For many, the beginning of a new year is about change and resolutions. I encourage you to pursue more than resolutions though. It’s possible to alter our behavior and not experience the healing and satisfaction our hearts desire.
We must seek the face of our Father to find such things. We must open our hearts to the love He has for us. And finally we must accept His invitation to the greatest of adventures; a faithful life.
As you might know, I’ve begun working through a Christ centered 12-step program called Regen. I knew about this program long before I started working through it. I even went a few times when I first started to experience freedom from porn.
I didn’t stick with it though because the behavior level of my porn problem had changed. Covenant Eyes had been installed on my computer and I’d experienced about 6 months of sobriety from porn. Going to Regen was, and still is, emotionally taxing and I didn’t think it was worth it if my behavior pattern had already changed.
I was wrong.
Porn addiction is a behavior level problem which is an expression of a heart level problem. While my behavior changed, the wounds in my heart remained. Those same wounds expressed themselves with other problems like lust, self-righteousness, loneliness, and a need for approval from people.
I don’t say any of this to overlook the importance of my deliverance from porn at the hands of God. That was an awesome experience and I would not trade it for all the treasures of the world. Porn addiction is a powerful and destructive chemical addiction which creates havoc everywhere it goes.
Getting rid of it wasn’t enough though. Freedom from porn is beyond my ability to describe and yet my heart still longs for a deeper and great satisfaction. My heart needs Jesus, His love, and His invitation to the adventure of a faithful life.
God offers His love to us and this is a love powerful enough to heal all our wounds. He then offers us His Word and it gives us the truth, wisdom, and guidance we need to navigate this difficult world. Opening our hearts to His love and applying His Word to our daily lives is the invitation to the greatest of adventures.
I call this the faithful life and it is the best way to draw closer to the one who loves me more than I understand. Accepting this invitation is much easier said than done though. Looking at the Bible, and some of it’s very difficult directions, can overwhelm.
It helps to have the right perspective when it comes to accepting God’s invitation to the faithful life.
I encourage you to see this year as an account of assets. Each day is one asset and you have a little over 350 of them left. You can only spend these days one at a time.
From the time you wake, you’ll have the choice of what to do with next sixteen hours. Some of those hours are already committed to work, eating, and hygiene. I think you’ll be surprised how many you can spend as you wish though.
I challenge you to spend some of each day to read your Bible. I also challenge you to spend a little time having an intentional conversation with another Christian. The final challenge is to spend some time talking with God.
All of those sound like simple resolutions and yet all of them have the power to reach much deeper than the alteration of behavior. If you spend the valuable and precious resource of time in a genuine pursuit of those things, they will open doors in your heart for God to enter and start working. This difference in perspective is very important.
You can either try to fix the bad behaviors in your life or you can get to know a God who wants to make the broken parts of you into something beautiful.
Finally, do not lose heart if you spend the first 345 of this year’s assets in a less than wise fashion. Each day is a new opportunity to spend an asset well. If it takes the next ten months or the next ten years to learn how to spend your days and years, it will have been a worthy venture.
Image Copyright: Austin Kirkby