The root of all sin is “me”. It is self. It is your flesh. It is the “immediate”. It explains why we have all this credit card debt. “I want it, I get it, I figure out how to pay for it later”. I justify. I rationalize. “I need this”. “I deserve this”. “Why can he have a 70 inch HDTV but I can’t?” “Everyone else does this, why can’t I?”
Go back and re-read that first paragraph and look at all the I’s. Me, me, me, it’s all about me. That’s a pathway to death. Living for “me” is sin and it’ll take you places you never wanted to go and extract a cost from you that you never wanted to pay.
Me-first explains why we don’t tithe. Tithing is a radical statement of faith that my money will not own me. By giving it away (giving first), I am standing in defiance of “me first” and my flesh. I’m radically surrendering Lordship of my money over to God. It is surrender.
Surrender is the very opposite of sin/me/flesh. Surrender is Lordship. It is acknowledging I am not master of my life and in fact, if left unchecked, my flesh will consume my life and all those around me that I love. Surrender is acknowledging that if left to my own devices, I’d consume like locusts. Surrender is admitting you’re weak. It’s a beautiful thing. In my weakness, God is strong.
Some guys can drink and escape the risks. Others of us have no business drinking. It’s too wide an open door. There is too much risk. Maybe alcoholism runs in your family and you’ve bought the lie that you’re immune to the risks. No one is immune to risk. We have an enemy who does not fight fair and is the master of all lies and if you don’t think you’ll ever get hooked, you’re buying a lie. Some guys don’t really struggle with pornography. But others of us know it is a vast weak spot and if tempted, we will take the bait. In truth, no man is immune to it. If you’ve ever looked at it, you struggle with it. If you’ve ever looked at it, there is a temptation to go back. That’s what Satan does. His hooks cut deep and have big barbs on them. Getting them out of your flesh is hard.
Sexual temptation, pornography, sending Facebook friend requests to pretty neighbors, flirting, wondering/wandering is “me”. Taking a few drinks every night to numb the pain and escape. Toys. Overspending. Overeating. Carrying around rage, envy, hatred, comparison, jealousy. These are all about me and my needs and finding stimulation elsewhere from God.
Satan will use any and all to take you down. “Be on alert, your enemy, the Devil, prowls around like a hungry lion looking for someone to devour.” Flirt with that pretty sales rep who calls on you and think you’ve above it? Don’t kid yourself. He knows your weaknesses and he’s just looking for an open door. “Please Bubba, please give me an open door, just take a second look, send her a text, send her a friend request, agree to go to lunch with her. It won’t hurt anyone.” He’s prowling around and you may be his lunch.
Go back and look at the post from October 5, 2016. Watch the Louie Giglio talk again. Remember that talk. Don’t forget it. God prepares a table for you in the midst of your enemies. (don’t kid yourself, God himself is telling you that your enemies surround you) The table is there. There is all this chaos swirling around — it’s just you and God. He wants you focused on Him. His provision is there. Just keep your eyes on Him. Those temptations will come and it is when you turn in your chair from facing God and start engaging in those conversations in the chaos is when you get in trouble. “Self” is going to want to turn to those temptations. “Me” is going to get bored with God and turn to the shiny lures.
“Me” … has to die. Battling sin is first acknowledging it and second, repenting it. I must first own it without any rationalizing or justifying. There is no justifying sin. Then, I must turn from it. Repent = turn from. 180 degree U-turn. Flee from it. Run. Quit drinking. Be willing to go get help if you need it. Own it. Close your Facebook account. Put the filters on your laptop and give your wife full access to it and your phone. Never, ever go to lunch or dinner with another woman. Purge any and all avenues that are potentially open doors.
Will it be fun? No. Is it needed? Absolutely. If you want God to restore, you’re going to have to take some bold steps. He will meet you there. All this mess in your life? God can turn a mess into a miracle. You just have to be willing to kill “me”. Listen to this song and especially John Piper’s words in the middle of it. God’s slaying of “me” is serving a purpose. He’s not asking anything of you that His Son hasn’t overcome. God is calling us to slay self so He can work His Divine purpose in and through our lives. Remember in your weakness, He is strong…