I have been and am continuing to be on hiatus for awhile to dedicate myself to study and what God says to women and specifically to wives of unbelievers, seeking to honor Him and to both demonstrate my love and respect to my “beloved unbeliever” (who professes a type of belief but not genuine saving faith, so prayers please for him) and to win him without a word. Hard lesson, that…I’m a wordy kinda gal. But I am also a determined kind of gal. So prayers for this vacationing blogger as well please. Thanks! Have a blessed Autumn. I hope to return to posting sometime after Thanksgiving. In the meantime there are a few years worth of posts here…feel free to noodle around!
May we all live for the Lord and strive to honor Him in all we think, do and say. Remember, no sacrifice on our part, be it dying to self, speaking the truth aloud, or standing upright for the word of God in the midst of a godless and God hating world even comes close to the price paid to redeem our sorry sinful souls and bring us into the family of the one true and living God. So…buck up pilgrims! The road may be bumpy and frought with traps and dangers, but the One who walks with us and guides us every step is faithful.:-) See you soon! ~AGM ❤
“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:11-12)
A Christian has no desire for his past life of sin. As we see in our text, we should “flee these things” and “lay hold on eternal life,” putting off whatever is old and instead putting on what is new. The second verse of our study hymn “Higher Ground” expresses this as well.
My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where those abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
One of the most precious promises of Christianity can be found in 2 Corinthians 5:17, where we see that “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” We are told that we can put our old habits of sin behind us and live a new life in victory over sin and death. No longer can sin reign over us—we can live in victory. Even doubts and fears can be dismissed from our presence. Our God has promised throughout His Scriptures: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).
There is no need to be anywhere else. My prayer and my aim is to walk where He leads and be where He wants me to be. Only while there can we be assured of higher ground with Him. JDM
(Days of Praise)
The sins of the godly go nearest to God’s heart. The sins of the wicked anger the Lord. The godly man’s sins grieve Him. The sins of the wicked pierce Christ’s side. The sins of the godly wound his heart . . . How far from being godly are those who scarcely ever shed a tear for sin!–Thomas Watson, “The Godly Person Weeps”
Todd Friel….What IS repentance, really? How do you know if you have repented enough?? There IS a difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow…and we need to know that difference! “Truly repentant people confess BEFORE they are caught or found out AND they will do anything, ANYTHING, to make it right”. Does that describe you?
My dearest sister and friend shared this wonderful sermon from her pastor with me, and I am now sharing it with you. If you are like me, you will recognize yourself in some things he has to say. Not the great things, the things that expose the uck still within the heart….so if you do, I hope that you will join me in repenting of what God shows you here, and will be encouraged to have a new resolve to live as our dear Father commands, as well as the courage to confess the things you see to others so that they may be encouraged to do the same. Repentance without change is not repentance. Sure He helps us in being molded into His image, but WE have to do some work too. He is not our servant, we are His. So buck up….hold up that mirror, and show the truth of you to you through this really good sermon….and the word of God it contains. It rightly defines exactly what it speaks of. So we don’t have that “out” either. Hey…sanctification is a hard process, but one we must ALL go through if indeed we belong to Christ. If you wonder why no one can see your fruit…..perhaps one of the reasons is here:
Most of Psalm 131 is holy eavesdropping. We have intimate access to the inner life of someone who has learned to have a calm and quiet soul. This man isn’t noisy inside. He isn’t busy-busy-busy. Not obsessed. Not on edge. The to-do list and pressures to achieve don’t consume him. Failure and despair don’t haunt him. Anxiety isn’t spinning him into free fall. Irritation and dissatisfaction don’t devour him. He’s not stumbling through the minefield of blind longings and fears.
About the Psalm
First, think about who’s talking to us in Psalm 131.
We are listening to the inner conversation of someone whom God called “a man after His own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14).
In other words, this man processes life the way a human being is meant to process.
We know many things about David:
the youngest of eight brothers;
a fierce protector of his flock;
a young man with striking good looks and evident talent;
a skilled musician and poet;
a deadly soldier;
a loyal subject even while a fugitive;
a tender and faithful friend;
a savvy military and political strategist who secured the throne;
the husband of a harem and father of countless children;
an adulterer who murdered by proxy;
a broken-hearted penitent.
