Summary: The greatness of Christ in overcoming for us.
jesus is my hero
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
I was having an in-depth conversation with my best friend the other day and one of the topics we discussed was salvation. We shared about the eternal security of the believer, which has been a hot topic for a number of years. Some believe it is Biblical while others believe is a false teaching. I’ve heard messages on both sides of the table as well, through articles I have read as well as sermons I have heard.
However, I want to share something that comes to my mind every time I hear and discuss the subject of salvation and the security of a believer. It deals with my past and the calling on my life.
I remember growing up reading and hearing about stories of pastors who made huge mistakes, most often had an affair with someone else. Every time this happened the Christian world would be SHOCKED! A man of God, who was known for his passionate preaching, was exposed for his failure.
When I first received my calling as a pastor, I entered college with this thought: “I don’t want to mess up.” You see, I never wanted to be one of the pastors who struggled with some sin, especially sexual sin. I had this idea that God was going to transform me during my college years as I learned and studied the Word of God. While I learned about apologetics, church history, systematic theology, church administration and the list of other subjects, I faced the hard reality that I was already caught in sexual sin-namely lust and pornography.
As I continued in my schooling, I continued to fight against this sin and I constantly ran to the cross, every time I fell short. I hated the things I saw and I hated the things I did. I was an absolute mess. My life was nothing more than:
Wake up. Sin. Repeat.
I wanted to escape but honestly, sometimes I felt like I couldn’t. I struggled with the idea that God was so disappointed in me. I was obsessed that my relationship with God faced a hurdle and I could not overcome the issue at hand. The sad reality that I had to face was this: I was in love with my sin. Why else would I keep returning to it?
I always felt like King David and my reoccurring prayer was “Create in me a new heart.” (Psalm 51:10) My life was a daily reminder of failure as I questioned God’s call on my life. I always wondered why God would bother with someone like me, who can’t get their act together and can’t measure up.
To those of you who have struggled or are struggling with sexual sin, you know all too well that the battle gets harder as you become weaker. My lust turned into a desire to look at pornography which ultimately led to engaging in sexual acts with others.
Wake up. Sin. Repeat.
I graduated seminary being involved with the wrong relationships. I wasn’t even sure I was supposed to be in seminary anymore. I thought that God had pretty much left me. Not in the forsaken sense but in the sense that we would never have a kind of relationship I wanted to have with him, a relationship that was close and intimate. I questioned if I should continue with my calling and what to do with that. I didn’t know where to go because I had built this idea that my life was to be in and serve the church.
Reality was my nightmare because I had become who I tried so hard not to be. My dreams haunted me because they all came crashing down. My relationship with God was broken and no matter how many times I confessed, I continued to fall short.
You might be wondering to yourself, “Ok. So where and when did the lights go off? When did you finally break free from your old habits that were keeping you down?” I’m here to let you know this isn’t that story. This story doesn’t have one of those, “I am finally free from my lust. I am finally able to say I never look at a woman with impure thoughts. “This isn’t a story about me overcoming sin; it’s about finding a hero in the midst of my failures.