Tim Challies writes about the story of Paul Miller a man who got paid to stay offline for a whole year. It is fascinating to see that Paul Miller’s life did not become incredibly better in the absence of technological stimulation. As a matter of fact, he simply found new ways to express vice. The story reminded me that our problems in life go much deeper than “stop that” or “do this,” our problem is, well, us. I call this dynamic the Moses principle. You see, Moses learned that while he could get Israel out of Egypt (better – God through Moses), he could not get Egypt out of Israel.
And this is where the incredible gracious Gospel of Jesus substitutionary atonement comes in. God accepts us on the behalf of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection and that provides the basis for true change in life. Our frustration with ourselves and the lame excuses of blaming devices for our vices, melt away under the reality that Christ will change us through His power, as His children. When we consider the Gospel, we will naturally long to show our gratitude in the cool shadow of His forgiveness, a gratitude that produces good works. Sanctification that is rooted in mere “do’s” and “don’ts” is a sanctification that is doomed to fail because it has no source of power! Or, said another way, it is doomed to fail because it is not rooted in the Gospel.