I love to share stories from our sisters in Christ around the world about how God is working in their lives. Some stories you may relate to – others you may not. I pray that this woman’s story might bless you and help you desire to walk more closely with Christ:
Growing up, because of my home life, I would turn to books to escape. I literally read and read and read. Nobody thought twice about why I always read. I mean what harm can come from someone who loves to read right?
Books were not the problem. The problem for me was that I was reading to escape my life that I was living. I didn’t like my life, what I was being put through, nor myself. I read to find a happy ending and experience things that I thought I could never have for myself.
When one story ended, I jumped to the next. As I got older, my taste upgraded to romantic fiction, specifically Christian romantic fiction. I was never secure in who I was and every time I could read about someone else who was not secure in themselves, but eventually got the guy, I was hypnotized! This (I’m going to call it an addiction) eventually became my idol. I was so entranced that I failed to see what was going on around me. How is this any different then alcoholism, drugs, porn, etc.? I got a huge wake up call from God and let me tell you, these moments are not fun. Humbling yourself is not easy. Nobody wants to admit they made a mistake or that they are wrong.
I realized that books in general were not bad, but my intentions were.
By reading, I was not accepting the things that were going on around me or who I was as a person. In doing so, I was not allowing God to form me into who He wanted me to become and therefore denying Him. I believe God purposefully puts people and things (good and bad) into our lives to form us into He intends for us to become. One of the biggest lies Christians have come to believe is “God will never put us through anything that we can not handle.” NOT TRUE!! If anything, He promises us the exact opposite. God purposefully puts us through things that we CAN’T handle on our own so that we will turn it all over to Him to take care of it for us. It’s a little thing I like to call faith.
“Consider it a great joy my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4
Think out if like this: a faith that has not been tested is a faith that can not be trusted.
My point, something that does not look threatening (like a book) can easily become the best tool for the Devil to use to trigger our retreat from God. Take the fruit from the garden of Eden that the Devil convinced Eve to eat, for example. I’m sure that fruit on it’s own didn’t look threatening dangling from that tree. It didn’t look threatening because it wasn’t – on it’s own. It took Eve’s intentions of eating the fruit to make that action a sin. Once Eve ate it, she convinced Adam to as well, and then it was only downhill from there.
For me, books (specifically Christian romantic fiction books) were my fruit. I was drawn by it’s appeal and suffered the consequences of my actions. Just to be clear, I am not saying that books are bad and should not be read. I still enjoy reading immensely! But the only book that I now let enter my heart and that I meditate on is the Bible. I found my identity in Christ, not in the characters on the pages of fiction novels.
What is something in your life that might be a good thing, but that creates a stumbling block for you in your walk with Christ? How has God revealed this to you? What is He teaching you about the sufficiency of Christ? 🙂