“You can stay home from school today,” my wife explained to my teenage daughter who will remain nameless. “But you need to clean the kitchen before I get home from work.”
My daughter had been suffering from some pretty severe sleep issues, going about three days without sleep. When my wife came to her room early that morning to wake her up, my daughter was laying in bed, staring at the ceiling.
In agreement with my wife, I let her sleep until 2:30 that afternoon (I work from home). But when I woke her up, I reminded her that she had about an hour to clean the kitchen.
An hour later, she still hadn’t touched it.
“I told you that the kitchen needed to be clean by 3:30,” I told her.
She stood there and gave me the look that says, You’re not the boss of me.
“I cleaned the kitchen last time,” she spat back at me. “Make [sister] clean it.”
“[Sister] was at school all day while you were sleeping,” I scolded the daughter in question. “Mom told you she would let you stay home from school under one condition—that you clean the kitchen.”
At that point, the other sister chimed in and only made matters worse.
“You need to shut up and do what he says.”
And with that, the daughter in question walked out of the kitchen, marched into her room, and slammed the door.
Anyone out there want a daughter to raise for the next three years?
Nevertheless, this very recent conversation reminds me our study in 2 Peter.
Peter, who was one of Jesus’ closest friends during his earthly ministry was nearing the end of his life. Followers of Christ were being persecuted. Peter, who was living in Rome at the time, knew his days were numbered.
As his life was winding down, teachers were appearing who were preaching a different gospel than Jesus. It was a gospel they said that Jesus gave them. But it didn’t ring true with Peter and it didn’t sound like the Jesus who Peter knew.
“Your physical body is corrupt and cannot be redeemed,” they preached. “Your soul is incorruptible because Jesus has forgiven you. So anything you do cannot affect your soul. The grace of Jesus covers all our sins, so live as you please.”
God does want something from you
Two thousand years ago, church leaders dealt with this heresy, which theologians call “antinomianism” (meaning “no law”). The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia defines it as “The view that Christians are exempt from the demands of the moral law by reason of their reliance upon divine grace alone for salvation.”
At the beginning of his second epistle, Peter begins by explaining that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. Our flesh doesn’t and shouldn’t call the shots for the way we live. We looked at this last week. Then he writes,
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-7
Some of the terms in his list appeal to the inner person. “Goodness” and “knowledge” may or may not affect outward behavior. But then he adds “self-control” and “godliness” to his list. Those are definitely outward behaviors. Reading between the lines, he’s saying that our souls and outward behavior are inextricably tied together.
Interestingly enough, he tells his readers that they need to “make every effort” (that means “work hard”) at developing each one of the qualities on his list. To ensure he made himself painfully clear, Peter actually uses the phrase twice in the passage.
And if we don’t make every effort to grow in these qualities?
But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. 2 Peter 1:8-10
Basically, Peter is saying that God saved you for a purpose. The salvation we receive through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is free and available to everyone. But becoming followers of Jesus means dedicating to living like Jesus. It means growing in character and love, but also dedicating ourselves to living with self-control and godliness.
You were forgiven for a reason: to be like Jesus. You were forgiven to be effective and productive (literally “fruitful) in your relationship with Christ (see verse 8). And how can we be effective and productive? By adding faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, etc in increasing measure.
If you get to stay home from school–then make sure you clean the kitchen!
Receiving the grace of God without responding with our lives is akin to staying home from school with the agreement that we would clean the kitchen—and then, at the end of the day, refusing to follow through.
Believe me, I’m preaching to the choir. As I studied this passage yesterday, I realized that I have wasted years of my life just coasting in my walk with God. I’m ashamed to admit that far too often I have taken the grace of Jesus for granted and indulged in flesh-satisfying sin.
The good news is that I don’t have to live like that. I’m better than that because Christ lives in me. And you are too, if you’ve given your life to Jesus.
Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, Colorado with Eugene Scott. After the conflict cooled down, the daughter in question eventually cleaned the kitchen.
