How do you feel about submitting willingly and with patience to the Lord’s timetable of change?
Here’s the thing about time tables. I believe that the Lord has a time table, but in terms of addiction, its not a matter of me waiting on the Lord’s time table. It is the Lord waiting on mine. How serious am I about owning the problem, seeking help, and making choices that will keep me sober. A year ago I had one of the worst moments of acting out that I’ve had a in a long time and while I thought I was doing better, looking back over the past year I see that its been a few weeks of sobriety followed by a lot of white-knuckling and rationalizing behavior online, and the Lord this whole time has been waiting for me to decide to be done.
It would be one thing if I were doing all the things that I know are helpful. Shall I refresh my own memory?
- · Daily Scripture study.
- · Daily prayer.
- · Actively fulfill church calling and other service responsibilities.
- · Attend the temple at least once a month, maybe more.
- · Avoid gateway media – pretty much every TV show o Fox—watch less TV in general.
- · Exercise.
So if I were doing all of these things and the temptations were still coming on strong, then maybe I could feel impatient with the Lord and why he has not lightened my burdens. However, that is not the case. I do the things on this list here about half the time, and so I should not be surprised by the temptation that I suffer about half the time.
I was just thinking about 1 Corinthians 10:13 and how there is no temptation that is not common to man. The Lord is patient and he loves me and he has been waiting ever so long for me to get with the program. I feel he has winked at my behavior for so long, allowed to me feel comfortable in my rationalization, and all the while there is no healing. Band-aids maybe. The occasional washing of a wound, but not actual healing. No cure. No recovery. Until I submit willingly to the Lord and love God more than pornography, that is all it will ever be.
Ten years, that’s how long I’ve been making this half-assed attempt at curing myself. And perhaps that’s the problem, I’ve been assuming that sheer will power will be enough. That anyone can “cure” themselves without the healing power of the atonement. The Lord can change me in the wink of an eye, but the reality of the atonement is that even if he changes me today, I still have to keep doing my part so that I might be changed every day.
Every day I create my own future. Every day I’m given an opportunity to trust the Lord and engage with Him and his gospel. Every day I must plead with the Lord for help. Healing happens one day at a time. And I’m only as healed as I choose to be today. That’s the wonderful reality of the atonement. It’s already been done. The payment has been made. The saving, exalting, healing power of His great sacrifice is already available and waiting for me to take advantage of it.
So, what will I do today to be healed today? What will you do?