Close to Sin, Far from God

Anonymous said:

I have been dealing with a particular sin for almost 6 years now, and although I have tried time and time again to quit, I still end up coming back to it, thought I’m not sure it could classify as an addiction. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve become desensitized to the guilt I used to feel. It’s took a toll on me mentally and got me in situations that have pretty much scarred me for life and as a result I feel farther from God than ever. I feel lost. I’d appreciate advice.

I said: 

Thank you for your sincere and honest confession. I will try to help you the best that I can.

There are four things that you need to know about yourself and two things about God. Let’s go ahead and start with you.


1. By nature, you are a sinful, mortal human being, but you are freed from that identity.

    Yes, you struggle with sin. You are easily tempted, easily deceived, and easily disobedient. But you know what? You are also rescued, restored, and forgiven. You have given up the fight because you have made your sin a part of your identity. Remember the identity Christ has given you, and walk in that newness of life. Paul demonstrated this clearly: 

So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” - Romans 7:17


2. Because you are made in the image of God, you are made to fight. 

Don’t settle. Don’t give up the fight. God made you for more than just living a life of self-gratitude and pleasure. He created you for change. He created you to be a creator, sustainer, and care-giver in this world. And that is why you feel empty, because you have begotten your purpose for temporary pleasure. Rise and fight the good fight of faith. You will be miserable until you give up the glory of yourself in order to glorify God.

For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” - Galatians 5:17


3. You have given way to apathy because you have allowed your body to rule over you.

Think about it this way: when you give in to your temptations, you allow those desires to become habits. When they become habits, they become addictions. When you are addicted you are no longer worshipping God, but you are now worshipping yourself or the objects of your addiction. In turn, you feel far from God because you have placed worthless idols in His place. Destroy your idols, overcome the desires of your body and pummel the darkness. I love the words of Jonah when he realized that he was caught up in God’s grace after he tried to abandon Him:

Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.” - Jonah 2:8


4. Once you stop fighting, you have let sin win the battle. 

You need to view your temptations as something separate from yourself. It is your enemy. If you give in to your temptations, you are held accountable because you are stronger than them. Sin hasn’t forced you to do anything. So get rid of it. Kill it, before it kills you. 

Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” - James 1:14

Those are four things you need to know about yourself. You are believing lies about yourself and your identity, and you must choose to turn back to God, just as Jonah did.


Here is what you need to know about God:

1. God has given you a way of escape. 

Here’s the deal. You’ve been struggling with sin. You feel lost. You feel far from God. You don’t even feel guilty when you are tangled in your addictions or sinful habits. But that’s not how your story ends. I have some good news and bad news for you. But first, a truth about God: 

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be temptedbeyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” - 1 Corinthians 10:13

So here’s the bad news. Your sin is all your fault. You have allowed it to drag you into the street and bind you on the ground. You hold full responsibility for your sins. Because sin is out to kill you and not to please you, there will be consequences for that in this lifetime of which you have experienced some, most, or all of it

But here’s the good news. God is still faithful to you! Every time you are tempted, the Holy Spirit is inwardly convicting you to wage war. Make war against the schemes of the devil. The truth is that you may not feel guilty after you sin, but before you sin, you know better. If you struggle with pornography, get out of your privacy. Throw your computer away. wage war. If it’s drugs, cut off those relationships with your druggies and involve yourself in a recovery group. Wage war. God has given you the way of escape, so take it! It’s not the end of the road for you. Whatever you are dealing with, God is still providing you with the weapons and strategies you need to escape your temptations. Listen to Him. 

2. God is still with you. 

Even though you have sinned, committed idolatry, disobeyed, and lived in contrary to His will, He is still with you! James says that if you draw near to God, He will draw near to you. If you are the prodigal, God is the loving Father waiting for you to come home. So return to Him.

"The problem with most of us is that we’re just like the prodigal. We’ve got to be down eating pig-slop before we realize that what we’ve done has totally ruined our lives." - Billy Humphrey

You are empty, you are lost, and you are broken. That’s alright. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s just not okay to stay that way. So rise up from the lifestyle you have led and return to the Lord of glory who loves you so deeply and has never left your side. God is still faithful, even when we are not.

Turn to the light and rejoice and be glad, for you are loved and you are forgiven. 