But two characteristics stand out.
First, the LORD chose David, anointed him, loved him, and blessed him – God was with David.
Second, David knew this LORD – he walked with God. We are listening in the words of such a man.
A millennium later, someone else lived this psalm even more fully.
Update the heading: A Song of Ascents, of Jesus.
Psalm 131 expresses Jesus’s life experience, the inner workings of His consciousness.
The Father’s chosen, anointed, loved, and blessed Son lets you listen in.
God who became a man thinks out loud for you.
Second, get a clear picture of what Psalm 131 is not.
What it is not.
It does not portray unruffled detachment or stoic indifference.
It’s not about having an easygoing personality or low expectations.
It’s not retreat from the troubles of life or retirement to a life of ease.
It’s not the quieting of inner noise that a bottle of scotch or a daily dose of Prozac produces.
After all, Jesus and David were both kingdom-builders in real life, real time.
They expected—and achieved—huge things in the midst of commotion and trouble.
They experienced pressure, joy, heartache, outrage, affection, courage.
So Psalm 131’s inner quiet comes in the midst of actions, relationships, and problems.
Third, understand rightly what Psalm 131 does describe – this calm and quiet is learned, and it is learned in relationship.
Such purposeful quiet is achieved, not spontaneous.
It is conscious, alert, and chosen.
It is a form of self-mastery by the grace of God: “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul.”
And it happens in living relationship with Someone Else.
1) We are “discipled” into such composure.
2) You learn it from someone.
Can we get to this quieted place, here and now, in our actual life? Yes, we can get there from here.
Psalm 131 aims to become our words as a chosen, anointed, loved, and blessed child.
Deliverance from Noise
Faith delivers us from our biggest problem, a proud self-will.
David says to the LORD, “I am not self-trusting, opinionated, and headstrong. I am not superior to others. I am not attempting the impossible.”
The process through which he was tamed is still implicit (until verse 2).
The reason for such astonishing calm and humility is still implicit (until verse 3).
We see the results first, and are intrigued.
David is quiet.
He has consciously distanced himself from everything that rattles inside us.
To be able to say “I am not something,” we must learn to identify the something.
What makes us so noisy inside? Turn the psalm into its opposite, the anti-psalm:
“Self, my heart is proud (I’m absorbed in myself), and my eyes are haughty (I look down on other people), and I chase after things too great and too difficult for me. So of course I’m noisy and restless inside, it comes naturally, like a hungry infant fussing on his mother’s lap, like a hungry infant, I’m restless with my demands and worries. I scatter my hopes onto anything and everybody all the time. ”
Proud hearts are the source of the noise.
Do you remember Alice in Wonderland, how Alice was either too big or too small?
Because she was never quite the right size, she was continually disoriented.
We all have that problem – we are the wrong size.
We imagine ourselves to be independent and autonomous: proud hearts.
We become engrossed in trivialities of our own devising.
We pursue grandiosities and glories.
We become afraid of our own shadows.
Seventeenth-century English had a great word for how we stir up much ado about nothing: vainglory.
Of course, this doesn’t seem like much of a problem while we busily telemarket our pride both to ourselves and to others.
“I just want a little respect and appreciation. Of course I want the things at home to work and the car mechanic to be honest. That’s pretty normal. I want approval and understanding, to be included. Is that too much to ask? I want the church to thrive, my sermon to go well, the worship to be biblical. It’s for God, after all. I want satisfaction and compensation for the ways others did me wrong. If others would just own up, and then treat me right. I don’t want much. If only I had better health, a little more money, a more meaningful job, nicer clothes, and a restful vacation, then I’d be satisfied. I want a measure of success—just a bit of recognition. I want control. Who doesn’t? Comfort, ease, convenience. Why not? I want to feel good. Doesn’t God want me to feel good? I want to feel good about myself, to have more self-confidence, to believe in myself. I want…well, I want MY WAY. I WANT THE GOODIES. I WANT GLORY. I WANT GOD TO DO MY WILL. I WANT TO BE GOD…Doesn’t everybody?”
