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Why Can’t I Stop?

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 habits.

Don’t listen to two common lies of the enemy:

  • 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]

What do I mean by “tasting deeply”?

♥  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 on His thoughts.

♥ 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]

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 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]

♥ Let His love for you and your love for Him defeat 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.

2 Comments

  • Justin

    Hello Kim,

    It was great to return home and have he opportunity to worship with you and your family, along with our church family last weekend!

    This question of “Why can’t I stop” and the thoughts in your blog remind me of a story of a man in the New Testament named Sosthenes, who had brought Paul to Gallio for punishment in Acts 18. He was a spiritual and social leader in the city of Corinth during the time of Paul’s ministry. Sosthenes was responsible for facilitating the religious training of the Jewish people, and the social activities that regularly took place in the synagogue. Even though this man had been a student of the Old Testament and Jewish culture, He unfortunately did not accept the message of Jesus Christ as the true Messiah. When he heard of Paul who was preaching this message in Corinth, Sosthenes became outraged. In his anger he did all that he could to stop the spread of the message of Jesus even to the point of detaining Christians and pursuing legal action against them. We know from scripture that Corinth was a cesspool of sin and debauchery and known for their immorality. In fact their name became synonymous with living an immoral life. They engaged in the worship of false gods and in acts of sexual immorality during this worship. Toward the end of Acts 18 Luke writes that Sosthenes was seized and beaten. The next time we hear his name in in 1 Corinthians 1:1 where Paul mentions Sosthenes as someone dear to him in the faith. This would indicate that after this incident Sosthenes came to embrace the message of the true Messiah that Paul had been preaching. God rescued Sosthenes and was able to go on through the Apostle Paul to rescue the city of Corinth as he continued in his ministry there for three and a half years.

    Through this story we can see God’s purpose for redemption. Even through the testimony of Paul, who was previously a blasphemer, we can see that God often uses those whom He has rescued from unthinkable sin to bring others to Christ. Who better to deliver the message of mercy than those who have experienced it first-hand? However as you stated previously you must allow a transformation of your mind and heart to take place, and deeply submerse yourself in God’s grace. If you only nibble you will never experience the true freedom that God intended. As I put these thoughts on paper I am reminded of these things as well, because I have been rescued by Christ from immorality, and now embrace that He can use my story to bring others into a deeper love for him. If Christ has the power to rescue a wretched sinner like me, then his grace can change the life of anyone! As Matt Redman states in his song “your grace finds me”, God has enough grace for the whole wide world.

    As a former addict, now walking in freedom, allow me to give some final thoughts. You will never experience true freedom until you approach the throne of grace with reckless abandon. You cannot knowingly continue in your sin, in fact you MUST embrace a walk of daily repentance. Repentance is the funnel through witch God’s grace flows. If you fail to do that then we will continue to be enslaved and in bondage to your sinful desires. For me it was a total embrace of Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”. Genesis 50:20 reminds us that God can and will rescue you, and ultimately has plans to use what was meant for evil for HIS glory.

    “Christ is not valued at all, until He is valued above all” –Augustine

    What a Savior!

    Justin

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Wow, Justin, thank you so much for sharing this inspirational lesson on Sosthenes. Such an encouraging redemption story! And your final thought: “reckless abandon” . . . Yes, that is most certainly what we all need, to embrace grace and rise to run toward Christ in reckless abandon–moment by moment!

    Joining you in praise of our precious Savior!