Sunday, June 24, 2012

Challenging God

How many of us can remember the time we did something that we knew that was wrong but did it anyway? In fact, we totally ignored the small voice of our conscience speaking in our ears not to go there. When I was a lot younger, that type disobedience was more frequent than not. The world labels it ‘youthful exuberance’ or as the motion picture, society labels it, “A Rebel without a Cause,” but the Bible calls it flat out rebellion. Some folks seem never to grow up and the youthful exuberance turns into right out sin. There are times in my life that I totally dismissed the inner voice and went on with my intentions. Let us face the truth of the matter. It always feels better to disobey than to obey. Neo-pagans say that if what you want to do does not hurt others, then by all means do it. In other words, we give ourselves license to do whatever feels good. The Bible calls this licentiousness or lewdness of the flesh.  Despite all we have been taught and instructed God’s wonderful grace does not give the child of God license to sin. We commit sin because of the simple fact that we are Adam’s children, children of the fallen race of Eve; fallen to sin because of our unbelief of what God says He means. The world at large has a legitimate excuse, but on the other hand, Christians do not. However, ignorance will not be an excuse when the time of judgment comes to the earth. What we do comes natural to the flesh and we do not seem to have any qualms with performing evil continually until God intervenes with His Holy Spirit. I noticed at a very early age my own children would lie in their crib and as a baby lie about anything just to get our attention. They would not be satisfied with lying there playing with their little trinkets; they wanted more. The child achieved this by lying through crying, tearfully asking to be coddled thereby escaping the confines of the crib. This type of behavior continues throughout our entire lives until something or someone intervenes and brings to a halt or at the least curbs our devious ways of deception. With this information at hand now, I ask the question again: how many of us challenge God every day. I raised my hand. If you would be honest with yourself, you will raise your hand too.

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” 1Samuel 15:23

There is a Greek word that comes to mind and that word is hubris. Hubris means extreme pride and or arrogance to the point of challenging God. Somewhat like youthful exuberance or rebellion but on a slightly lesser scale. There seems to be degrees of hubris. Sometimes, hubris can become a criminal act when someone gloats over a victim or conquest such as war. The Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was always carrying on in this manner. I remember seeing the Nazi films were Hitler danced a little jig on camera when gloating over the fall of Paris, France in the very beginning of WWII. This can happen to anyone who leaves his or her desires and lusts unchecked for a long period. Some will use mind-numbing narcotics such as valium or alcohol to quiet the voice in their mind long enough so they can find a little pleasure in their sin for a season. The strategy is if they can hold their conscience at bay long enough they will have more pleasure in committing the sin they so enjoy. The truth of the matter is that Satan attacks the mind and for the most part that is humankind’s weakest point. Even intellectuals have weak places in their mind. It is a design flaw by design of God. There is no such thing as superman in reality; there is always a flaw in there somewhere.

Satan will use anything to control the mind, even to coerce people to commit murder and suicide in the same instance. If Satan cannot get you to commit murder then maybe he can get you to commit adultery. So many people commit adultery without the aid of alcohol or drugs. Even in the church, you can find people that have committed adultery and act as if it was nothing. This is a blatant disregard of God’s Word. This is the very sin Adam and Eve was found guilty of, disregarding the Word of God, which carries a heavy toll in the end. A fact remains for Christians is that we will face the Bema Seat of Christ.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
Hebrews 9:27

Evidently and by our volition, it just feels good to figuratively give God the middle finger and go on in defiance of His word only to prove they can. People will purposely take the name of the LORD in vain. Cursing their way through life and not realizing they will give an account of every word they utter.  It is their way of slandering and getting back at God.  Therefore, so-called Christians do this all the time. One’s actions reveal the heart’s desires. Little do they know the repercussions will follow just as seeds sown into the wind will find lodging to grow someday.

“Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.” 1Corinthians 3:13

Whether or not we as Christians realize it, we commit spiritual adultery just about every day we live. By spiritual adultery, I mean that we can turn like a chameleon into a worldly person and commit spiritual suicide through the worship of idols. Another truth is anything, if pursued in the world that is not of God, is deemed and classified idol worship by the Bible. If I am not careful, for example, I could become guilty of idolizing my favorite barbeque restaurant by worshiping this delicious treat. I could turn Eastern Carolina vinegar pork barbeque into an idol very easy by just ignoring the warning reminders of my conscience. I am beginning to salivate. The Holy Spirit that resides in me tries to warn me to back off and give my lust for barbeque a time out. I know that too much pork of any kind is not a healthy or wise choice. It can cause severe health problems at an early age. So you might be asking, why do it at all if I know it might be bad for me? Therein lays the dilemma. See, I am human after all. I also love to smoke cigars but I totally refrain from that practice all together with the help of a Holy Ghost conviction. On the other hand, I do not possess a Holy Ghost conviction for the use of pork as of yet, mainly because I have not asked the LORD for one. The fact is that Satan will use and attack us with anything and everything to get us to destroy ourselves. He will not have to lift a finger because he knows just how weak-minded we all are. He uses this underhanded knowledge of us all with discretion.  I know to some people that might sound silly and extreme, but it accounts for so many people committing gluttony, which leads to obesity and other health related problems. Yes, there is no doubt committing gluttony is outright sin. It is a deliberate attempt to destroy God’s creation and the dwelling place of His Holy Spirit. God does not want this for His children; would you want it for yours?

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
1Corinthians 3:16

Another truth is that America is overweight and it is because we do not control the insatiable desires of the mind and heart. We do these things in total disregard of our health and personal mentality. Yes, Satan will use food to destroy you if you let him. This one place I am sure we all could use a Holy Ghost conviction; I know I need this for myself. This is the reason we are encouraged by the Word of God to cleanse ourselves daily by reading and praying over God’s Word. The Word of God is the cleansing agent for the child of God administered by God’s Holy Spirit. It is just this simple, if God does not curb our fleshly lusts and desires through the daily reading of His Word and praying for our daily needs, there is no hope for any of us. Even the self-helps of Ala-non including the twelve steps from addictions cannot help. Addictions of any kind are open sin and be taken away with entirely by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. It just comes down to whether or not we really want help. All we have to do is just ask the LORD and He would be glad to oblige. There is a saying in the rescue ministry that you cannot help someone until the person has bounced off the bottom. Only then can you present Jesus to a person to help them with their addictions. These type people live in constant denial of their sin and situation.

“If we say that we have fellowship with him {God}, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1John 1:6-10

Our addictions of the flesh, whether it is gluttony, pornographic material, use of tobacco products, alcohol consumption, illegal narcotics, or just being ungrateful, unthankful, and complainers is unmistakably a mirror of the heart itself. Sin is sin is sin. These vices of choice prove to ourselves who really is in charge of our life. It is an undeniable fact for the Bible tells us so.

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:” Proverbs 23:7

Not to worry though little lambs; there is a balm in Gilead. Christ Jesus is the answer to all our problems. We can only be convinced of this fact by the Holy Spirit of God. As I said before, sometimes we have to bounce off the bottom first. So many times, we really do not want to heal because we rather enjoy our sins, even if just for a season. The reality of all this is if we do not possess a Holy Spirit conviction of any of these things that plague us, there will be no healing to be had for any of us. In some instances of my life, I came to realization that I needed help with my lusts and desires, good and bad. I found myself praying and asking the LORD for help, to give me relief from the sins that so easily beset me. Today, I stand relieved of these sins of evil conception. By the power of my LORD Jesus, Satan found himself in full retreat. Only by the Grace of God have I found peace of mind and peace in my soul.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 {words of Christ in red}

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