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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

If God be for us

There is a second part to the subject of this post. *Who can be against us?* That verse is meant to be a source of strengthening and encouragement I think, but it can spiral off into a deep abyss of pain if taken the other way. Low self-esteem, deep emotional pain. These are what many psychologists,counselors and theologians would say spark the descent into addictions as a means to relieve,remove or somehow obliterate the pain, problem is when the addiction activity ceases the pain never leaves. What if...... you wonder if God be for you??

Battling fear has been my hugest hurdle in life I think. I experience it more acutely now as I bring it to the forefront on here and in my prayers and meditations to God. My fear splits into different parts. I fear going through some kind of severe pain and death as my father did to cancer. I fear God is displeased and must test me because i have let the aforementioned fear be a factor in my life. I fear I have committed the same sins over and over too much with all the various lessons and challenges i have experienced as a result of then, but somehow still have clinged on for some reason. The Bible speaks out so strongly on sexual sin. I fear because I look back and see how I chose to surrender to sexual sin as a way to get something i felt could not be gotten any other way because of my fear of rejection and feeling unable to find a girl to build a relationship with and marry, because ultimately i would be abandoned.

I had an atheist roommate as i said before who called me the best example of a christian he knew. I sought to minister to kids in my church, to serve as a leader in my church and at school and just in my life as a whole, and all the time i had this ongoing addiction to sexual fantasy and behaviors that fueled it. My fear of death is linked to this because I think i feel deep down I am judged unworthy by God because of failing to fully repent and overcome these sins. This is my deepest gut understanding of my struggle as it exists right now. With all i have learned and experienced all these years of being committed to God and following Jesus, why in heck do i still cling to stuff that He states go against His desire and will for following Him??? Is comp;ete and absolute repentance possible??? Do we fall and repent again and again until we find a place where we just finally have had enough???

I was looking at sites via google about *attitude of faith* and how we are to have a deep realization that God is for us and always has our best interest in mind and uses trials and troubles to prune us. How is that true if He created some of us to be lost because we are not the *elect*???? A huge amount of people, even respected theologians, hold to this belief of limited atonement. I do not on principle, but it drives me crazy thinking *what if* I go round and round in my mind wondering maybe i don't overcome these sins because God is not for me and i am a reject for whatever reason, but then i go back to its my hardness of heart failing to grab onto His love and grace and cease these things and take responsibilty and mature as He desires. Round and round it goes.

Helps to share here. I want to mature and move on as He desires me too, I want to surrender all my laziness and whatever other *stuff* i place as a sabotage as my own worst enemy. Please share as you wish. Hope is a very good thing.

3 Comments:

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Scot said...

Man, Robert I completely relate with this last post. I too have wondered, am I ever going to get past this sexual addiction? I heard this answer, in the form of question many times by others: 'Have you fully surrendered to God? Are you completely sold out for God?' As I try to answer these questions, I feel I'm left with more guilt and shame, and more questions. Why can't I fully surrender to God. Why do I give into to temptations I know will leave me feeling ashamed and unworthy? Do I need to seek more help? What am I not doing? Will I always be tempted with these "thoughts?" Have I really grown spiritually, if I continue to get right back on the hamster wheel of sexual addiction I thought I had already shaken? Is this temptation worth fighting, as I eventually submit to the thoughts? Am I even a "christian?" - a true follower of Christ not just professing.

However, I always find myself falling right back into the arms of Jesus! Thank you God for Your grace, which I am sick of continually abusing. I know I am not going to be perfect on this side of eternity, but oh I wish and desire I could be strong enough to not give into the "same" sexual sin over and over again, which I know the consequences affect myself and others even beyond my understanding.

Keep posting, I love to read your thoughts, as I share the same sexual addiction struggle.

Let's continue to lift each other up to the hands of God by the unequivocal power of prayer.

Your loving brother in the one and only Son of the almigty God, Jesus Christ,

Scot

 
At 6:26 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Scot- hey brother!!! Thank you so much for your sharing here!!! I echo all the wonderings you said in response to people asking about totally surrendering to God amd all the rest of that can make you go bonkes trying to figure out what to do when same failures happen again and again despite the desire and intention to do different.

i think like Paul we need to seek jesus as our only answer and hope in all the ways He is that!!!! Amen to lifting each other up in prayer man keep stopping by!!!

 
At 4:47 AM, Blogger Cathy Weymouth said...

Hi Robert! I am just getting around to reading your lastest posts. I have a couple of thoughts as I read this post and Scot's comments (hi Scot!). These are my beliefs/opinions at this stage in my life...

1. I think we fall back or stay in addictive patterns because they meet a real need. It's not craziness, it's just a substitute. Very real ways to fill the longings that are true and real. Looking for love in all the wrong places...

2. I just heard on the radio someone talking about addictions and escaping. There is a 3% success rate if you attempt it on your own. Not very good odds, huh? But if you are willing to gather help around you (the church and others) and be accountable, I think it was 75% success rate. Addictions are very tough things.

3. I do not personally feel that we lose our salvation when we don't have our act together. We are saved because of Jesus and what HE has done, not because of what we have or haven't done. It's not about us accomplishing righteousness, it's about His righteousness that we are bathed in. Period. End of story. Until you get this, you will fear losing your salvation when you struggle with your flesh. You are in the family of God... He's not going to kick you out because you struggle and give in. Well, this is my strong opinion, but I know there are other theologies (that I personally do not care for!)

4. What is fear? According to 2 Tim 1:7, it is a spirit. "We have not been given the spirit of fear..." Lucifer and the angels who rebelled with him are VERY real forces (speaking of a "force"!) that push us into patterns of darkness. I believe that when we sin in an area (or our ancestors above us), we open the door to a very real enemy. We give him legal ground in our life. This is not about being possessed by the enemy (being "owned", since we are now owned by Jesus), but about him harassing us. So we are continually tormented and "pushed" to give in over and over again by these forces of darkness. It's not just about us being weak. There is a real spiritual battle going on. Gaining freedom and victory require realizing that the enemy is legally occupying an area of our life (we gave it to him) and then taking that area back. Jesus told the apostles they had authority over demons, so we do too! I know there are differing opinions on this topic; this is where I stand. It's not all about you being weak and a poor example of a Christian. There's a lot more going on - pushing you to repeat sin patterns over and over and over again. The good news is that with some education and prayer and walk-out tactics, you can fight the enemy and take back the ground you have given him. It's not a done deal!!!! Jesus defeated the enemy!

See 2 Cor 10:1-5.

We all struggle with things. We are human. Some of us have a tendency toward addictions. We really struggle. We are still human! That's why we need Jesus and our Dad and the Holy Spirit. Thank God we are loved!

Hope this is encouraging!
Cathy

 

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