14 responses to “What God Wants From You”
In recently buying a new-to-me, very-good-deal, used car from “private owners” that my son (in TX) found on Craigslist (for me to negotiate here in NY), I had the astonishing (to me) experience of dealing with a very nice teen-age girl and her boyfriend,… I can’t tell you how long and drawn-out this process became — (waiting for an interstate Title to be delivered, amid real family problems/feuds/attitudes, and teenage female health “problems”/emotions/despair, etc.) — by the time the third month of waiting for a resolution to the unbelievable mess, was fast approaching, I was pretty much at my wits-end,… heart-broken for the girl, fearful for myself and the outcome, way over-extended and overly “invested” in the whole thing in many ways, financial & emotional,… I could finally only relinquish the whole thing to God — (Who I had been “trusting” all along) — and just prayed for an “all’s well that ends well” end to our multiplying mutual suffering, grief and torture,… (as my faith was getting wobbly and feeling very feeble by then),… Meanwhile, I felt like I suddenly had inadvertently acquired my own teenage daughter for the first time in my life,… all I can say is, “WOW!”,… my sympathy, love and concern for her were immediately activated, and they deeply affected my every move,… try as I might, I could not detach from them,… I was helpless and blind-sided!,… “Lord, deliver me!” was all I could pray,… thankfully for us all, we had a real “Christmas miracle” that I think involved someone’s behind-the-scenes heart softening,… and, shell-shocked, I’ve prayed, “Never again!”,… (“please-show-me-the-Title-before-I-give-you-a-cash-deposit” will be automatic from now on,…)
The hardest part was to determine reality from fantasy, real needs from imagined, wanting to help but feeling conned,… becoming so emotional,… I have no answers,… I’m just glad it’s all over & the car’s nice!,… and, as much as I liked her/them, I’m very relieved that once they didn’t have a ‘”car issue” to hold over my head, they seemed to be happy enough to “move on down the road”,…
I only had 2 sons,… (-:
They were/are different,… (-:
But, I WILL say, they can be rude!,… )-:
I WAS a teenage daughter,… I wasn’t always nice, but didn’t really realize it so much,… I’m sorry now for my past “teenage daughter” sins,… & happy to let someone else handle the girls,… I don’t think I’m very good at it,… The folks in TX seem to be doing a good job for my granddaughter (all of 3 years old!),… and I’m ALWAYS praying for them!,… (-:
I think I would try chamomile tea, strong prayer, diet intervention, sympathy, and definitely an “isolation chamber” now and then,… (& no caffeine!),… and probably for both: parents and children!,… it’s a really tough world out there for kids these days, making things harder for parents too,…
& I agree with you about Peter & our spiritual walk/mission here on earth,… “let your ‘Light Soul’ shine before men!”,… (courtesy “Godspell”),… Amen
& I sympathize w/ you & your daughter,…
Best Wishes & Love to you all!
now,… where ARE those car keys???,… I think I feel like taking a nice quiet little spin in my car,… see ya l8r!,… btw, I’ll be smiling at the passing world while I drive!,… (-:
Glad to hear you got the car! Hopefully it was worth the hassle.
Thanks for your empathy, Georgie-ann. Things did end out okay, but the moral of the story hit me hard.
