Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What’s Got a Grip on You?

In case you’re unfamiliar with this clunky, metal device pictured above it’s called a vice-grip. It’s a tool with two grasping jaw like sides used to hold objects tightly in place.

A little play on words came to mind recently as I thought of how my own personal vices get a death grip on me. We all have a bad habit that by itself is pretty innocent, but given in to our needy, hungry flesh it firmly grasps onto us and drags us somewhat willingly into sin.

Some common weaknesses that I'm thinking of are…

Food

Shopping

Alcohol

Internet/Computer

TV/Entertainment

Anything we run after habitually for comfort and relief ahead of Christ has already begun to stink and decay. It puts us right in the dark seat of sin. Essentially what we do is take this “thing” that our flesh relishes and intentionally get on our knees to bow down to it.

Sounds a lot more like an idol now doesn’t it?

Indeed, there is a fine line between vices and idols… if any line at all.

My personal struggle is with food. No matter the mood I find temporary comfort and satisfaction in food. Now, it leaves me completely empty and starved for more, but I keep going back… that’s a vice.

Besides food, if I’m not really careful the Internet is trouble for me too. It’s so easy to find exactly the answer you’re looking for to pretty much anything if you just “google it!” Not that it’s always the right answer, but you will eventually find the one you want to hear.

I am reading Lysa Terkeurst’s new book Made to Crave,” which I highly recommend to anyone even if what troubles you is not food. Lysa offers a lot of great, godly advice on how to deal with these sinful habits that we get ourselves into. A simple statement she says that gets my attention is…

“We were made for more than this.”

And, it’s true. Really. It is.

God’s word also reminds us…

“Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:13 (NLT)

When we head straight for a habit to get the peace and refreshing that we can only get from Him we will always come back dry and desperately thirsting for more. If in our suffering we turn to Christ our endless need for “whatever” is forever quenched by Him.

Ah, I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s SO not easy. But, I am experiencing the taste of a little victory. And, I must admit it has a much better flavor than anything else I’ve ever tried.

The beautiful thing is that instead of me compromising my relationship with Him, I’m starting to notice the grip of my vice beginning to loosen.

So, what’s got a grip on you? Will you join me for a little living water?

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*Participating in Word Filled Wednesday at the Internet Cafe, go there and be encouraged!

21 comments:

  1. Thanks Kelli and like all things a vice can be a wonderful tool to enable you to hold things steady as you work. I miss my Dad's workbench...may God hold us in the vice of His love and care and work with us to make of us what He desires.

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  2. Computer time can quickly become a vice for me -- which is why I'm saying goodbye after today. You are so right: peace is better than compromise. Those vices can so quickly master us, and I want nothing between my Lord and me!

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  3. I, like everyone, have vices. I think sleep is my biggest one! Sometimes, though, when I've had enough, I just want alone time. Time to forget about everything. I've done this long before I started my walk with God. Now, after reading this, I'm wondering if I can turn that 'alone time' into something greater; like a spiritual alone time. That could be a great thing!

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  4. Thanks Kelli! I'm also reading 'Made to Crave' and have found I'm eating everything in the house in rebellion, I think :-)
    Also, the computer can be a downfall for me. I'll spend my time on here and then my day will be gone and I'll have done nothing productive!

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  5. So true! I was just reading ... but I can't remember which book it's in ... about how we crave more and more of these things that can never satisfy us! Thanks for the reminder.

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  6. Vices....become the bondage...
    The only way to break free is to find our freedom in Him and not in the "things" of this world...no matter how innocent they seem...
    Fantastic WFW! peace on the journey!

    lori

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  7. Great post! Pepsi is a big one for me. I am stressed so I think a pepsi will calm me. I am tired so I think a pepsi will give me that boost. I turn to pepsi too much and God too little. I am also reading Made to Crave right now and love it. I am learning to turn to God, not pepsi, or anything else for that matter.

    Sweet Blessings~
    Jenifer

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  8. I like what you said about in our suffering we turn to Christ. I needed that this morning. Still suffering with health issues and feel like giving in and giving up. Thanks for your transparent honesty girl! Beautifully written Heidi! Love you...

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  9. very good post for everyone in life has a grip on them..we can't deny it and if we do we are being deceived

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  10. This is so good, Heidi. Anything we turn to instead of running to God, is a vice in our life. I want to crave God more than anything!
    Thanks for this post!

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  11. So grateful to have been set free!! I can get caught up in thinking too much which leads to worry. I keep reminding myself to stay in today, stay in right now and I take a deep breath and give it all back to Him once again.

    Happy WFW!

    Joy & Blessings,
    Alida

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  12. Hi! Your blog was recently tagged as Blog-A-Licious! Do keep your great posts coming!
    Cheers - Dora
    http://peacefrompieces.blogspot.com/

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  13. Boy, do I feel convicted! Thank you for helping me to see some of the things that potentially stand in the way of God. Those little vices can be quite comforting at time, but not nearly as comforting as the peace He offers. I especially love that verse in John. Love the way you always share from the heart. God bless you!
    Debbie

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  14. Wow! A great graphic to go with the verse! Thanks for reminding us of our need to let go of vices in our lives and walk in total freedom.

    Blessings to you this WFW!

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  15. Wonderfully written, and absolutely true Heidi.

    Like everyone else, I've taken "short term" comfort from earthly vices from time to time instead of focusing on Him. What I've found though is the closer my relationship is with God, the less I crave the comfort of outside influences.

    Thank you for this post, and have a Blessed Day!

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  16. Heidi- I have been listening to K LOVE on the radio talk about that book Made to Crave. I want to get it, because my favority hobby, but also can get a grip on me is cooking!

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  17. Thanks for visiting my blog. I like the quote you wrote. Your verse and picture are great.

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  18. So glad we found each other! Thanks for your sweet comments and the motivation to keep writing. I must have needed that! By the way, I love your blog! Big hugs!

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  19. Yes , God cannot forgive excuses , He can only forgive sins . I have to pray for forgiveness and help on a regular basis for my "vices".
    Wonderful WFW!
    Blessings,
    ~Myrna

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  20. just what I needed to read today Heidi!

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  21. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. LOVE YOUR BLOG! I'm "stealing" the little lamb pic with the 1 Peter 1 verse that's on your right sidebar...that so needs to be on my site too! :-) I am now following you via GFC. Pray you had a wonderfully blessed WFW!

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