We had a full room this morning . 55 strong. God showed up!
Here are the slides from this morning —> manschool-wholeness-4
Read the following text from Romans 7 in The Message. See if you can relate…
But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
I highlighted in bold a few of the key passages – “I can will it, but I can’t do it”. I can’t do it. As much as I want to stop the sin … I just can’t stop it. My decision to “stop” just simply doesn’t result in action. The cycle of repeating this habitual sin happens so regularly, it’s predictable. Think > pornography. lust. overeating. road rage. a relentless focus on self. isolating myself. overspending. As hard as I try, I cannot stop the cycle …
We all struggle with habitual sins we cannot seem to stop. And you know, as you go through this cycle, it really turns into a downward spiral. The more I repeat the sin, the deeper into my guilt/shame I go.
“The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does”. Romans 7:25 MSG.
Christ can “do” it. You cannot. I cannot. In my power, I cannot overcome this habitual sin. The cycle will defeat me as it always has (or else I wouldn’t now have this habitual problem!). But… but … Christ can. And He does that by shifting how you look at this. Stop focusing on the “doing” and start focusing on what you want to “be”. Focus on the “being”.
Galatians 5 > “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”. Focus on one of these that you feel God is wanting to push into with you. Instead of trying to “stop” sinning, instead focus on what you feel God wants you to “be”. For instance, I want to be a man of self-control. I don’t want to be that man that is driven by his impulses. My desire is to learn to control my impulses and learn self-control. For me, that starts with a very small thing, resisting the impulse to drink Coke Zero and instead drink water. Maybe it’s also giving up cookies after dinner. Maybe it is giving up the “relief” of a certain TV show I go to. It starts with the little things. Little steps of faith of a long-obedience in the same direction. God’s trying to teach me a big thing like self-control. He’s sanctifying me. It’s a big picture, “Richard I want you to get this. I will use it in you in a big way so I need you to learn self-control. I’m building you, shaping you, preparing you. You need this tool in your toolbox for life.” It may begin with a very small act of obedience … water instead of Coke Zero. It may be no more wine. It may be deleting apps. It may be starting a regular exercise program. It may be…
It’s a small step towards a big sanctification. The cycle above is me-focused. My ability or inability to stop, my failure, my shame, my repeating the same cycle over and over. By instead turning inward from my ability to overcome this, it is turning outward to Father and letting Him show you what it is He wants to sanctify and teach you.
The answer isn’t what you need to stop doing. It is, instead, a process of looking to what kind of man you want to be.
attached is a link to Nick Cash’s blog post that Derrick referred to this morning —> http://www.seedbed.com/mind-the-gap-between-being-and-doing/
Nick reminds us that our desire for being will determine our actions. Do you see it? The cycle above is all about our actions changing our being. No. Wrong. That won’t do it. Your actions are what got you in that cycle in the first place. You cannot conquer habitual sin with “doing”. No, instead it must come from what you want to be. What kind of man do you want to be? What kind of man does God want you to become?