Augustine’s autobiographical Confessions describes his long and winding journey to Jesus. On one occasion, he was riding to the palace to give a flattering speech for the emperor. He was fretting over his deceptive applause lines when he noticed a drunken beggar “joking and laughing.” He realized the drunk already had whatever fleeting happiness his shifty career might bring, and with much less effort. So Augustine stopped striving for worldly success.
But he was still enslaved by lust. He knew he couldn’t turn to Jesus without turning from sin, and he still struggled with sexual immorality. So he prayed, “Grant me chastity . . . but not yet.”
Augustine stumbled along, torn between salvation and sin, until finally he had enough. Inspired by others who had turned to Jesus, he opened a Bible to Romans 13:13–14. “Let us behave decently . . . not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality . . . . Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”
That did it. God used those inspired words to break Augustine’s chains of lust and brought him “into the kingdom of the Son . . . in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13–14). Augustine became a bishop who remained tempted by fame and lust, but he now knew whom to see when he sinned. He turned to Jesus. Have you?