Our slavery to selfish desires seems so plausible.
Our restless disorientation seems so natural, so desirable.
But it’s noisy.
Anxiety, irritation, despondency, or ambition makes sense from within the logic of a proud heart.
If you are not proud, then quietness and calm make sense.
It also comes with the territory that we are opinionated, routinely judging and belittling others:arrogant eyes.
Pride is not just about ME.. It’s also about you.
I must look down on you in some way.
I must establish my superiority in some way.
Some people wear their arrogance and superiority openly, and even boast of their boasting.
But our absorption in judgmental opinions runs very deep.
1) Pride says, “I’m right in myself.” Arrogant eyes say, “I’m right compared to you.”
2) Have you ever noticed that even people who feel lousy about themselves are judgmental towards others?
a) When we feel inferior to others, we don’t admire and respect them, or treat them with merciful consideration.
b) Instead, we envy, hate, nitpick, grumble, and criticize.
c) Even self-belittling tendencies—“low self-esteem,” self-pity, self-hatred, timidity, fearfulness, diffidence, fears of failure and rejection—fundamentally express pride failing,pride intimidated, and pride
d) Such pride, even when much battered, still finds someone else to look down on.
e) It is no accident that the church fathers discussed fear of man as a subset of pride when they contemplated the “seven deadly sins” besetting every soul.
I read about a woman’s description of this problem in her life.
She said that she had almost no true peers, people with whom she related eye-to-eye.
Her relationships were not characterized by generosity, openness, or trust.
There were a few “pedestal people” in her life, people she thought walked on water, who could do no wrong.
There were many, many “pit people” in her life, people she looked down on for one reason or other.
The two categories were connected only by an elevator shaft!
1) A person could fall off the pedestal and end up in the pit.
2) But no pit person had ever been rehabilitated.
She had a long history of disappointment in every relationship – family and former friends lodged in her mental dog-house.
Unsurprisingly, she was a woman with a lot of inner noise: fretful, self-preoccupied, easily offended, depressive, competitive.
But as she grew in Christ, she grew in calm and quiet.
As she learned to live in the way of peace, lo and behold, she began to discover peers and to build friendships.
Another way of putting this is to say that she stopped pursuing impossibilities.
That’s the third phrase in Psalm 131:1: not going after things that are beyond you.
Even the small, everyday things that everyone races after are, in fact, “beyond us.”
From our daily bread to our abilities and opportunities, these are gifts from God that we don’t control.
What happens when we attempt to control another person’s attitudes and choices, to bend them to our will?We set ourselves up for despair or rage, anxiety or short-lived euphoria, suspicion or manipulation.
What happens when we attempt to ensure that we will not get sick and die? We become obsessed with diet and exercise, or litigious towards doctors, or plagued with fear that any nagging pain might be the big one that finally gets us.
What happens when we are obsessed with getting people to like you? We become flirtatious or artificial, a coward or a deceiver, a chameleon or a recluse.
But when we pursue what we are called to pursue, calm and quiet in the soul follows.
III. The Process of Peace
To gain calm and quiet in the soul is to go through a weaning process.
Something that once meant everything to you comes to mean nothing.
Notice that you are definitively different at the end of the process.
You aren’t “sort of composed, sort of quiet, sort of weaned.”
You once were noisy, and now you’ve learned quiet.
Dying to your restless, fretful, and irritable ways does not come easily.
There is no technique, automatic formula, or pat answer.
To quiet your soul means literally to level it.
Bulldoze the building site.
To quiet your soul means to silence the noise and tumult, to quiet your desires, fears, opinions, anxieties, agendas, and irritabilities.
In verses 2-3, we see that David had gone about unplugging the noise machines and knocking down the stairways that led to nowhere.
This sort of composure and quietness is not apathy, but alertness.
It is conscious, not unconscious.
It is the poise of self-mastery by grace, not the carelessness of sleepy ease.
How do you purify your heart? How does a proud heart become a humble heart?
We do not wrestle ourselves down by doing penance.
We can beat on ourselves, resolve to mend our ways and still be proud.
We do not destroy the tumult of self-will by sheer will: “I will stop being irritable. I will stop being fretful. I will stop imposing my will on the universe.”
