Summary: The challenge we face in our therapeutic journey is to know when we need God to help us, to assist us, and to permit us to create ourselves anew.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
“Create yourself ANEW”
Text: Psalm 51: 10
By now you should be familiar with the steps in our treatment plan: 12 steps in nine weeks: how to break your addiction to sin.
Admit you are a sinner. God is greater than sin, give yourself to God, count the costs. Dr . Baines introduced last week, being addicted to Jesus, and this morning we will examine what it means to allow God to create yourself anew.
By now everyone should be clear what it means to be addicted to something or someone: it is when one is so devoted to something or someone whom the withdrawal from it causes the mind, body and spirit to experience trauma.
That’s what makes withdrawing from sin so hard, it is painful, it hurts, and even though you may know the practice, the habit, or the lifestyle is destroying you; you are not able to let it go.
That’s the pattern of sin: it starts out as pleasure, but in the end it becomes destructive to one’s sense of self, to one’s relationship with others, and to one’s standing in the community.
The recent disclosure of John Edwards should illustrate this point.
An indiscretion in 2006, a moment of pleasure two years ago; It has caused so much pain in 2008: a public admission of guilt, tension in his relationship with his wife and family, and disgrace in the public arena – such that his name will never be mentioned again for any public office.
The pattern of sin: it starts out as pleasure, but in the end it becomes destructive to one’s sense of self, to one’s relationship with others, and to one’s standing in the community.
Less we become judgmental, let me remind you that, “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)
Sin is an act where you miss the mark of the high calling which is found in Christ Jesus.
A sinner is a state of being where you are in opposition to God’s purpose and plan for your life.
Remember this universal truth:
Where sin is, God is not; where God is, there is no sin.
That why you must know that, “if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:3)
Let me give you one more scripture reference before we examine the text because I know there are some who will say: Pastor you don’t understand the power this thing, this person, this situation has over me.
I know it is wrong, but it feels so right.
I know it is wrong, but I’m too weak to let go.
I know it is wrong, but the temptation is too great.
The brain produces enzymes called endorphins. Endorphins create a sense of pleasure that can tranquilize one to pain.
It’s when the body creates a pain-killing sensation that allows one to tolerate or even enjoy pain.
You see it in Beijing, China with the Olympics. Athletes are doing amazing physical feats, that for you, or I would be impossible, one because they would be painful. They do it with a smile, even though the trainer has to ice them down to reduce the swelling.
You see this same principle in the science that goes into making perfumes and colognes and even in music.
A whiff goes by your nose, and immediately the mind remembers that special someone who would wear that aromatic scent.
Alternatively, you hear a song that takes you back to a moment when you wooed, and you swooned.
However, that whiff or that song does not record the tragic circumstances or the debasing predicament you found yourself having to be extracted from.
Fats Domino may have said “I found my trill on blueberry hill”; but B.B. King had to remind you “the trill is gone.”
Endorphins dull the senses and makes one think that what causes pain is indeed the pleasure. Endorphins do not distinguish between right and wrong pain. It just transforms pain into pleasure in the brain.
Athletic pursuits may be right.
Sinful pursuits are wrong.
Furthermore, the endorphins in the brain will be numb to the pain that each endeavor cause.
Athletic pursuits make you physical fit.
However, sinful pursuits make you spiritual wrong.
The challenge we face in our therapeutic journey is to know when we need God to help us,
to assist us,
to permit us,
to create ourselves anew.
Here is the beauty of God, “there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (I Corinthians 10: 13)