Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Called, Kept, Pressing On

This morning on his daily radio broadcast, Allistair Begg concluded a great 2-part message on being called, kept, and now pressing on. He really hit home for me today, and I'll tell you why:

He said that when we are being sanctified, growing in the Christian faith, we put our habitual sins in the garbage can. But, we occasionally go to the garbage can and pull out the most easily hideable sins and tinker with them for awhile; then we throw them away again - only to repeat this cycle until we are glorified in eternity with Christ.

Pornography is the sin that I threw away long ago, and many of my closest friends have helped me to do that - through accountability groups, confession, openly discussing the darkness of that sin in appropriate moments of group Bible Study, etc. God freed me from bondage to that sin. And of course, He broke me in the process: I recall my most tearful moment of the past 6 years - it wasn't at the birth of my children, nor at the death of a grandparent. Rather, it was confessing my hatred of addiction to pornography to my wife. I cried uncontrollably for many minutes. She was supportive, and we prayed. And pornography was trashed.

In the past 6 years, internet pornography has crept back into my life and gone away again numerous times. I'll go 6 months without an inkling of it; then it will attack for several days in a row. Nearly every time it attacks, it does so when I am not thinking about it. I'll be legitimately searching for something online, and a search result will lead me astray. It's like I was doing some weeding in my garden (a good thing), but I have to go to the garbage can to throw away the weeds, and the other stuff in the garbage entices me.

Recently however, I've found myself sliding just a bit further down this slippery slope. I'm going to the garbage can with the purpose not of throwing weeds away, but of getting the old sins out and playing with them for awhile before throwing them away again. How ugly and disgusting! It's generally pretty easy to get back up (repentance) from the unintentional slips, from the times I fall into the trash while trying not to, but it's much more difficult to find peace in repentance when I place the stumbling stones in front of my path intentionally, when I jump into the trash can and sit there feeding on filth!

Oh wretched man I am! Who will save me from this body of death and this mind of depravity. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ. I am called, and kept, and so I must press on. I know that I couldn't press on successfully unless I was called and kept. There is nothing in me that has ability to press on. I must persevere, but God must preserve; otherwise my efforts are in vain. Psalm 127:1 says, "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain." Work in me Lord to incinerate this deadly vice of pornography. Philippians 2:12-13 helps me tremendously: I must press on and "continue to work out [my] salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in [me] to will and to act according to His good purpose."

1 comment:

Brian and Heather Daniel said...

Keep pressing on!!!!! The enticement of pornography is EVERYWHERE in our day and age - it sneaks up on me sometimes (sometimes I catch myself doing the sneaking, though) and I hate it as well. Brian