Can the leopard change its spots?
We are not strong enough; We are too strong.
We only wrestle ourselves down by the promises of God’s lovingkindness.
1) We need the invasion of the Redeemer in our lives.
2) We need great help, the way a drowning man needs great help from outside himself to rescue him.
3) Only one thing is strong enough to overpower and slay unruly cravings and a stormy life: what God promises to do in us and through us in Jesus Christ.
a) From God’s side, we escape ourselves by being loved by Jesus Christ through the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit himself.
b) From our side, we escape ourselves by learning a lifestyle of intelligent repentance, genuine faith, and specific obedience.
In the 1700s, Katarina von Schlegel wrote a hymn about wrestling to calm and quiet her soul. It is an extended personalization of Psalm 131:2, presumably written in the context of some great loss.
Be still, my soul. The Lord is on thy side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God to order and provide. In every change, He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul. Thy best, thy heavenly Friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Think about that, and still yourself. Remember the Lord’s favor, control, faithfulness, and friendship. Remain patient in your sufferings.
Be still, my soul. Thy God doth undertake to guide the future as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake. All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul. The waves and winds still know His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Why does she have to keep reminding herself, “Be still, my soul”? We need to be stilled. Who is strong enough to rule the unruly things that wail, rattle, or shout within us?
1) God is purposively active in His children.
2) He will have final say.
3) Christ ruled the storms, rules them still, and will rule them.
Be still, my soul. When dearest friends depart, and all is darkened in the vale of tears, then shalt thou better know his love, his heart, who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears. Be still, my soul. Thy Jesus can repay from His own fullness all He takes away.
Perhaps irreparable loss is the hardest thing to face.
1) A loved one dies, and will never again walk through the door to greet us.
2) We retire, and can never again return to the work into which we poured our talent, time, and concern.
3) We will never again be young.
4) No second chance to do our college years or that failed marriage over again.
5) Such things devastate us. Can we quiet ourselves? Jesus gives us himself.
Be still, my soul. The hour is hast’ning on when we shall be forever with the Lord, when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored. Be still, my soul. When change and tears are past, all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
Katarina von Schlegel was the ultimate realist.
Most of the noise in our souls is generated by trying to control the uncontrollable.
We grasp after the wind.
We rage, fear, and finally despair.
But this wise sister refocused onto a hope more enduring than fragile, destructible hope-so.
Be still, my soul. All that is hard now will be forgotten amid love’s purest joys.
This slight, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Cor 4:17).
Psalm 131 faith lives with eyes open.
David drives this home with a wonderful metaphor: like a weaned child on his mother, like a weaned child, my soul rests on me.
When a hungry child is placed on his mother’s lap, he is agitated.
He moves around, squirming anxiously.
If he doesn’t get immediate attention and satisfaction, he frets and fusses.
He is frustrated and cranky because he wants something.
He needs something – the mother’s milk means life, health, satisfaction, joy.
If the mother doesn’t deliver right now, he’ll thrash about.
His emotions range over the whole spectrum of noisy, negative emotion.
In this imagery, we witness the childish versions of things that destroy adults: anxiety, depression, anger, jealousy, discontent, and confusion.
But then have you ever seen that same child two weeks later, when he is successfully weaned?
The difference is amazing!
A dramatic change has taken place.
Now when that child is placed in his mother’s lap, he sits quietly, giving his attention in a different direction.
The child rests upon his mother, at peace.
The child has changed.
That’s the picture of learning peace.
The Reason for Peace
The last line gives the reason – The LORD, Jesus Christ, is our hope.
Pride dies as the humility of faith lives.
Pride and arrogance lowers their eyes as the dependency of hope lifts up its eyes.
We stop pursuing impossibilities when we start pursuing certainties.
This simple sentence distills wonders.
Consider the command and invitation you are now receiving.
We are called to hope in the LORD.
Who is this person who topples all the stairways to nowhere and gives us something better?
He is the true God, the only Redeemer from the idols we construct.
Our hope is in “I AM,” who becomes known simply as “the Lord.”
Eventually, he more immediately and personally names Himself: Jesus Christ is Lord.