Believe it or not, — (and I’m not sure we hear this “preached” much these days) — but I would have to give “long-suffering” credit for a lot of the spiritual (“personal”) growth that does actually “happen” to us internally, which we really couldn’t just decide to do or be by ourselves,…
How many personal, family, world, “impossible” situations have I been “in” where “no solution” or improvement could be found at the time,… a stalemate, a “personality problem,” a checkmate, a “no way out”, a chronic repeating “behavior problem” and “no insight” to change, accusations/blame, and so on,… the “fun stuff,” the human condition stuff,… I just happen to be someone that will try to bring out objections to/(observations of) certain things “gently” at first, and then grit my teeth for quite awhile (“praying”), before escalating an out and out, down and out, “brutal and bold” frank confrontation, where the “final answer” is usually to put distance between myself and said “problem,”… unless there’s some repentance and improvement somewhere along the way,…
Sometimes I try to “second guess” that rather loooong extended waiting period, where I make great efforts to not “rub salt in wounds,” and to suggest palatable and considerate compromises, to smile when I’m actually disappointed, and so on,… “giving things a chance,”… Sometimes it doesn’t even seem very “natural” or “realistic,”… and it’s often not really “all that much fun” either, even though I try very hard to make things as pleasant and as positive as possible for all concerned, (myself included),… but God seems to be at work, restraining impulsiveness, while growing deeper roots and greater and more broad cooperation with His purposes,…
Looking back, I can say that this position has, in fact, allowed many overall changes for the better to take place,… in the actual situations themselves, in the way I “look at things,” and how “others” have room to grow as well,… When we’re young,… (and want “instant results,”… lack appreciation, gratitude, and perspective,… are uninhibited about declaring our “demands,” opinions and “attitudes,”… and have no shame about “being in your face”),… our presumptuous “moves” block fair and healthy responses, but we don’t realize what we are doing,…
Beginning to take control of our own “self-expression” and “wants” — (which is the ONLY thing we really DO have any real control and authority over anyway/”self-control”) — allows a time for “something else” (especially if we’re praying) to influence and bring balance, growth and insight into the whole overall situation,… And my perspective my also change in better ways, right along with it!
We’re not nearly as capable and “hot stuff” as we think we are on our own,… pulling back and making room for God may be all we can do,… but then He can do a whole lot more,… and this is what we learn to depend on,… by restraining my “first (very human) impulses” and waiting on God, being “long-suffering” in the situations, praying “love” into the situations, we actually help God to do more,…
As we get older, the perspective learned from habitual “long-suffering” is actually very comforting,… no matter what “it” looks like, or how helpless we feel in the face of it,… God is still at work,… and that is always our Best Hope!,… The results are — (and should be) — His … and to His Glory!
edit: “And my perspective may also change in better ways, right along with it!
2 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience (long-suffering) have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
I’ve been trying to explain to “a” son, that conversations/discussions between friends, family — even with very possibly differing points of view — should be conducted more like an easy polite, even “friendly” game of tennis, that you want to be able to keep on playing,… so you need to show respect toward your so-called “opponent,”… treating him well, honoring him, even while trying to score, if you must,… But if you get so upset and consumed with proving and insisting on your own point only, that you have actually managed to annihilate/kill your opponent in a fit of rage, then that will be it, final,… the end,… game’s over, no more playing,… and that’s just NOT the point!,… of tennis as an ongoing sport,… or of conversations between friends,…
In this effort, I’m having faith in “my” (necessary) patience & behind-the-scenes prayers,… meanwhile, I’m long-suffering,…
James 5:7 “So be patient, brethren, [as you wait] till the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits expectantly for the precious harvest from the land. [See how] he keeps up his patient [vigil] over it until it receives the early and late rains.”
We’re in good company, God is waiting, too.
Even if we feel that our sincere personal efforts have been kind of half-hearted, imperfect, and less than successful, the (God enhanced) results will be amazingly much better than we have ever expected,… He KNOWS we can’t do it (make the changes) by ourselves,… but all He asks is that we try, open the door,… and our willing trying is exactly what He needs to be able to get involved with the rest,…
I’m really only able to say this “looking back,”… I didn’t actually feel this way going through most of it!,… the proverbial benefit of this kind of hindsight might be a God-given blessing and reassurance for our old age,… (either that or our “second childhood” brings with it new vantage points,… so I’m only trying to say, “Be encouraged,… no matter what,… God is on the job!”)
