Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"The Impossible Place"

Numbers 11.11a, 14-15
“The Message”

“Moses said to God, ‘Why are you treating me this way? What did I ever do to you to deserve this?’ ‘I can’t do this by myself — it’s too much, all these people. If this is how you intend to treat me, do me a favor and kill me. I’ve seen enough; I’ve had enough. Let me out of here.’

Sometimes you come to the end of yourself. “I can’t do this by myself.” It’s an impossible place. Like Moses, your soul screams at God, “What did I ever do to you to deserve this? It’s too much”. You dream about ending it all… Why doesn’t God just “do me a favor and kill me”?

“I’ve seen enough; I’ve had enough. Let me out of here.”

God called Moses to perform a task. Then He made it impossible for Moses to succeed. Moses found himself in the “I can’t do this myself” place. He was stuck between the absolute awareness of God’s calling and utter impossibility of its fulfillment. That’s a rough place to be. It’s the place of pain, despair, and shame. It feels worse than death. In fact, some reasonable people may feel they woul rather die than suffer further pain of an utterly impossible situation. As Moses discovered, God’s plan of redemptive suffering does not include suicide or any other ‘easy way out’. Moses felt betrayed by God and wanted out.

“I’ve seen enough; I’ve had enough. Let me out of here.”

Are you similarly stuck? Caught between Jesus’ expectation of purity and the impossibility of its achievement? Has the unshakable grip of lust and your pattern of repeated failure led you to the false conclusion that you can never beat this thing. The pain of sexual addiction has forced you into the secret place of hopelessness and resignation. The shame is too much to bear. You escape further into the unreal world of wrong sexual pleasure and are driven progressively deeper into the isolation required for this sin to flourish. 

This is the impossible place. But it’s here, at the absolute end of oneself, that a man has a choice to develop the depth of character necessary to carry out His will. The choice for healing begins with the recognition that a man caught in the web of sexual addiction can never get out alone.  He needs Jesus in His fullness.  He needs the body of Christ.  He needs a community of other men in recovery with whom he will fight and overcome in the struggle that wages war in his flesh. 

Prepare to suffer. You may not want to serve the Lord at this price. You may not want this depth of character. But it was never really your choice. It’s God’s choice for you. Moses, Job, David, Elijah, Paul and many others survived the impossible place. They are not our only examples. Jesus also hit His personal bottom at this impossible place of hardship and suffering. He literally sweat blood there (Luke 22.44). Christ discovered His absolute alone-ness in the impossible juxtaposition of God’s trustworthiness and the terrible weight of human sin (John 16.32). He suffered what appeared to be the betrayal of His Heavenly Father. There Jesus died, and in so doing, secured for you the freedom you long for.

“…Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying,
‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’”

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.”
Matthew 27.46, 50 NKJV

The dilemma of impossibility does not last forever. It can end well. Though not immediately visible, there is a redemptive purpose for suffering. You can beat this thing, but you cannot do it alone. 423 Men is here to help. 

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