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…
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?