Back in February of this year I said I was taking a month off of blogging. It is now September and I don’t think I am anywhere close to coming back.

I learned shortly before announcing my sabbatical that my wife had an online affair with a guy thousands of miles away. Since then I have tried to work things out with her but unfortunately she just wants to end things all together. I cannot go into further detail than that right now. I covet your prayers. Especially for her salvation and repentance and the well-being of our two young children.

Grace and Peace,
Peter Daniel James

Due to unexpected hardships with my family I am taking a month off of blogging. When I come back we’ll pick up where we left off in the series. Please keep my family in your prayers. And if you’re new, the best way to catch up on posts you might have missed is to hit the archives.

Grace and peace,
Peter Daniel James

Christian spiritual writer's block

Stop freaking out!

Seriously.

Stop wondering if you’re reading enough, praying enough, confessing enough, serving enough… After all these things you still feel disconnected right? You still feel dry in your relationship with God? You’re still wondering why on earth you’re still not satisfied by Him and Him alone?

Just stop freaking out about it!

The most important thing you need to realize right now is that the command to be filled with the Spirit is actively passive.


Do you know what the best advice for writer’s block is?

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theology of sex

Why is it that when you set out with every intention of obeying God you end up sinning horrifically? Maybe you have quit pornography or maybe you’re still buried in it. Maybe you have quit gossiping or maybe you’re still drunk by it. But everyone one of us puts down our bible ready to apply it and comes back to it the next day without having loved God with all our heart and his people as ourselves. (Or we don’t come back to our bible at all precisely because of our failures.)

Even the great Apostle Paul mourned this tendency in himself:

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lust killing strategies

Everything is meaningless. All things fade away and perish. This world will not last and nothing we do on this world will last. Yet, it is possible to find eternal fulfillment and meaning in everything you do no matter what it is.

“What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:9-13

Here are six ways that your current day job is meaningful no matter what it is:

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THEOLOGY OF CHANGE

Sometimes we are tempted to lust to escape from a sense of meaninglessness about our lives. In the end, the work we do at our jobs will be destroyed and there will be nothing to show for it. Sometimes that even happens within a week of completing a project.

We work and work and work. And what do we have to show for it except another paycheck? Couldn’t there be a way to still have a paycheck but actually leave a mark on this earth?

Perhaps the problem isn’t your job. Maybe it is just your perspective.

Consider this. There are only seven kinds of jobs in the world and all of them reflect Christ in some direct way. And if you are made to reflect Christ, then what could be more meaningful than that?

Take a look at the list of seven jobs and see where your current job fits best. Most likely there will be some overlap.
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This secret is for those times that you do not want to come to God because you feel guilty about your sin or your lack of love for him. This happens to me a lot.

Whether it’s because I got angry with someone, cut corners at work, ate something I knew wasn’t healthy, told a “white lie,” or gave in to a temptation to lust–I frequently find myself with too much to confess to want to come to him in prayer.

I screw up in some way several times a day at least. And I am keenly aware of it when I think to myself that it’s been too long since I’ve really prayed to God. It’s incredibly discouraging.

But God reminded me of something that surprisingly helped me a lot. It’s surprising because at first it sounds like bad news. But upon further reflection you’ll see that it is actually extremely good news.

Here is the secret:

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In the darkest times of my porn addiction and even in recent struggles with lust, one of the most disheartening things has been the weakness of my will.

[This post is part of a series about 6 aspects of the Gospel that overpower our desire to lust]

I could have an incredible experience of God’s grace through reading or praying or worshipping with the church. **Yet** if I faced a strong temptation to lust only minutes afterward I would give in with almost no resistance.

I am always amazed by how easily my heart can turn from being wrapped up in awe of the Gospel and in a split second be wrapped up with the idolatry of sexual pleasure. It is that fact that continually brings me to my knees to beg Jesus for the strength to live worthy of his grace toward me.

For that reason Paul’s next comparison between our current body and our resurrected body brings me great hope. He says our bodies are sown in weakness but raised in power. We are weak now but then we will be strong.

But what in particular is good news about being strong? Here are four aspects of our future strength that I find to be good news for those struggling with lust:
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A combination of family, the day job, and the fact that the next series post is confusing me has kept me from writing for the blog.

I will be posting the next series post in the next few days about Paul’s comparison of our current body and new body as weak vs. strong.

In the mean time, I recommend reading Ephesians 3:14-19 and try to answer this question: why do we need supernatural inner strength to know the love of Christ? And what does that have to do with our resurrected bodies being stronger than our current bodies?

Ultimately all desires are at their root a desire for God. The desire for love, respect, acceptance, pleasure, comfort–all desires are meant to be fulfilled in our relationship with God.

But for many of those desires he gives us foretastes of himself through his blessings. We find love from friends and family. We get respect from colleagues and children. We are accepted by friends and organizations. We find pleasure in food and play and (marital) sex. We are comforted by music and hugs and nature.

But all these things are meant to reflect and point us to the true answer to our heart’s desires: Jesus Christ.

Take note today of how you have your desires met and think about how it is only a picture of your relationship with Christ.