Saturday, January 21, 2012

Why I'm writing this blog

Welcome to the blog, Escaping Escapism: Finding True Refuge in Jesus.  You might be asking why I'm writing this.  There are several reasons, but here are some of the primary ones.

1.  A desire to make Jesus known:  Whether you're a Christian or not, there is one thing that matters most in this, and that Jesus is made known.  I want to make Him known because He is the greatest refuge we could ever have.  He is greater than marriage, sex, friends, food, football, video games, laughter, alcohol, drugs, roller coasters, money, etc.  A life with Jesus isn't easy, but it's fulfilling, satisfying, and I want you to share the one that gives me most joy.

2.  A desire to make our escapes aware:  The term 'escapism' isn't used in scripture.  But Romans 1:18 states, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth."  Escapism tends to lend itself to suppressing the truth, or lying to ourselves, about who we really are.  We create ourselves as the best player in Madden so we can rack up amazing stats because we aren't great at football in real life.  We dream about ourselves as heroes that love us for our sacrificial efforts, because we aren't truly sacrificial.  We lose ourselves in entertainment so we don't have to face the realities of pain, suffering, and sin of this fallen world.  We eat for comfort, we overexercise to maintain certain shape, all of these things often have one purpose: to help us avoid the truth that we are wretched, horrible, sinful people in need of a perfect savior.

3.  A desire to encourage true refuge:  These escapes lead to a false refuge.  In other words, they make us feel better for a short time, but they really set us up for long-term failure.  If anyone has ever gone through a 12 hour gaming session, sure it feels great in the short term, but don't you feel more tired the next day?  Pornography promises excitement, thrill, and pleasure, but leaves you feeling empty and dirty over the long haul.  Overeating tastes great until you can't hardly move an hour later.  Or there's the added 10 pounds a few weeks (or days) later.  Jesus is our true refuge.  However, He is the one who exposes us for who we really are (Isaiah 8:14, Hebrews 4:11-13).  To truly be comforted, we must be willing to expose our sin into the light (1 John 1), so that Jesus can give us true comfort that despite our gross failures, He died for us at our worst (Romans 5:8).  Despite our badness, our failures, our hopelessness, Jesus's death provides true hope, that a perfect, all powerful, all knowing God who sees us for who we really are, actually LOVES us and projects Jesus' perfection onto us.

In short, if you struggle with suppressing the truth about yourself, or are prone to escapism (if you're human, you probably do.) than I hope you find this encouraging and helpful in your walk with Christ.  Feel free to ask any questions... I might have answers, or I might just have the same question that you do, because I am a recovering Escapism junkie, but Jesus has me on the road to recovery by trusting in Him!  And if you're in Christ, you are on the road to recovery too!

Special Thanks to:
Heather Gugenheim, my awesome wife who points me to Jesus constantly!  (And, she created the cover art for the blog on the facebook page!  What a woman! :-D )
Andy Cimbala, who's own fight against sin, and his idea of blogging to encourage and equip others with the gospel of Christ, has been an incredible motivator for me.

There are plenty more special thanks to go around, but that's a start.  Thanks for reading!

In His Grace,
Zack