run to, not from
“How can a young person stay pure? By obeying Your Word” (Psalm 119:9).
I don’t think it’s a secret that all of us struggle with purity in some form. So the question in today’s culture is not “if” you will struggle with it, but “how” and “when.” When my father was a boy, it was a different world. In order to visually pursue sexually immoral temptation you had to make a conscious effort to seek it out in magazines at a store, in certain movies, etc. But today, all it takes is the click of a mouse as you sit in front of a computer screen. Running from temptation is harder today than it has ever been. So what does that mean for us?
Something John Piper said has always stuck with me: “I see so many Christians murmuring about their struggles . . . and I see so little war. Murmur, murmur, murmur why am I this way? Make war!” The issue is that we give sin far too much power. We let the enticement of sin get such a deadly grip on us that we forget that we have the remedy! In Galatians 5:1 Paul states, “Do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” With this in mind, doesn’t it seem a little strange that we would return to what we were saved from? So often we get into the “woe is me” habit and forget to use the power of the Holy Spirit to battle our sin nature—we forget that we’re not forced to follow our flesh!
There’s something extremely freeing about our sin being completely destroyed in Jesus’ death on the cross. Yes, we still have our daily struggles because we’re still living in a fallen world. But the grip that sin once had on us has been obliterated, it has no hold on us anymore. So why would we return to that? Rather than simply running from temptation, doesn’t it make sense to run to Jesus? In Him, temptation and sin cannot touch us.
We will always be running one of two directions, either to Jesus or away from Him, and this is true in every area of the Christian life. So who are you running to? —Jake Campbell, US
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