If it’s too difficult to manage to “do” (or “feel”) some of the more idealistic sounding things “of the Spirit,” — (love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, meekness/humility) — especially in certain inescapable “pressurized” and on-going irritating situations,… and if we really want to “try” to make a spiritual change possible,… the first/best step (for me!) was “to put on the brakes” on my own natural/automatic/self-righteous taken-for-granted position regarding “whatever” — (such as garbage that didn’t get taken out, AND OF COURSE SHOULD HAVE BEEN!!!),… and, WOW!, what a difference!,… Especially at a time when the new style feminists were justifying and encouraging themselves to “go for the throat!”,… “so much to prove & so little time!”, etc.,… I wasn’t REALLY a card carrying member of this philosophy, but I could still erupt and behave very badly anyway,…
So, if all else fails,… just “Stop!”,… don’t do anything,… don’t say anything,… If it’s all been coming from the natural man/woman’s fallen self-will/pride motivation/automatic functioning/point of view, then — as “righteous” a position as it might be from “my” ordinary perspective — it’s not really likely to ever be a “spiritual game changer” for anyone,… myself or my target,… just more frustrating futile “going nowhere” confrontations,…
My Southern mother used to say, “HOLD your horses!”,… (reign in that stubborn will),… give others some space and respect,… & “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”,… we’re like that,… we come that way,… The game changer is to get a grip on “spontaneous” (and even supposedly “sincere”) when it is basically self-promotion, disruptive and destructive,… which it can be,…
For me, this technique (just “Stop”) was the beginning of Peter’s “self-control” work,… and I believe it provided a very necessary pathway for other things to develop in better ways,… I didn’t abandon good values or principles,… I kept and probably grew an even better “backbone”,… but I kind of lost “tacky” which was a good thing,… Often, waiting for a proper response, rather than pushing for one, felt humiliating or insulting in the meanwhile, but this is a “flesh pride” that is completely unnecessary and almost always counter-productive,… let it die,… let it waste away,… refuse to nourish it,… & better things (greater inner strength, real positive self-value, good tolerance, patience and generosity) can begin to grow in its usurping place,… For me, this has been the “rubber meets the road” way to “working out my own salvation”, spiritual development, growth, transformation,… I try to pull up some noticeable “weeds”/hindrances/blocks, plant some scriptural seeds of hope, water steadily with praise, worship and the Word,… God seems willing and able to germinate the rest,…
It can feel like a very slow, barely noticeable process for a really long time,… Maybe He has to somewhat hide it from us, or our not-yet-dead human pride would begin to “take credit where credit wasn’t due”, and throw off, divert, or stunt the whole process,… If He is “keeping us humble”, even frustrated and discouraged, let us not give up hope,… (& these are even possibly “very good signs”!),… He knows how He must work with us,…
Spiritual growth isn’t about “being the best” or getting an award, or anything that we can take pride in or boast about ourselves,… “Grateful” is more like the proper response to realizing that God has loved me so much as to make me more like Himself inside, when I was once so far away,… so “lost at sea” in the swells of human futility, ignorance and pride,… thinking I knew and understood things,… never realizing that I didn’t even “have a clue”,…
11 “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
1 Corinthians 3:7 “So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”
Job 22:23 “If you return to the Almighty [and submit and humble yourself before Him], you will be built up; if you put away unrighteousness far from your tents,”
Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?”
a little more on the same theme:
James 4:7 [ Humility Cures Worldliness ]
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
1 Peter 5:5 [ Submit to God, Resist the Devil ]
“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’”
If all we are really best able to do at first, personally, is to shun/resist/avoid what is “wrong”/evil, as God has revealed it to us through His Word, (via His prophets), then being well acquainted with His expressed basic Will is very helpful and important for us. Considering the “Law”, especially as God’s Old Testament “guidance” to us (the Law as a “teacher”), will help us to understand exactly what “choices” — (of the myriad suggestions, temptations, and both “natural” and powerful political/media “come-ons” that will inevitably present themselves to us in life, one way or another) — we should purpose in our hearts and minds to avoid.
