“This kind can come out only by prayer.” Mark 9:29
The father saw his tortured boy. He asked for help and none came. It went on for years. Then Jesus – how many of you love those words – then Jesus came and healed.
“Why couldn’t we drive this demon out?” The disciples asked. They had come to see God’s power in their lives and were perplexed, maybe a bit discouraged that this time the regular things hadn’t worked. The tried and true formulas had failed. And mind you, these were people functioning under Jesus’ authority. Consider this too, the demon shrieked as it left the boy. This is evidence of a hold that perhaps even Jesus had to increase his efforts to break (increasing on the infinite is something I’m not sure about but at least consider the possibility).
In my last post, I talked about walking away from temptation. I even expressed in terms that may seem angry at those who don’t walk away. I don’t apologize for that but hear me as I give credence to what I said.
I was introduced to pornography at the age of ten. I have lived in that addiction for over forty years but now know freedom. Yes, and I do mean real freedom. I still am tempted. I am still a male. But I am free.
All the formulas and ideas, from praying and accountability, the gimmicks that so many claim to stand on, never worked for me. Prayer and accountability are important but I can tell you, if you do it to overcome sin, you are putting the cart before the horse, as they say. They become gimmicks, and often make things worse, because the end goal is not deepening your relationship with Jesus, but making yourself a better person.
Jesus didn’t die to make you better. I’m sorry if that bursts a preconceived notion, but it is true. He invites you into His kingdom, not so you will shape up (He loves you just the way you are). He invites you because you are His child. And to overcome sin, for you to overcome sin, was never His goal.
“IT IS FINISHED,” He cried on the cross. He already overcame sin. In your life, in mine, sin is conquered.
I can hear you (hear myself) at this point. “Bull —-!”
“This kind can only come out by prayer.”
Do you seek freedom? Do you want healing? Let go of everything. Give up your dreams, your hopes, your passions and turn to Him. Don’t tenaciously clutch your life in your hands, all of your life. Learn thankfulness, gratitude, for what God has done and is doing in and through you. Then look to Him.
Do not doubt. . . NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!
4 thoughts on “Do Not Doubt”
“They become gimmicks, and often make things worse, because the end goal is not deepening your relationship with Jesus, but making yourself a better person.” YES! This is becoming intensely apparent to me recently. Jesus wants us to grow, yes, but He never asked us to be perfect; He died because He knew we couldn’t be perfect. He simply asked us to love Him. THAT is the aim.
Thank you for openly sharing; I am rejoicing over your freedom and over mine, even if it doesn’t always feel we are free.
Interesting that we only find our freedom when we stop trying to be better and just “fix our eyes…” (Hebrews 12)
“The end goal is deepening your relationship with Jesus, not becoming a better person.” I will use that this week with someone who is beginning the journey out. And I will remember it for myself day after day. This is powerful theology. Feel it or not, God says it so that’s it!
Re-reading this lesson adds to its depth for me! Bless you are you strive to grow and encourage others to grow! Christ be with you!