By Jessica Rivera
How many times have you prayed, “God, please take away my temptation to (insert sin here)” and then just expected it to magically go away? I know I have countless times, and then I’ve dared to be frustrated with God when I stay stuck in that sin.
The generation of today is so caught up in the ideology of making everything quick and painless in order to better convenience ourselves. The truth is, as followers of Jesus, we are called higher than the ways of this world – we are called to suffer.
Jesus says, in Matthew 16:24, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” He tells us exactly what to do to chase after Him. The cross was a symbol of suffering – to deny yourself and take up the cross is to put your sins, desires, and plans to death and turn them over to God. When you follow Jesus, your suffering will not be gone. We are called to suffer the way Jesus did.
We can’t conquer sin without suffering. It’s a habit, an addiction, and there is no one who recovers from addiction without suffering.
So if you’re in a relationship filled with sexual sin, we are told to flee. It’s not easy breaking up with someone. You will suffer, you will miss him, you might have to cry yourself to sleep for a few nights, but when you begin to walk in the way of the Lord you will inherit abundantly.
If you’re living in gluttony and laziness, I know better than anyone how hard it is to just get up and put the cake down. It sounds hilarious, and it’s a common hashtag today, but it’s true. If you want to stop eating in excess, you’ll have to suffer through not fulfilling a desire. Your body says yes, but you say no. Jesus DIED on a cross, so, when you put it into perspective, doesn’t it seem a little silly that our suffering is going for a walk and fueling our bodies appropriately?
“For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry” (1 Peter 4:3).
Every sin in your life up to this moment suffices – it’s enough sin for a whole lifetime. Even one sin is. So it’s time to say, enough. I am done with this sin now. Not tomorrow. Not when I’m out of college. Enough.
Read 1 Peter 4. It is the best slap in the face you will ever get.
Sin is not worth compromising your relationship with Jesus. Not that God’s going to hold it against you, but you cannot pursue Christ and sin at the same time, so if you give yourself to sin, it’s going to hurt your relationship with Jesus, and it’s not worth it. We are to have undivided hearts.