It is week one of the Made to Crave study over in the land of Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies! What an AMAZING first week it has been. The LORD has taught me so much through the study, and through the awesome girls in my Facebook group…more than I realized I had to learn!
In chapter 1 of her book M2C, Lysa TerKeurst shares the power she found in using 1 Corinthians 10:23 in her battle against cravings…
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. (1 Corinthians 10:23, ESV)
I am thankful to have a previous example of the truth behind this verse to reflect upon, to draw from, in order to help me apply it in my battle to #CraveGod and be #Empowered by His Word.
Now…before I go any further…I LOVE Facebook and it’s an AMAZING tool and vehicle for Ministry, communication, sharing, laughing, rejoicing, edifying each other…there is NOTHING WRONG with Facebook!!!
For me though, in 2012, there WAS something wrong with Facebook…I re-phrase, there was something wrong with the way I was USING Facebook. You see, for me it had become a thorn in my flesh (2 Cor. 12:7), but unlike with Paul, this one COULD be removed. It was the stumbling block that I was putting in my own way (Rom. 14:13). It was putting a “bitter jealousy and selfish ambition” in my heart (James 3:14).
I was newly engaged and this was meant to be a time of rejoicing, praising The Lord, thanking Him for answering my prayers and bringing me the most amazing, wonderful, Godly man into my life…my Ephesians 5 guy! However, I was hurting. I was in Scotland, he was in America. We were separated, and had to wait for my VISA, in order to be together in marriage. I was impatient. “Why? It’s not fair! I just want to be married NOW! Why do we have to wait for the stupid Government’s timing?!” I also wasn’t working full-time, and in the free time I had, I turned to my temptation and stumbling block, rather than The Lord. Instead of rejoicing with friends, and being happy for them that they could go out on date-nights, and ‘he’ could bring ‘her’ flowers home, and aww, look at the cute pictures of them together…I found myself becoming jealous and bitter. I started resenting the friends who told me every day to “Be patient”. They didn’t know…they didn’t understand! I mean, no one had it as difficult as I did at that time…right?!
It seemed like every ungodly emotion that is possible; I was experiencing through my time on Facebook.
“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” (Matthew 5:29-30, ESV)
Paul’s charge to the Philippians was:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8, ESV)
I knew that the only way I could find peace, and set my mind on the things that are true and honorable, was to cut Facebook off! So that’s what I did…April 2012…”Goodbye Facebook”. I was tempted to just hide my account so that it would still be there if I felt like picking it back up, but that’s not what I felt God say to me. He told me to walk away…so I did. I craved it at first. I found myself wondering how to fill the time I’d been devoting to it. Then God said, “Sarah, fill it with me…I have SO much to teach you during this VISA process” (that’s actually a book I’m writing!)
I did, He did; and I learned. I began to #CraveGod…
Fast forward to April 2013, one year later. My boss tells me, “You MUST have a Facebook account”. Fear gripped me. “What if I fall into old habits?” “What if I can’t control my behavior?” “What if those negative emotions swirl around, consuming me once more?” Jason and I prayed about it (oh yeah, we were now married and living in DC); and we committed my new Facebook to God.
I had a new approach, a fresh start. I slowly added friends back, pacing myself and my thoughts, praying for God to help me keep a Godly perspective.
In July 2013…Facebook brought Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies into my life! THANK YOU LORD! My life has NOT been the same! God has taken something that was a ‘thorn in my flesh’ and turned it into something to be used for His glory, and His purpose. He has honored my obedience to be #empowered to walk away from a temptation and craving. I am now in my 3rd P31 OBS study, and a Small Group leader and can’t imagine not being there everyday! The P31 team, and small groups are my family, and every day I am built up through spending time on Facebook with them.
“…for those who honor me I will honor…” (1 Samuel 2:30, ESV)
God has shown me, that, although Facebook is permissible; for me, for that year it was NOT beneficial. He is now using it in my life for His purpose. I can hold onto this thought when I’m faced with sacrificing something in my life…whether for a season, or for good. It will be beneficial to go through the process, and I will come out the other side with a clearer mind, and purer attitude.
If you want to know more about Proverbs 31 Ministries, Online Bible Studies, Lysa TerKeurst, or the Blog Hop…please use the links below…you won’t regret it!