows what is needed.
“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” Isaiah 46:10
What I had failed to learn during that month of endless joy and desire, I had to learn over nearly six months. Oh what I had to go through, the doubt, self-doubt, self-condemning. If only I had waited and listened. What I have now learned thanks to a fridge magnet which has always been in my face through these trying times:
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalms 91:1-4
Who wouldn’t want to rest in the shadow of the almighty? I mean it is clear what happened after my month of endless joy. I became complacent. I thought that I was free, heading for eternity and nothing could stop me. What happened was me forgetting to read a verse or two from God’s word on some days, which then lead to many days which then lead unfortunately into temptation. I did not dwell (present tense) in the shelter of the Most High. I learned that God’s grace is for the weak and we are all weak. No man in his right mind is able to resist the edge to sin…no man. That applies to those living in the light. When we are exposed to temptation, we are susceptible to it when we don’t take refuge under God’s wings and stay or dwell there.
Turning away from your sin addiction and despising it is one thing but to stay away from it is another. God offers relief from both and it is only under His wings that you stay free from it. Well how do you stay under His wings? Praying and reading the word of God. Surround yourself with the Sword, that is the word of God. I learned this as well. Scripture is good for fighting and rebuking the devil when he tempts.
Print out verses that help you during temptation and stick them on your wall. Stick them right in front of where you do the deed. My web filter has a pop-up option and I put James 4:5-10 as a reminder of God’s grace and how powerful it is when we are weak and to submit to God, seek His shelter under His wings. Run and hide. On your computer background, a verse on the image you have wouldn’t do you any harm. The freedom grace gives is under the shelter of the Most High. Dwell in His presence, after all if you believe in the Son, you get to do so for eternity. Why not start now?
Seek His shelter daily with all your heart and soul and He will not fail you.