Finding Satisfaction in God
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” -Psalm 37:4
Do you struggle with a pattern of sin? Do you feel like it is keeping you from experiencing all that God would want you to be? Do you keep trying to extinguish it but end up failing often? I think most, if not all Christians have found themselves in this place at one time. Why? Why is it so easy for us to cling onto sin, even when we want to chase after Jesus?
First of all, if you are in this place, fear not, because the apostle Paul seems to have found himself in a similar place. We see his struggle in Romans 7:19 - “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” This is a struggle that you are not alone in. When I was in high school, I became addicted to pornography. I would look at porn every day after school when I got home, and I would often look at it more than once a day. I hated it, but I found that I could not stop. It sucked me in. I was trapped. I kept trying to stop looking at it; sometimes I would go two weeks without looking at it, only to get sucked back in. I even had an accountability partner because my youth pastor had said that an accountability partner would help, but it still did not keep me from my sin. I tried so many things. I set Christ-themed passwords on my computer. I left little post-it notes for myself in books I was reading. I made sure to set my bible near the computer. I was very dedicated to stopping, because I knew that God wanted to use me to be a leader at my school, and I knew that people would probably not take my Christian leadership as seriously if they knew that I was addicted to porn. I was also worried about my future, thinking things like, “Will this affect my relationship with my wife?” or, “Will this change my view of women?” I did not know what to do.
But God provides an answer.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” In my senior year of high school, the Lord revealed to me this truth: satisfaction in Him is the only way to escape the snares of sin. I realized that I had to stop trying to sin less and start trying to love Jesus more. This is not just true for me; this is also true for you. It is the only way that you will escape the snares of sin.
Our culture is extremely entertainment-driven. Why do you think this is? I could go in-depth about the loss of true culture in America, but I will save you the boredom. In short, it seems that the cry of many people in our country is, “Entertain me so I don’t have to face the absence of myself.” (This is a quote adapted from Marva J. Dawn’s book, A Royal “Waste” of Time.) When we study sin, much of it boils down to people trying to fill a void in their heart without the help of God. For me, pornography was a distraction from the fact that I did not know who I was. I felt like I lacked my own identity, so I distracted myself with the false intimacy of pornography. But God will fill our emptiness! “By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.” (Romans 8:3b) Your sin does not define you; God defines you. If you are a Christian, you are a child of God (Romans 8:16-17). Spend time with God, and he will give you intimacy. Do you feel empty? God promises to fill you with his Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Whatever hole you are trying to fill with sin or with distracting entertainment will only be filled by Jesus. Spend time with him and run after him. You will find freedom!
Now, years later, I am still living in freedom. I am engaged to marry the most amazing woman in the world with no fear that pornography will haunt my marriage. My sin does not define me because I allowed God to define me. I can assure you by my own experience that, even though it is very difficult at first, choosing to love Jesus more and to chase after him every day is the best decision you will ever make. Choose him and you will choose freedom. “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”