Yesterday, while on the street, a guy came up to me who said he wanted to recover from drug addiction. He said God doesn't really help with that and that he had already had God in his life. So I asked him who God was. He said, "He's wonderful. He's always there for you and he meets your needs."
I told him, "You just described heroin." He proceeded to get very angry. He was outraged that I had the audacity to say such a thing and he stormed off.
But it is true.
To many people Jesus is just another drug. He is a high that you experience and a "hit" you have to get to make you feel good. This Jesus is worthless for overcoming addiction because he is no different from the pill you're popping at any other time.
The true God is holy. He becomes incensed at sin and is provoked to hot anger. He does not make you high; He makes you fall on your face. His presence doesn't make you feel good; it makes you overwhelmed by your wretchedness and filled with unworthy awe.
This is the way he delivers from sin and bondage. As you come into contact with his infinite purity and majesty, you begin to be transformed by it (and into it). You begin to see your vile deeds as He does and you take on the same intense hatred of them.
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.