• Steve Derenge

Keep Moving Forward

I have seen a movie called “Meet the Robinsons,” where the moral of the movie was to “keep moving forward.” At one point in the story, the antagonist (a man in black) sends a T-rex to seize and capture the protagonist (a boy). As the boy huddles tightly against a wall, the T-rex's large head thwarts its attempts to grab the boy with its tiny arms. When the antagonist asks the T-Rex, “Why aren't you seizing the boy?,” the T-Rex replies, “I have a big head and tiny arms. I'm just not sure how well this plan was thought through. Master?”

From this visual I learned what I like to call “T-Rex Syndrome” (or “spiritual encephalitis”). There is a spiritual principle that “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up (see 1 Corinthians 8:1-2). We can contract “T-Rex Syndrome” when knowledge puffs up our big head to the point that it gets in the way of our little arms from embracing others in love. c.f. Matthew 23:4. Those with this “sin-drome” may discourage those within their spheres of influence from moving forward in their spiritual walks because they think that they have already arrived spiritually.

That is why it is important to beware of T-Rexes. See Matthew 16:6,12; Luke 12:1. Don’t let even spiritual “experts” prevent you from seeking God in His fullness for your life. See Deut. 30:15-20; Matt. 6:33; John 5:44; Galatians 1:10. Don’t let man-made ideas, theories, opinions, philosophies, or theologies nullify what the Word of God says. See Mark 7:6-13; Colossians 2:8; 2 Corinthians 10:5. Let the Author of the Book be your primary Teacher. See 1 John 2:26-27; John 6:45; 14:26.

Do you know people who struggle with a shame or addiction (such as pornography) but they can never seem to break free no matter how hard they try? Others have tried to get healed for years, going from doctor to doctor, new treatment to new treatment, diet to diet, etc., but they too don't get any better. Sounds discouraging, doesn't it?

I was blessed to grow up in a background where my faith community believed that things like pornography addictions were wrong, destructive, enslaving, emotionally hurtful, and damaging to one's relationships with self, others, and God. Thus, even though we acknowledged that multitudes struggle with porn addiction or a similar problem, we didn't give up hope that change is possible. Even though the struggle and addiction is hard, God wouldn't call it wrong unless it was possible to be made right by turning from that addiction to a remarkable freedom.

I believe that one [not necessarily the only] key to getting freedom over addiction is meditation on truth that will set us free. There are abundant promises from God about setting us free from sin in this life. So just because someone isn't experiencing that freedom from addiction yet despite their best efforts, does that mean that freedom from addictions (or from sin) isn't for them? Ought we reason that freedom from sinful addiction died out when the original apostles died or after the Bible was canonized?

Therefore, don’t be tossed to-and-fro by doctrines or human opinions that come from theological dinosaurs [a.k.a. T-Rexes] that aren’t actually stated in the Word of God. c.f. Ephesians 4:11-16.

The following fake passages are made-up for the sake of comedic illustration of such opinions:

“After the Bible was canonized, all God’s commands and promises about hearkening to and obeying His voice became obsolete.” --2 Opinions 5:18

“After all the original apostles died, the Holy Spirit in believers was no longer interested in doing miracles. 24So if any minister casts out demons, heals the sick, etc., he probably does it by satanic power. Or it is all smoke and mirrors. 25We are not Jesus (even though he lives in us), so don’t try to be an imitator of God in those areas. 26Do not try to follow in the footsteps or the ministry model of Jesus and the early church, because that’s too risky and you may end up disappointed. 27You don’t want God to look bad if you try trusting him and it doesn’t seem to work out immediately.” --1 Baloognians 14:23-27.

What if the Bible is actually filled with incredible promises that God's will is to heal our diseases when we go on a relational journey with God to remove the spiritual root cause of that disease in obedience to Him?

Or, even better, that His perfect will was that we wouldn't get sick in the first place (as we meet that condition of unbroken connection to Him in every emotion, thought, and area of our lives)?

If we don't see results from prayer, should we conclude that healing of sickness isn't for us on earth but only in heaven?

Should we just give up, and harden our hearts to protect ourselves from disappointment?

Should the believer in Jesus who struggles with pornography addiction just give up hope?

He will certainly be set freed from his sin and addiction in heaven (Praise God!), but should he adapt his theology to “console himself” by planning to keep or manage his addiction for the rest of his life?

Or is there a more excellent way?

Does God mean what He says?

Are we going to have a vision for our lives that conforms to God’s standards, commands, and very great and precious promises?

Are we going to give up, or are we going to keep moving forward?

Are we going to meditate on God's word day and night until we see that word sprout and bear fruit in our lives?

Or are we going to passively give up and choose death and curses by not listening to God's word?

Are we going to keep moving forward, even going through the pain, fears, and negative emotions, trusting in God fully in relationship through the life-long process?

Application: On any topics or issue we’re facing, we can type a keyword or phrase into the search bar of biblegateway.com. E.g. “miracle,” “heal,” “disease,” [any specific disease or area of the body affected], or any word(s) that pops into our heads. Then we can read the string of verses, study verses that stick out in their context, choose a verse and meditate on it, etc. Meditating on a verse, even a segment of a verse, or a passage means to repeatedly think about it and dialog with God about it throughout the day (or even longer). Pray it, write it, and even sing it, so that your view and understanding of the verse and the meaning gradually conforms in agreement with God’s perspective on the issue. Ask Him to help and trust Him to empower you to obey what He wants you to do concerning that truth. This process will enable us to repent (or to change the way we think), as we grow in trust and intimacy in our relationship with God.

The standard is perfection, so that you can keep moving in the right direction. So don't beat yourself up. Just arise, come to your Papa God, let Him clean you up, and keep moving forward.

“And why do we fall, Master [Batman]. So we can learn to pick ourselves up again.” --Batman’s butler, Batman Begins (2005)

For more information on what it means to begin a relationship with God or to work through our problems with Him, I recommend my blog post “How to Quit Smoking in 3 Difficult Steps.”


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