That is probably one of the hardest questions I’ve ever had to ask myself. I never really thought that secular hip hop had hold of my life until I tried to let it go. There was just something about it. Once the beat hit you start bobbing your head, then the artist starts spitting lines that are perfectly laced over some hard hitting drums, and the lyrics dangle a lifestyle in front of you that you normally can only dream about.
It was early 2010 and I just rededicated my life for Christ. I was always into hip hop and loved everything about it. My iPod was filled with artists who spoke of everything in life I knew was wrong. Then the conviction came, BAM! Just like that the conviction grew so strong I just couldn’t handle it any longer. It was a tug of war with God. “Really God? Do you know how much I love this music? This is thousands of dollars worth, I just can’t throw it away…” , I argued. The battle would continue like this for weeks. God’s reply always was, “Yes, but you need to do this for me.”.
Never once before this moment did I ever consider music as an idol in my life. It never even crossed my mind that I couldn’t let this go without the strength of the Lord. This is when I knew that I really had a heart issue. Where I loved something so much I could not be without it. I’m the type of person who listens to music about 80% of every waking moment throughout the day. The struggle that I had with letting go was rooted so deep down because I made hip hop part of my identity. It was what I always did and I never thought twice about it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think all secular music is bad or that everyone has this issue. I just know that the Bible talks quite a bit about idolatry and when something has a tight grip on your life and it comes before God, then it’s definitely an idol. (See Exodus 20:3-6, 1 Corinthians 10:14)
It was one of the most difficult battles I’ve ever had with my flesh but I finally got the strength to delete it all. When I say all, I mean everything. MP3, CD, anything that could cause me to fall and be a victim to my idol again. When I finished I literally just sat there but my heart was at peace. It was almost like God was saying, “Thank you. Now you can follow me.”.
Fortunately I was able to find this little genre called Christian Hip Hop and was able to find music to put back on my iPod. Was this easy for me to do? Definitely not. Did I slip back a few times? I definitely did. This war was not won with just one battle. It took many and to my shame I lost a lot of battles. My turning point came when I just kept pushing and fully grabbed onto God and let Him help me. That is when I saw victory. Our flesh is too strong at times so it is not possible to defeat these struggles on your own.
I encourage you not to get discouraged if you are struggling with this or any addiction and are losing battle after battle. Keep your eyes on God and let Him help you claim victory over your flesh.
Did you overcome a similar situation? What did you do to claim victory over Satan? Leave a comment below and share your story.