God wasn’t “kidding around” when He gave the Commandments to Moses for the Jews. This was His loving provision to warn, teach and guide the people. Now, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can be strengthened further in our resistance and our understanding can become more clear. The Law will help us decipher Truth from error in so many “politically correct” but spiritually “very incorrect” options. If our respect for these differences is sincere and solid, we can much better avoid becoming confused.
1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”
Now, as Christians, as we purpose to resist evil/temptation, we are helped by the Holy Spirit to have the strength for this and also to grow in so many more ways, spiritually. This all makes “good sense” as far as a way to begin a “spiritual walk with God,” and to open the door to His continuing working within us: the Transformation of something that has begun as clay, and who knows what the eventual blessings may be that are in store for us?
1 Corinthians 2:9 “But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [ who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].”
Once we are weaned off clinging to our “natural inclinations,” worldly attitude conditionings, and many false suppositions about God and Life, the picture really can become much clearer,… even sensible,… who knew?,… and yet God has already placed everything there before us,… It is for us to “get on board,”…
Matthew 7:6-8 [Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking]
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Everyday, (as Brendan says), can be an adventure,… possibly even deeper into “the unknown” … … … only God knows,… be blessed!
Galatians 3:19-25 [Purpose of the Law]
19 “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.
21 “Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were KEPT UNDER GUARD BY THE LAW, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our TUTOR to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”
Words of Paul:
14 “But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, BELIEVING ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAW AND IN THE PROPHETS. 15 I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. 16 This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.”
1 Timothy 1:9 ” … knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, … ”
1 John 3:4 [ Sin and the Child of God ]
“Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”
Romans 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for BY THE LAW IS THE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN.”
Romans 3:31 “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, WE ESTABLISH THE LAW.”
14 “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”
[From Slaves of Sin to Slaves of God]
15 “What then? Shall we sin because we are NOT UNDER LAW but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”
Romans 7:7 [ Sin’s Advantage in the Law ]
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.'”
Romans 7:12 “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.”
Romans 7:14 “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.”
The Law is Good. It teaches us about what sin is,… but itself, it cannot save us.
So, thanks be to God:
Romans 8:1-11 (excerpted)
8 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. … 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. … 11 … if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
Christ died to make a “new nature” available to us,… this new nature of God’s Spiritual Grace, is the opposite of flesh and sin. It is the antidote by which we are made able to partake of and participate in Eternal Life,… which operates according to Genuine Love,…
Hebrews 8:10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: ‘I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'”
Romans 13:8-10 [Love Your Neighbor]
8 “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore LOVE IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW.”
Somewhere in the “above,” is mentioned being slaves to sin OR being slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:16). It’s one or the other. Sin IS by definition “lawless” (1 John 3:4). Sin automatically breaks God’s “Laws”. It is automatically, therefore, “criminal,” and by intent, opposes ALL the righteous works of God. Sin, as an influence, is really to be “feared”/treated with healthy respect,…
Notice that our “political systems” try to “control” the chaotic and rebellious effects of sin by making and enforcing (poorly) more and more “laws.” Observe how effective this has been in changing “man’s nature” and inclination to sin,… not.
Sin, itself, is incapable of repentance, and will be condemned. It is a destroyer and a bad choice of taskmaster to “go along” with. This is why God has loved us enough to “warn” us and TEACH us through the Law: instructing us to learn what sin is, how it functions, how to recognize it, and to endeavor to REFUSE/(resist) to cooperate/”fall in” with its ways.
