At least I'm not a dollar short! I was trapped at home again yesterday with our kids and Owen takes possession of my laptop once I walk in the door. All I could do was helplessly look on while he watched the same DVD about 40 times.
Anyhoo, today I want to go back to the comment section from last week. The scriptures that Pastor Keith posted are powerful (and I am going to add one verse for good measure):
The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don't participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don't let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.
(Romans 13:12-14 NLT)
First, I'm struck with how many times in scripture that the old us and the new us are compared to outfits that we can take on and off. This isnt the only passage that tells us to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ".
Have you ever found yourself to be picking up those old clothes again? I have. And it looks like I have much to say about what outfit I will put on.
Yes, I need the Holy Spirit to fill me and give me power to live, but at least part of it is my decision to take off the old clothes and put on some new ones. For sure, the first passage that Keith quoted from Galatians 5 shows that our choice without God's Spirit empowering us is going to cause us to lose that battle that is constantly going on with our flesh, but am I determined to cooperate with Him?
I particularly like Keith's closing thought - "don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires."
The Greek literally means to not give forethought, care or supply to fulfill a longing that is forbidden.
For me, this is powerful. I have talked about radically amputating things that would cause us to sin. I had to cut off all chances of access to pornography, because if i were to fall to any sin - it would be that one. That meant internet reporting software and filtering of not only the internet but the tv, too. We are careful what movies we go see or rent and it has become such a part of our routine that we don't even think about it any more. We just do it. And the result is that, not only am I protected, but my whole family is too.
But this scripture takes it a step further. It says don't even give forethought of how you would fulfill that longing. It means that as soon as I find myself even thinking about ways that I could work around the blocks that I have put in place to protect me, I am in trouble. The first round of defense is exactly what Keith said - in our heads.
I feel like I am somewhat of a broken record on these things. I keep talking about the same things. But christian leaders are way too passive about it. A combination of the church's inability to hold people in leadership to a higher standard and the ability of people to keep their sin private has led to people teaching others when they themselves have yet to take off their dirty clothes.
God forgive us for being so callous and dismissive of His commands. God help us to put on the shining armor of right living and right THINKING (because the battle for right living starts there).
What do you think?