Doing abstinence with God—putting Him in charge of defining it, letting Him guide us in applying it, relying on His strength to live it—elevates abstinence to a holy sacrament. With God, the spirit of abstinence becomes one of joyful surrender, as our willingness to live the truth becomes blessed and sanctified by Him.
When you come to realize that there is something in this world that you have to abstain from, that you have to give up in order to make the most of your life, and you willingly give it up so that you may come closer to God, you are performing a sacrifice unto Him—the sacrifice of your broken heart and contrite (teachable) spirit.
Sacrifice was never intended to be simple. Sacrifice hurts sometimes. Abstinence hurts sometimes, too. It’s not easy all the time, though it gets easier the longer you stay with it. But, even then, even after a long period of abstinence, there are moments—sometimes minutes, sometimes hours—when it gets hard again.
But it never gets impossible.
That’s because when you’re doing your abstinence with God—acknowledging God, looking to God, praying to God, studying the scriptures of God, listening to the promptings of God given through the Holy Ghost—you’re doing it with God.
And with God, nothing (not even abstinence) is impossible. (See Mark 10:27)
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