In the last post, which you can read here, I talked about the importance of not simply ‘needing.’ It is so easy for us to be overwhelmed by a list of things we ‘need’ to change if we do not have thoughts on how to go about that change. If we do not have an ultimate reason for our needs, we become slaves to our emotions, and to sin.
We should make sure that our needs accomplish a purpose. They shouldn’t be statements of condemnation but instead statements of a plan.
As Christians, though, we can take this one step further. We were not meant to grow our faith on our own. It’s not like God hands us a seed and says, “Here, you plant it. You water it. You grow it. I’ll be back next year to check up on you.”
No, He walks through life with us. He is in the process of completing the good work He has begun in us. He is working in our hearts and lives. He is working on renewing our minds and hearts. And He calls us to cast all of our cares on Him. All of our feelings of inadequacy. All of our feelings of ‘need.’ Even if we have a purpose and a plan for growth, we can feel overwhelmed.
“I should put boundaries in place to help make pornography less tempting.”
“I should start seeing my brothers in Christ the way God wants me to see them so I will stop lusting after them.”
“I should work on better time management so that I can have my weekends free to spend with family and friends.”
They are still putting a heavy burden on me. Yes, I have an action plan, but without God, I have no power to accomplish that plan. If we make it through the first step (having a plan) then this is usually where we get tripped up. We are still trying to do this alone, and we can’t. Yes, we can make it a few days, but eventually something happens and we fall.
Sometimes, though, we are guilty of putting it all on God. We throw up our hands, say, “God, I just can’t do it” and act like He is going to do it all. We start our day with no plans for change.
If God wants me to, He will make it happen. If He doesn’t want me to fall, He’ll stop me. After all, I prayed.
Then, we lounge around in fields of temptation. When we eventually decide to give in to temptation, we pray some off-the-wall prayer like, “God, if you don’t want this to happen, please don’t let this website work.” When it does, we think, “See, I knew He wouldn’t help me.”
There is a balance between trying to do this on our own and not even trying at all.
Look at these statements:
“I need to stop watching pornography.” (No action plan. Just a dead-end statement. You’ll repeat it day after day after day.)
“God, help me stop watching pornography.” (It’s all on God now. So, when you go and do exactly what you have done every other day and fall again, it’s somehow His problem.)
“I should put boundaries in place to make pornography less tempting.” (Great idea! Action plan, but no power.)
“God, give me the wisdom to put boundaries in place so that pornography will be less tempting, and give me the strength to overcome.”
In going to God and asking for help, we are tapping in to the most powerful resource in our fight for freedom. The struggle then strengthens our dependency on Him instead of driving us away. It makes us desperate for Him.
You have to bring God into your journey of freedom. He’s not waiting for you at the end of it, and He’s not going to drag you through it. He will walk beside you though. He will guide you. He will give you wisdom. He will help you!
Your deepest need is not reform; it is, and will always be, Christ and Him crucified.