“whoever comes to Me and hears My sayings and does them, …is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock….But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation…”(Luke 6:48-49)
“”Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor 5:58)
The men of Simple Free try to keep each other accountable on a number of things– spiritual disciplines like reading the Bible, sometimes eating habits, sometimes exercise, and also not looking at porn. A friend of mine not from Omaha recently told me that his friend at work was going to borrow his computer and said “don’t worry, I won’t check out what sites you’ve been looking at on your history” and my friend said, “go ahead– you can check it. I used to struggle with that, but then I made a decision not to look at that stuff anymore, and I never have since I got that computer”. His friends response was: “wow, I didn’t think any guys didn’t look at porn.” My friend told me that he had has accountability partners, and read books and listened to talks and marriage seminars about looking at porn, but what really made a difference in his life was when he simply decided to get serious about it and follow through. The passages above seem to point us towards just that– that we need to make a decision and stick with it.
Oswald Chambers book MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST is one of my favorite devotionals, and recently (may 20th) the passage he wrote spoke to this notion of simply making a decision:
“There are certain things we must not pray about – moods, for instance. Moods never go by praying, moods go by kicking. A mood nearly always has its seat in the physical condition, not in the moral. It is a continual effort not to listen to the moods which arise from a physical condition, never submit to them for a second. We have to take ourselves by the scruff of the neck and shake ourselves, and we will find that we can do what we said we could not. The curse with most of us is that we won’t.”
That is certainly my own problem– that I am not willing to push myself to follow through to just do what I know I should– to stick to my conviction and change my behavior as I need to. It is frustrating to see habits get the best of us, whatever they are, when we know they are not good or right. It is also hard to change, but we sometimes let ourselves off the hook by pretending that there isn’t much we can do about it, when sometimes what we need to do is simply discipline ourselves and get serious.
God’s grace is sufficient for all our transgressions– but it is also sufficient to help us break the chains of life-destroying habits which can undermine our lives and our work in the world for Him.
May God have Mercy on us all…