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:
Strength to enjoy the new earth
“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary;they shall walk and not faint”
~ Isaiah 40:31
First, we will have a new strength that will enable us to enjoy the new earth far more than we could ever dream of enjoying this earth this side of heaven. We will be able to do things like run with cheetahs and keep up; fly with eagles (or on eagles?); race each other through exciting landscapes. Obviously we don’t know all the details for sure. But one thing is certain: We will enjoy creation in a way that our current temptation to lust can’t even hold a candle to.
Strength to wait for good things
In Revelation 6:10-11, the saints that have already gone to be with Jesus are asking him when he will return to make things right. They are already with Jesus in heaven yet they are waiting for more good things. They are waiting for the new earth and resurrected bodies.
I believe even after we are in the new earth with our resurrected bodies we will still be looking forward for other good things. We will likely wait for each other to finish writing new songs or new books. We will wait for good meals. We will wait for our one-on-one time with Jesus.
But this waiting wont be agonizing. It will be exciting. It will add to the thrill of heaven. It is one reason why heaven won’t be boring. There will always be new exciting things to look forward to. And we will have the strength to wait in edge-of-our-seat anticipation.
Strength to love our brothers and sisters
Have you ever loved someone so much you thought your heart would explode? I’ve experienced that with my wife and kids. There have been moments where my love for them was so strong I didn’t think I could contain it.
In our new resurrected bodies we will have a capacity for loving others that our current bodies can’t even handle. We will have the strength to hold more people dearer to our hearts than we ever could imagine now.
The community of heaven will be so full of genuine heartfelt love that it will require us to have stronger hearts than we have now. And we will have stronger hearts.
Strength to know the love of Christ
Most of all… This is the greatest aspect of our newfound strength in heaven. In Ephesians, Paul prays that the saints be strengthened in their inner being so that they may be strong enough to know the love of Christ.
I’ll be honest, this concept confuses me. When I think of my need to understand Jesus’ love more I do not think that what I need is more inner strength. I need to be enlightened. I need the eyes of my heart opened. I need to keep his word in my heart and meditate on it daily. But strength? Why do I need strength in order to know the eternal depth of Christ’s love?
Strength is something you need when there is resistance. You need strength to push or pull or lift something. You need inner strength to resist your own harmful desires or bad habits. But what resistance is there in knowing Christ’s love?
Ah, there is sin and guilt and shame. There is self-condemnation and the whispers of the devil saying we’re too far gone to be forgiven. It takes strength to fight those things off and embrace the love of Christ. But what about in our resurrected bodies? We will be free from those things. Why will we still need inner strength to know Christ’s love?
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17)
That’s it! There is a weightiness to the love of Christ that we cannot yet bear. His love is eternally deep and wide and high and, in a sense, heavy. His love is so immense that if he were to unleash all knowledge of it on us we would instantly be crushed. We need resurrected, strong bodies that can bear the weight of an eternal love.
We have only caught a glimpse of how great his love is! Think about that! You think his love is incredible now? Just wait until you come face to face with him in your resurrected body!
Can’t you see why Paul is pleading with the Corinthians to flee sexual immorality? They would miss out on the truly satisfying love that they are wrongfully looking for in sex!
God, please strengthen us to know the eternal depth of your Son’s love. Please strengthen us to flee sexual immorality so that we can know the joy of eternal life with you. Thank you for promising us such great things. We deserve to be eternally de-created in hell for our sins against you yet you sacrificed your Son so you could forgive us and call us to the hope of heaven with you. Please help us live worthy of that calling. Amen.
What are you looking forward to about the strength of your resurrected body?
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