Sin operates according to its own “rules,” and is governed by forces that hate God (and are hated by God), which endeavor to control us, enslave us. The rudiments of sin indwell our flesh nature. Everyone has them. Sin tries to make us its willing “puppets,” tempting us with all manner of “bait” and self-justifying “excuses” and high-minded false “philosophies.” Once firmly “hooked,” it can be hard to escape the pulls and the power of the anti-God vortex that it commands,… talk about the dangerousness of tornadoes!,… We should “be on the look-out” for the effects of sin-tornadoes as well,…
Flesh qualities of pride, self righteousness, jealousy, lying, rebelliousness, hatred, greed, falseness, manipulation, and so on, — including many subtle “pretenders” and pretenses of “godliness” — all fulfill the self-seeking motivation and goals of sin. Some sin is downright ugly and obvious enough to most, but some effectively masquerades as “righteousness,” and may be able to deceive us. Of such are the scriptural “angels of light.”
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
13 “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”
It is also automatic that flesh that is broken and infected in these ways — “wounded” from the “fall” — will continue on the path of wounding others. This is what we do,… what “natural man”, operating in darkness and blindness, does. Witness the “world situations,” the novels, the dramas, and even things in our own personal lives,… It’s “all about” the prideful, the pompous, the bitter, the “wounded”, the conniving, the cheating/the cheated, and the driven, continuing to lash out, to hurt and wound others. A very painful, bitter and unending cycle, if left on its own.
That which is broken, imperfect, hurting and unhealed itself, is not very well able to heal others,… and this produces much sadness in the human condition,… it’s not really a very “pretty picture.” … … …
BUT FOR GOD,… need a Savior, anyone?,…
If sin is all about wounding, hurt, damage, guilt and vindictive hate, God, through Jesus, is all about healing, blessing, integrity/wholeness, innocence and restorative Love. Two very different and opposed “worlds” operating by two very different sets of forces, “laws”/rules, and principles.
(Possibly, in life, think of how two different “invisible” broadcast signal “frequencies” exist side-by-side simultaneously, coming from different sources,… Both are actually available, but you may only tune in personally to one or the other,… you have to deliberately discern, decide and choose,… sin seems to be the “default” human frequency setting, but thankfully, God has provided us with a better choice,…)
God’s eternal realm has always been the stronger, and “beats out” satan’s intimidating and rebellious winds in a heartbeat, but the CHOICE between them is ours, at this point in time, to make. Will we grasp onto the solid oak tree, leaving our back to the besetting and threatening storms, finding provision, shelter and strength and rescue for the vulnerable soul of man?,… or will we miss our opportunity?,… our second chance?,… our chance to “get it right” this time?,… and eventually become part of the damaging storm ourselves?
19 “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may CLING to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
“Doing nothing” — (as refraining from the sinful act/reigning in the destructive impulses/resisting sin) — is far superior and much more effective, while one stands solidly in the strength and confidence and true knowledge of the Lord. This kind of continued “presence” and spiritual integrity often “speaks volumes” to the flimsy temerity and foolishness of the pretentious, but insistent, droning, sinner,… Self-control, “silence” and reserve, become a good backdrop for that illuminating “word spoken in season,”… or even “The Look!”, if necessary,… (-:
Proverbs 15:23 “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!”
“The Lord GOD has given Me
The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.”
2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
God has worked very long and hard — even giving His all — to present us with this very important soul, spirit and life saving information, His Word,… Do we value it enough?,… Are we paying enough attention to the basic things He urgently wants us to know?,… Or are we just distracted by so many other things?,… Do our entertainments command more of our life and soul involvement than God?,… Do we know why?,… Are we being truly wise?,… Do we love God, and His revealed Word/Truth, as He deserves to be loved?,… He has given it All to us to save us,… He wants us to CLING to Him,…
Sin IS by definition “lawlessness” (1 John 3:4).
… and eventually become part of the damaging storm system ourselves?
Here’s an interesting way to look at it:
Once upon a time, mankind lived in the Garden of Eden, and chose satan,… Now we live in the garden of satan, and our “job”/chance/opportunity is to choose God,… seems fair enough,…
Maybe one of the things we have to learn is where, when and how, to really say “no” and really mean it.
Pingback: Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, and the Prevention of Truth Decay | The Neighborhood Café