Two years ago, I started regularly drinking and clubbing. Like every weekend a different bar, a different dress, and a devil may care attitude. I had convinced myself that my salvation wouldn't suffer for me being young and enjoying my life in such a secular way.
You would not believe how hard this is to write because I enjoy drinking, clubbing and dancing. I enjoy the thrill of being a little drunk and a lot of flirty. It is hands down some of the most fun I've had in my life.
However, it was not enough, nor was it worth the sacrifice of my relationship with God. There is no plainer way to say it and I've said it before.
Sin separates you from God. Isaiah 59:2 says, "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." and the more fun I had, the harder it was to hear God. The harder it was to hear God, the more fun I had to have to fill the void. It was a cycle I entered in to unknowingly and though it was a gradual separation, the small rift between where I was and where God was, turned into a canyon. I hadn't renounced God, stopped going to church, or stopped reading my Bible. On the contrary I still went to church every Sunday, read the verse of the day everyday, and if you asked me, I would always identify as a Christian.
But my relationship with God was essentially non-existent. I was a believer in function not in faith and when I realized that, I began to retrace my steps to where I started to fall off.
It was hard for me to pray fervently knowing that God wouldn't exactly be pleased with my weekend plans and it felt like every scripture I read was speaking a little louder to me than I cared for. It was a lot like when you are doing something behind your best friend's back that you know that she/he wouldn't like. You wish to confide and get advice from them, but you know that they would tell you to stop doing what you're doing, so you just keep it to yourself. Eventually, you stop talking to them or hanging around them because you feel guilty being around them and not speaking to them. This goes on until one of you realizes you haven't spoken to the other in awhile and someone reaches out. At this point you've either tired of doing whatever it was alone or have given it up all together, in both cases you just really miss your friend.
Does any of this sound familiar?
For me, I have to choose if it's more important to feel good for a few hours every weekend or maintain the closeness I cherish with God.
Honestly, I choose the latter, but I have to choose often. I still sometimes get FOMO, but my relationship with God has become more important to me than any feelings I have for the surroundings that weaken my faith.
Have you ever read John 14:12? It says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." To get the context of the scripture, you can read Matthew 14: 14-21, it tells the story of a man that has a son that who was a "lunatick" and the man had brought his son to the disciples to be delivered.
Unfortunately, the disciples were unable to help him, so here this man stood before Jesus. Jesus rebuked the devil in the child and he was cured in that very hour. Jesus then goes on to tell them that they should have been able to cure the child themselves and were not able to because of their unbelief.
Jesus then goes on to give them the formula to perform miracles like He did. God literally show us how to do greater works.
Greater works ya'll!
But only with faith, fasting and praying. I can tell you that it is hard to fast and pray without first laying aside every weight and the sin which would distract you from God. (Hebrews 12:1). I genuinely want to be in the position where God can use me to help someone else, but I can't do that if my faith and relationship with God isn't strong enough.
Do you see where I'm going with this?
We have to be able to recognize those things in us that keep us from being great in God. God wants us to be great! He wants us to do incredible things! We just have to follow His formula to get there.
Are you down?