Proud To Call You Brother II
Dear friend, I know how much you strive to be someone after God’s own heart.
I know how much you strive to be one who delights to do God’s will because you store up His words in your heart. I know how much you strive to love Him and want to be made like Him, shining forth as the sun in His kingdom. These things I know.
But there are things I do not know. I can’t pretend like I understand your life-long struggle with sexual sin because even my earnest attempts will never comprehend the intensity of that reality. I know the full extent of the pain of my own struggles but I will never know yours. I’m sorry. I’m sorry that the world must make you feel that sometimes you don’t really stand a chance. I’m sorry if there was that one time at your friend’s house when you were introduced to something you shouldn’t have seen. I’m sorry for the images that are everywhere; on the streets, on the TV, in the newspapers, that you have to fight daily. I know you are fighting with all you have for purity. I’m sorry you’re not only surrounded by all this temptation but that to indulge in all the cheap imitations of sex is not just normal, it’s encouraged. And I’m sorry that if you’re not being told to indulge, you’re being told that these desires make you some sort of pervert or animal. They are God-given and a good gift from above.
I don’t mean to throw you a pity party because for every look we take at ourselves we need to take ten looks at Christ on the cross. Look until the weight falls from your back. Look until the fears are quieted by His faithfulness, despite our unfaithfulness. Look until the shame begins to crack. Look until you’re reminded of how it’s through His mercies that we’re not consumed. Look until you see that His compassions fail not and are new every morning. Look until you put your trust under the shadow of His wings. Look until you know that not for a moment have you walked through this alone. Look until you realize that though we are weak and fragile jars of clay, it is the treasure of Him in us that shows the surpassing power is from God and not us in our victories. Our eyes must remain fixed on Him to provide our needs in due season. He does not forget theworks of His hands. There is hope to change.
I’ve been told that when we dwell on the beauty and power of Christ, the things of this Earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory. I’ve been told that the power of resurrection through death on the cross can shatter sin. I’ve been told that the wonder of who Christ is and what He has done for us can capture and captivate a soul enough so that fascination with Him leads to worship at His throne – where we find fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. That’s what I’m trying to do with the things that I love that I know God hates. Some days I win. Other days I loose. But His death on the cross frees us to struggle for we are no longer under condemnation! And no matter how many years the war wages on; it will be nothing compared to eternity where the delight of those who behold the indescribable beauty of God’s countenance is boundless.
Forgive me for bringing this up. I know how much vulnerability hurts. But though I may never have met you I care about you too much to just let you be taken captive of this silent addiction. You deserve a friend who will encourage you on your walk with God. You deserve a friend who will work to protect your purity. You deserve a friend who will respect you and encourage you to follow your dreams, and spurr you on to that one dream of being holy as He is holy. You deserve a friend who despite your past will tell you about who you really are – as one who is redeemed. Do not settle for anything less than absolute freedom. Who the Son sets free He is free indeed. You deserve a relationship with God that is not just above average but is extraordinary – not by yourmight but by His grace – and you deserve to have nothing hold you back from that treasure. I want you to know, I’ve prayed for you. And I’m praying for you everyday that you would grow in Him as an oak of righteousness. We all fall short. We are all sinners in desperate need of the change that only comes through His forgiveness and blood. Thank God it’s offered freely for all who come and ask. Let us be beggars for this. Let us hold our hands out daily to God for His grace.
St. Augustine defines sin, as disordered love. If you desire anything more than God, you will naturally place other things above pleasing God and following His commands when there is a conflict of desires. So, our sins become a question of loving and prizing God as first importance. But here’s what I’m learning. God’s love always wins. We love God because He loves us first and it’s His sacrificial,selfless love that invites us to come and love Him and teaches us how. In any wrestle, His love always wins. We just have to stay in the fight. The thing that matters to God is the struggle. As long as we keep struggling we’re wining. We lose only when we stop struggling . So how in the world do we start over – again, and again, and again? That bids the question how much is God your true desire and unutterable joy? Know that there is no such thing as too much. Know that there is no such thing as drinking too deeply from His well of living water; so there is no such thing as starting over too many times. We just have to keep pursing Him and like Jacob not let Him go until He blesses us. It’s not about how much we love Him but how much of His love for us we have tasted. His love is an ocean wide. He loves us in the midst of the struggle. I know I’m only scratching the surface of your temptation but as long as this is true, victory is yet to be had.
Just a friend resolved to fighting the good fight with you
“Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.” Micah 7:8, 9
Check out part one here!