Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Day late, Again!

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?


Keith C said...

I think we spend more time defending our sinful thougts ( to ourselves before others) & actions than we do protecting our relationship with Christ!

I am not without fault in this area. I have allowed myself to make excuses for getting upset with people very easily!

Why is it that Chriatians get as close to sin as we possibly can and then we are suprised when we fall into that sin?

Christains fill nigt clubs, bars, liquor stores, R rated movies, and divorce court as much as anyone group.

Why don't we as "born Again" Christians run as fast and as far away from sin as we can?

Paul stresses that spirituality does not happen by self control, but by PUTTING ON JESUS CHRIST! Amputating all that is contrary and in opposition to Christ Will!

Paul writes in Colossians 3:2-10

"2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world.

8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.

9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.

10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him."

Enough said?

Paul tells us to seperate ourselves from the world!

Paul are you telling me to radically amputate some TV, movies, books, internet, music and relationships that are dragging me down?

Music ? This is a huge one that as a culture we do not get.

Music is meditation! I still to this day remember words of a song if I happen to hear the song that I have not listen to in 5 years!

It is amazing....... not really, there is nothing amazing about it! I meditated on it many years ago and now it is part of my mind, even though I do not want to remember.

God's Word is the same way!

We must fill our minds and thoughts with Holiness, we must meditate on it.

I could keep going on just in chapter 3 of Colossians alone.

Phil thanks for the blog, this is a cool way to sharpen iron!

Peace & Blessings

Charles said...

Hey Phil, Keith and the people of Musings!

I ask the very same questions! Whey do we keep doing what we know not to be the just thing in Gods eyes. Today in our class with the children we discussed Romans 7:21-25.

"So I find this law at work; When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging a war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?"

There are these inner battles for the war over right in wrong within the members of our bodies. We know about them, they happen all the time. We know that to win more of those battles we will need to clothe ourselves with Christ. Really what does that mean though! To me, like it has already been mentioned, we have to get serious about what we allow to enter our mind and eventually our heart. We cannot find reasons to allow what God would not want for our spiritual health. Just as our parents desired for us to be healthy and stay clear of things that could hurt us, so does God. But just as children do, we still rebel, knowing the truth.
Church, Christians, The Bible, Christian/Uplifting Music, Good Wholesome Movies, Family time, Prayer, Fellowship, and prayer closet time. Consistently working to do those better, for me, I think will help me be more prepared for the "day of salvation" and empty my closet of dirty clothes for ever.

Thanks guys, May the Lord bless your week....sorry for the late post...