God Bless and Much Love,

Samuel Assaf

There is beauty in tragedy. Let us look to Jesus who endured the highest price for His sheep, even for the worst sinners of them all. Although He endured a false trial, false torture, and false execution, He turned what was intended for evil into the highest good through His death and resurrection. Behold: He has risen! 

"I don’t want to know where I’d be without forgiveness brushing these adulterous lips."

— As Cities Burn

There is no air, no water, no sustenance, and no need in life that will ever satisfy more than the salvation offered by Jesus Christ. To put your faith in Christ is not merely to say, “I believe You exist.” Putting your faith in Christ is to proclaim, “Lord! You are my air! My Bread of Life! You are my everything!” Christ has come to eternally satisfy every need of your soul, so that you may never thirst again. 

"The Cross does not give a minor shift or two in regards to a few of our ethical, moral, or religious values. The Cross radically disrupts the very center and citadel of your life from self to Christ. And if the Cross has not done that, you’re not a Christian."

— Al Martin

The plain truth about overcoming your sin:

Don’t think about a yellow brick road.

Why did you think about a yellow brick road? Just stop thinking about the yellow brick road and you will stop thinking about the yellow brick road! 

You see, the more you think and focus on your sin, the further away you will be from overcoming it. Instead, think about Jesus and what He wants you to do and what He did for you. You cannot fix your sin, but Jesus can. Whatever you struggle with in this life, don’t let that sin be a distraction. Leave it behind you and press onward. 

The closer you get to Christ, the further you’ll get from sin. 


"The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

Hebrews 4:12-13

We need Jesus today as much as we needed Him before we met Him.

Let us not point the finger unless we point to our own selves.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” - Matthew 7:1-2

We all need saving. Thank you Jesus, for I have sinned.

"If we are the Body, how’d this pretty Man get so ugly? How’d He get all these spaces between each limb?"

— As Cities Burn, Made Too Pretty

If I inspire people to be like me and notice my gifts and abilities instead of the person of Jesus, I have failed miserably as a Christian.

Who Is Good?

christianquotes101 asked: Would you call yourself a good person ?

I said:

I think at times I would. I think I could see my accomplishments, sacrifices, deeds, and the contrast of my character to a bad person as something that would make me a good person. In those times, I would see that my good deeds outweigh my sin. But that’s exactly why I’m not a good person.

The truth is, even though I’d hate to admit it to myself, I am not a good person. I am a miserable failure. I am broken. I am harmful. I am an obstacle. I am a filthy man with filthy lips. I am a sinner. Therefore, if I ever call myself good, I am deceived.

For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” – Romans 7:15b

I don’t want to do the sin that I do. I want to do good, but I don’t. This is why I need Jesus. I need Him every day. For when I am a failure, He uplifts me. When I am broken, He binds my wounds. When I am harmful, He brings me discipline. When I am an obstacle, He humbles me. Even though I am filthy, He washes me clean. While I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me.

So my friend, I am not a good person. But God is good, and He has taken my sins away. I pray that I may never receive a praise in my life, but may every soul find the evidence of Christ.

God bless and much love,

Samuel Assaf


Repentance.

When we read our Bibles, we come across so many stories of Jesus. All of the time, they have to do with people. For the most part, it all ends the same way. People turn from their sin. Jesus would call people to repent, and they would. He would tell them “Go and sin no more.”

Today, we seem to embrace sin. Instead of showing people the right way to go, we have grown passive in our evangelism. We are quick to accept and embrace the life decisions that our peers are making. We don’t hold the line of truth and show the way of love. Instead, we tell them "Go and sin some more." 

Yes, we cannot force our beliefs down people’s throats, but we can give them the option to choose Christianity. Instead of shrinking back and avoiding the awkward friction and tension, we can take a risk and give the option of life. It is strange today to think that Jesus hung out at parties with sinners and embraced their sin. He never did. Everyone knew who Jesus was and what He was about. He made that very clear.

So my prayer for all of us is that we will make ourselves very clear. That we are going about our Father’s business. That we are embassador’s of Christ. That we are not perfect, but forgiven and repentant. 

God bless and much love,

Samuel Assaf

Men,

Never disregard the impact your father has had on you, and never underestimate the impact you will have on your sons.  Fathers are powerful. They shape the next generation of men with joy and protection, or pain and absence. Use your legacy wisely.

Is This You?

"I know your deeds,that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” 

Revelation 3:15-19