Youth4Him Home

Being a Christian is Like Having an S.T.D
Brett Anderson ©2004

I got something exciting that God placed on my heart early on this week that I'm pretty sure will stick in your minds and hopefully we will all learn something from. I must warn you in advance that this week's is a somewhat different way of looking at things… but I trust that you will be challenged and encouraged by this as much as I was... (by the
way even if you start thinking "WHERE is he going with this?" read it through to the end before you do anything rash (pun intended) and turn off without seeing where I (and trustfully God) am going with this...

I was thinking to myself this week and suddenly the thought hit me (in a rather abstracty kind of way) that being a Christian is like having an S.T.D.

Whoo-hoo! I got you there! This is but an analogy and analogies all fall flat somewhere but think about it like this...

For those of you who don't know, "S.T.D" stands for sexually transmitted disease and it is the general name for a number of diseases that get transmitted when people have sex...

So how is Christianity like that you ask? Well I'm so glad you did.

Think through this line of thought with me. The more you hang round with the wrong types of people the more likely it is that you will become like them (I'm not saying you will but the more likely it is, especially if you're not careful!)

For example the more you hang round people who swear a lot, the more likely you are to start swearing - just through influence and being around it.

Now sexually transmitted diseases are transmitted through sex, so the more times or more people you have sex with, the more likely you are to pick up one of those S.T.D's, true?

Okay I don't quite know if those two thoughts link up so well on paper and it will take too long to explain them fully so I'll move on right to the converse...

I was thinking back to the time when my life underwent a transition. I became a Christian when I was five years old and I knew what I was doing then and I fully understood that Jesus had died for my sins and made a way for me to get back to God and become His child.

But even though I had the belief I didn't so much have the action and my parent's can tell you how bad moody and horrible I was to be with often as a kid - it was like I was split-focussed - half of me fully believed in God and the things of God but the other half of me lived life the way I wanted to and acted to make myself feel good and did what I wanted.

But then there came I time when my life became all about wanting to serve God and be filled with the things of God. I can trace this back to the end of Standard 8 or 9 when my youth leaders at youth prayed for me to be what they called filled with the Holy Spirit.

At the time I didn't realise big-flashy-lights-and-fireworks-going-off-wise that a change had happened, but looking back that was about the time I could see the change in my life and it became obvious that that was what it was attributed to.

Instead of having previously wanted to be a lawyer and have dreams of doing this or that - my sole desire (soul desire even) became just to serve God - in any way, any how, anywhere...

And a few years later I arrive in London and after a few months I look at my life and realise that I have lost a lot of that - sure in my head I still have the desire and aim of that, but there's a little spark that's gone missing and I've described it to two of my friends recently as a chunk of me that's missing - and I wonder how I can get that back....

And this week it came to me in the form of this analogy...

Now if you go sleeping around with people who have S.T.D's you don't have to do much choosing in the matter - you WILL sooner or later get yourself one of those S.T.D's, maybe more - the more you spend intimate time with the S.T.D. people so the likelihood of you being affected by the S.T.D. grows.

It is EXACTLY the same with the Holy Spirit… and when at the end of this email I write that I hope you go and get your own S.T.D's I am talking about SPIRIT TRANSFORMED DESIRES!

When you spend time with the Holy Spirit - which is really 'God in you' - then you start to get the desires of God stirring with you...

And the more time you spend with God and the more intimate you allow yourself to become with the Holy Spirit, the more S.T.D's you will have, not just because you choose them, but because they will be a natural consequence.

As you spend more time with God you become more like God. But in the same way as talking to someone with an S.T.D. will not give you the disease yourself, so keeping your distance from God will make it a lot harder for His Desires to rub off on you.

In Ephesians 5:18 we are told "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit."

Galatians talks about "You, my brothers were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law." [6:13-18]

And further on in 22-25 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

There's the most awesome story of one of two guys in the Bible who never died. His name was Enoch and only about twenty words in the Bible are dedicated to him - but the reason he never died...? Well in Genesis 5:23,24 it talks of him and says "Altogether Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away." It seems like God spared this guy the whole process of growing old (365 was a young tyke at that time before the flood and God reduced man's years!) and dying simply because He walked with God.

Why do we struggle so much with sin (if we 'struggle' at all)? Why do the desires of the world cloud our minds and goals in life? Because we are spending too much time with worldly stuff and not with God.

Think of how the S.T.D. is transmitted - by the intimatest of close contact - well, that is how the Spiritually Transformed Desires are caught too. Note I use the word "Transformed" - God doesn't take instantly zap you and make you become like Him. He allows you to come to Him when you are ready and spend time with Him when you are willing...and as you do, so He begins to transform, to change your desires to those of His Heart...

Those are the S.T.D's I'm wanting for you to experience and those are definitely the S.T.D's I'm wanting God to grant me and over the next few week's, I'm going to be looking to spending more time with God and becoming more intimate with His Holy Spirit in me...and through that I have no doubt that I will see the chunk of me that's gone be restored and be greatly improved upon.

It's so simple (in concept anyway - putting it into action is the thing) - You just have to spend more time with God (which you can do while you're working and doing other things but also by pulling aside and setting time apart for just you and God as you would for any other relationship)

Exciting stuff. Don't be rash - seek those S.T.D's