Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Back to Back Brain Freeze

You know what's worse than getting brain freeze? Getting back to back brain freeze. There's this protein shake thingamajiggy that I get sometimes. Delicious and cold!! It's so good that I try to take it down too fast and...zap! Brain freeze! Not sure exactly what's going on with brain freeze, but it hurts like all get out. I'm cringing, trying not to run my car off the road while my brain is about to explode. While this is going on I am thinking about throwing that shake out the window and vowing to never get another one. I look over at the cup mad at it like it did me wrong. I'm thinking how I don't even want another single sip from that stupid shake. But...after 30 to 60 seconds, the pain goes away, and I suddenly remember how delicious that thing is. So I decide to take another careful taste, but it's too good as it's going down and instead of a sip, I take a swallow...and zap! Brain freeze again!
You know, that's sort of the story of our habitual sins that we call addictions. I have dealt with multiple sins over the course of my life and a couple of them I would like to label as just bad habits, but by definition it would be considered an addiction. (Stop looking so shocked; you know you have some too!)
What's an addiction? you ask. Well everything we do, every choice we make, has positive and negative consequences. Normally, we choose to repeatedly do something that has more positive than negative consequences; more pluses than minuses. Makes sense right? But an addiction is something where the minuses outweigh the pluses, yet we still do it, and we do it over and over and over. In other words, it hurts when you do it, yet you keep on doing it. Like that shake and my brain freeze.
Drinking used to be like that for me. There were pluses to drinking as I saw it then. Made me feel good, gave me confidence, always lots of friends around when I was partying, and though I was a pretty good dancer any way, when I had a few, I was unstoppable on the dance floor (at least I thought so). But the more I did it, the more the minuses started to pile up: hangovers, blowing my money, failing grades in college, problems in the relationships that mattered the most, doing things I regretted, making myself look like a fool, disappointing my parents,and disappointing God. But..in spite of all of that pain...brain freeze... I kept on doing it.
If you are reading this, and it's speaking to where you are in your life, I want you to be encouraged by knowing that God understands what you may be facing. He doesn't like it, and He won't tolerate it, but He understands it and He still loves you. In fact, the Lord puts us in good company with the Apostle Paul who wrote "And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway....(then he cried out) Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?" (Romans 7:18-24 NLT)
Paul wanted out but he couldn't get out. He obviously felt the brain freeze of some sin in his life, and tried not to return to it, but he couldn't stop himself. Finally in his despair, he cried out "Who will save me from this?" And maybe you are in a similar place and you have the same question. Maybe you know doing that thing will hurt you and those around you, and yet you can't seem to stop yourself from doing it. And you want to know, 'Who will save me from this?'!
Well, St. Paul wrote the answer to his question and your question and my question right there in the next verse. Romans 7:25 says "Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord..". Jesus is our answer. Try Him!

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