“It’s not that Jesus can’t satisfy—you’ve just not tasted deeply enough!”
This is my reply to those struggling with the “whys” of doubt that come after another discouraging defeat—the woman who’s been addicted to “cutting” since her teens, the college student who keeps falling prey to porn, the former meth addict that caves to the pull of her old lifestyle. Tripping and falling can happen a lot in the early stages of the Christian life—especially if you’ve got long-running and deeply embedded habits.
Don’t listen to two common lies of the enemy:
- You can never get victory over this sin (2 Peter 1:1–11 answers this).
- Christ is not sufficient to bring satisfaction.
If you keep getting tripped up by the same old sin, it could be that you’ve only nibbled around the edges but not tasted deeply of Christ.
[box]O taste and see that the LORD is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! (Psalm 34:8).[/box]
This is Day 2 in the “Top Ten” series.
I’m running down a list of ten things I would encourage you to incorporate into your life, if you want to deepen your love relationship with Christ and press on to spiritual maturity. If you missed yesterday’s post, I hope you’ll jump over there to read it first, and then come back to join me for today’s topic:
#2 Abide in Christ
When I think of explaining to someone what I mean by “Abiding in Christ” I think of the joy that comes from tasting deeply of Him.
In the forward to his classic work, Abide in Christ, Andrew Murray describes it this way:
“If we are to live through Jesus, we must feed on Him (John 6:57); we must thoroughly take in and assimilate that heavenly food the Father has given us in His life. Therefore, my brother who wants to learn to abide in Jesus, take time each day, before you read, while you read, and after you read, to put yourself into living contact with the living Jesus, to yield yourself distinctly and consciously to His blessed influence, so will you give Him the opportunity of taking hold of you, of drawing you up and keeping you safe in His almighty life.”
When I say “tasting deeply” of Christ, I’m encouraging you to:
♥ Climb into the heart and mind of Christ by saturating yourself in His thoughts.
Pour His Word into your mind. Memorize it. Meditate on it. Look deeply for His purpose in communicating those particular statements. Ask Him questions about it. Ask Him how He wants it applied to your life.
[box]If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have revived me. (Psalm 119:92–93)[/box]
Drink and eat His Word.
That’s the best way to get to know Him.
When you consume His Word you’re living in His thoughts.
(Tomorrow I’ll share with you more on this aspect of abiding and give you a few tips to stay consistent in a daily Bible reading routine.)
♥ Taste deeply of Christ by clinging to Him when hit with temptation.
[box]No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).[/box]
[box]The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation … (2 Peter 2:9).[/box]
[box]But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)[/box]
Cry out to Him when you see the temptation coming. Don’t walk through the door of temptation, but run to Him for safety. Allow Him to rescue you by turning to Him and asking for help!
♥ Taste deeply through fasting and prayer.
Fasting is not a real popular topic, but it’s a biblical (and much needed!) practice. Fasting involves all components of life. It affects us physically, mentally, emotionally, and especially spiritually. Fasting allows me to set in my daily routine a defining moment when I’m drawing a line in the sand (repeatedly during the time of fasting) to say, this period of seeking God is more important than . . . (fill in the blank with whatever you are fasting from at that time).
Fasting is a small act of “denying self” that promotes much needed humiliation and provides added time for seeking God in prayer with a focused agenda.
I’ve benefitted enormously from extended seasons of fasting from things like food, types of media or entertainment, and especially from the day of the week that I regularly fast from the Internet. I’ve even taken a fast from talking on one occasion!
Fasting is not something to be relegated to the category of archaic devotions, but is a discipline that will aid you in spiritual growth and victory over sin. If you’ve never practiced this beautiful aspect of abiding in Christ, I hope you’ll consider reading Don Whitney’s classic book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. You can check it out by clicking here.
Also, last week I did a post for those of you who are planning to study prayer as your spiritual focus for the year. I hope you’ll click here to check out that post if you missed it. And there are several links at the bottom of that blog article that will take you to additional posts on prayer.
♥ Taste deeply by focusing on what Christ did on the cross.
That sin you’re attracted to . . . that seductively lures you and seems so innocent when you’re intoxicated with desire . . . you know the one I’m talking about?
Got it pictured in your mind right now?
Jesus shed blood to cover that sin.
Do you think about the blood He spilled?
When I focus on the horrific cost of my sin, it loses its appeal.
[box]Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (Hebrews 12:1 –4)[/box]
♥ Taste deeply enough that His love for you, and your love for Him, defeats the power of sin.
No one . . . No one . . . NO ONE loves you like He does.
Do you know that?
Do you realize that?
Let that truth soak in. Let it really go down deep. Ask Him to help you understand and appreciate His love and then ask Him to give you more love to give back to Him.
[box]For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. (2 Corinthians 5:14–15)[/box]
Let your love for Him grow to such an extent that it outgrows your love for sin.
Are you struggling in your Christian walk?
Have you become discouraged by your lack of endurance?
How much joy are you experiencing?
Consider whether you’ve tasted deeply of Christ.
Allow Him to be your sweet reward. Talk to Him about your desire to move beyond nibbling at the edges of knowing and experiencing Him, and ask Him to allow you to taste deeply of Him.
Let’s pray for one another today. May we enjoy the grace and beauty of holiness that comes through abiding in Christ.