Does the reality of Heaven make a difference in my daily life?
Christians who refuse to wait for the promised pleasures of heaven remain addicted to their felt well-being, to experiencing consuming satisfaction now. They are fiercely addicted to themselves and are then powerless to resist whatever temptations promise the sense of well-being they desire.
Is there a distinctively Christian way to discover both the will and the ability to rob temptation of its controlling power?
What does victory over the sin of self-centeredness that underlies all addictions look like?
Or to put the question another way: what substantial victory is available now until complete victory comes when we see Jesus?
Larry Crabb’s new book delves deep into the complex mystery of how waiting for the promised satisfaction of Heaven releases freedom into the hearts of every sincere believer.
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.”
-2 Peter 1: 3
“Two bankrupt people wanting money from the other leaves both of them broke.”
Mention the word “addiction” and our minds immediately run to drug, alcohol, and sex addictions. But another rarely recognized addiction exists in each of us. We all have a stubborn commitment to our own felt well-being, living addicted to arranging for satisfaction of whatever longings we can neither deny nor smother.
We are relational beings, created in the image of the three-person relational God, and so we naturally look for satisfaction through relationships. We stop looking to God for the satisfaction our relational souls crave which would free us to receive the satisfaction in other relationships that God makes possible.
The result- Relational Sin, a failure to love others the way Jesus loved us. The universal human addiction. It’s an epidemic. We relate to:
- protect ourselves from hurt by others;
- procure from others what enhances our favored image of ourselves;
- preserve that image by letting others see only what maintains it.
Relational sin plants the seeds of the quarrels, fights, and jealousies that James warns us about. Relational poverty then engulfs families, communities, churches, nations and the world.
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.
James 4: 1-2
Is it possible to move from relational sin to relational holiness? To become free to embrace a lived commitment to delighting God by how we relate to Him and to others, worshipping Him and building up our families, churches and communities?
Living in the Larger Story | Episode 6 | Finding God
Dr. Larry Crabb is interviewed at the 2018 Convene Conference by Greg Leith
Living in the Larger Story | Episode 7 | God of My Father