We live in a dark world.
Darkness is on the move in the world at large, in the people around us, and in our own hearts. Christians are dying abroad and at home while sin wages a constant war on our relationships. All the while, I have a daily wrestling match with the false assumptions that I deserve certain luxuries or that I understand things better than other people or even God.
It’s overwhelming when all of this comes together and lands on us.
I wish I could give you a little piece of my own wisdom or tell you a story from my past to help get you handle these times. It wouldn’t work though. Nothing I can offer you on my own will be enough to battle through the darkness.
While I’ve been through hard times of loss and addiction, I didn’t come out of of them with shining nuggets of wisdom or truth which can help deliver everyone else. A sinful part of my heart wants that to be the reality so I can get people’s approval. It wasn’t my knowledge, wisdom, or strength which delivered me during those dark times though; it was God’s.
God came through in ways I couldn’t imagine and defeated enemies in my life which held me prisoner. He broke the porn addiction which haunted me like a cruel ghost. An even more incredible feat came when He delivered me from my slavery to codependency.
It ruled every one of my relationships and told me the lie that I needed to create value in order for people to like or love me. I struggled mightily with loneliness and I assumed trying to manufacture relationships was the best way to beat loneliness. When God started to move in my heart and free me from darkness, I was lonely, addicted to porn, and under the assumption I had to earn other people’s love.
One of the tools God used in freeing me from this oppressive darkness was Scripture. While this is not the only tool He used in the process, I only have so much space in this and my intro was kind of long. If you enjoy this post, let me know in the comments, on Facebook, or in an email and I’ll continue writing along these lines.
Back to my point, God used Scripture in a powerful way to break many of the chains in my life. Some of them I noticed at the time and others I didn’t realize until looking back at the struggle. One way came to light in a conversation I recently had with a friend.
I was discussing my freedom from porn with this friend and they challenged me on why I gave so much credit to God. They correctly pointed out that I had taken some of the steps, like following Scripture, to free myself from porn to backup their point. This was a good point and it made me think for a little bit.
While I knew God had worked in my heart and experienced the change, I didn’t feel comfortable just asking them to take my word on that. I thought for a moment on the other ways God helped me and my focus landed on how Scripture played such a key part in my freedom. This didn’t seem like the spiritual and supernatural work I was looking for until I realized Scripture’s unfailing guidance is no coincidence.
We tend to enjoy hearing the latest insight on complicated or difficult subjects. TED talks are a testament to our desire to hear the best thinkers talk about the bleeding edge of research and development. It would surprise us if a book thousands of years old helped us deal with the crippling problems of our times.
This is what the Bible does though.
1 Corinthians 10:13 taught me there’s a way to fight or flee from every temptation and that was vital in breaking the chemical dependencies of porn and masturbation. In the same fashion, 1 John 1:9 told me about the emotional healing I can experience from confession. The practice of confession is what led to installing Covenant Eyes on all my devices; a major turning point in my struggle.
Confession and Covenant Eyes hinged on my humility and ability to admit I couldn’t do things on my own. One of my pastors used Matthew 23 to teach that ‘Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself with be exalted’. I can tell you from experience trying to break free from porn by my own willpower was an attempt at self-exultation and it ended with eating humble pie.
The sour taste of the pie led me to admitting I needed filtering software on my computer and devices.
If you’ve been following along with blog, you’ve probably heard much of this before. It’s worth saying again because all of us are walking through a difficult struggle in our lives. Darkness presses down on all of us and Scripture offers a light to fight back the darkness.
I don’t recommend just flipping open a Bible and reading on your own. I do recommend finding a church which faithfully relies on the Bible, getting plugged in, and asking for people to teach you the Bible. I’ll put some resources below which can help you find such a church.
Does it every feel like this life is just too much to handle? Do you want something to help you fight back in the battles of your life? Would you like to have hope when your head comes off the pillow in the morning?
I can’t guarantee the quality of each and everyone of these churches. If you’re struggling in trying to figure out how to find a church, please feel free to email me and I can help you walk through the process. I promise finding a good church is worth the effort.
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