|This is a guest post from Calvin Sham. Calvin’s bio: I’ve attended the Loft City Church for about a year now. I was raised in Dallas, Texas—so I love everything Texan!! I graduated from Baylor University with my Bachelors in Psychology, attended Graduate School at the University of Texas at Dallas where I earned my Masters in Education, and am a High School English teacher. I love rap, hip-hop, working out, sports, and sharing the Gospel with the youth. God has given me a passion for the youth and I love spending time with them.|
The question I always ask myself is: “Why God? Why? (that’s a classic Joey Tribbiani phrase from “Friends” in case you didn’t catch that). Why am I dealing with this sin so much right now? Why is it a stronghold in my life? Why is it when I pray to you, you don’t seem to be doing anything about it? Why! Why! Why!
And then eventually those “Why’s” become:
- “Where” (Where you are you, God?)
- “Are” (Are you even there, God?)
- “Do” (Do you even hear me, God?)
So let’s go back to “Why”…
Why am I struggling with a particular struggle? Let me be transparent for a second. The day this is posted is the day I battled the temptation of lust for 2 ½ weeks straight. I persevered only with God’s help. But it definitely was not easy…and will not be easy. So I prayed constantly, repented, read scripture, over and over again, but it was still such a stronghold. I thought to myself why is this happening? Why is this sin so strong?
And then God reminded me (something I’ve already known) that the sin is just a product of the root→that the root has taken a hold of my heart and therefore the battles become stronger. So as I searched deeper and deeper, the root was revealed: loneliness, insecurity, wanting comfort. And as I searched deeper beyond this, it led me to the fact that ultimately, the prioritization was wrong.
SIN STRONG → ROOT STRONG → PRIORITIZATION WRONG
Let’s take a step back into the Old Testament for a second. What was commandment #1 again? “I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me.” Jesus goes on to confirm (Matthew 22) when he says “Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. Bam!! At this point, we already know why we struggle. Because we are NOT loving God with all ourselves! Because we ARE allowing other gods to be a first priority! Prioritization is wrong. We have allowed other idols to step forward in our lives to sit on his throne-THE CREATOR’S throne. Our minds are now focused on the things of this world and not of HIM.
So how do we remedy this? Two things:
- GAZE UPON THE THRONE (“Set your sights on things above and not earthly things – Colossians 3:2)
- REJOICE THROUGH SUFFERING (“We rejoice in sufferings because we know that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame –Romans 5:3)
Well, what does this look like practicality wise? Restructure your mind and refocus yourself. Your sin does not suddenly appear out of nowhere. Your sin appears because God told you to go straight and you decided to make a right on “pleasureville”. And when the pleasure becomes numb and you no longer want it, you’ve already lost your sights on God. God is no longer #1
Brothers and sisters, let us remember that you are here today because of the ultimate love that was sacrificed for us.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” -1 John 4:10
Don’t make God a priority. Make him THE priority.