What exactly are you to hope for? Jesus Christ himself.
1 Tim. 1:1 – Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope…
We are called to such hopes now and forever.
David speaks in a generality, literally, “from now until forever.”
That pretty much covers the territory!
But the time frame of our hope is even more clearly defined than David could have known.
We hope fully on the grace to be given you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:13).
Both now and forever shine with newer, brighter meanings for us who read Psalm 131 in the light of Christ.
(This does not mean you can play make believe and plaster on “grace” and continue in your old ways, or decide that you are already okay and don’t have to address anything here. If you continue in your old ways, even some of them, I would really begin to question the veracity of my profession if I were you. What it DOES mean is that you simply cannot continue in your self centered, haughty, proud, cowardly or “positive self assessing” ways. You belong to the biblical Christ. You have to LIVE it. It’s your choice. Life. Or death. You decide. If you love the Lord He will be everything to you, you will not be your main focus nor will you be constantly trying to get your own way. You will be working in conjunction with the Holy Spirit to live HIS way. You will step up no matter how difficult because it is CHRIST’S reputation that is on the line in that, through you. If you find that you are doing some of or all of the things listed above, you need to repent and stop it. And if you truly repent, then you WILL obey His clear commands found in His word, regardless of how foreign to the flesh they may be or how difficult it may make your “world”, or how hard that self crucifying is. Being in Christ is a matter of dying to self and living FOR Christ alone. No man comes away from a true rebirth and lives even close to the same as he did before the event. As in birth of the flesh, does one come out of the womb and then live in a fetal position, seeking food from an umbilical cord, living in the dark? No. And it is the same in spiritual rebirth. No one continues to live as before except the still dead in flesh, and God says that only leads to what? You got it! Death. Listen…we can be David or we can be Saul….I choose to be David, or the female equivalent. I want to be a woman after God’s own heart. Not a woman who breaks it. How about you? His “well done” or His sorrow at seeing the yuck inside that you want to keep and not give up? And really….if you want to keep it, how can you ever truly have Christ, or THINK you have Christ? Ain’t no room for the “Me Me’s” in the Kingdom. We can only wrestle ourselves down by the promises of God’s lovingkindness and specific obedience. Only through our Redeemer. Think about it. If you wanna talk, I’ll be in the repentance corner….pull up a chair.)
Ladies…this is what your husband is biblically commanded to do….no matter what anyone else promotes or condones. THIS. Any man who calls himself a Christian will do this. It is what Christians DO. If he does not, if he turns instead to other guys, groups, anyone else, he is living in willful disobedience. And no one who is of Christ makes a practice of sinning. Disobedience is as the sin of witchcraft….what kind of Christian practices witchcraft?? This would be man who wants to live in isolation, as a single man, and who probably uses those he talks with in a dishonest manner to shore up his own deceived heart in thinking he is somehow saved, and works hard to keep everyone from talking to one another, as what he says he does not want you to know about. Which means he is hiding his sin from you (very bad thing to be doing) as well as probably using you as an excuse for the obfuscated sins he will cop to. The safe ones. The ones he probably has been using as a crutch while “sincerely” wanting to rid himself of them. Bottom line…he is lying somewhere and using you as an excuse and a cover instead of taking full responsibility for his sin and to eradicate it. Awkward.
Now…ladies, if you are not adhering to this as well…and I realize it is not a safe thing to be doing with men who are sociopathic or who lie to cover their sin, or who have abandoned the marriage or who are choosing to live chronically single(as delineated above) …..but if God says it, we must do it regardless and leave the consequences to HIM to deal with. I doubt that any good will come of you sharing that your struggle is with your sin loving husband, so maybe stick to personal growth in Christ things. And if your husband is as mine is and too many times takes what you say about your struggles or your own insights and uses it for his own “insights” when he is talking to people who are not you but should be…(yes, honey…you)….let him. If he is so dull of mind and heart that he cannot see his own, again….God will deal with him in that one way or the other. Either now, or when he meets Him face to face. We cannot live playing the second guess game, it’s insane….so just LIVE, and live freely in Christ, doing as He says, and leaving everyone else to Him to deal justly with. He WILL reward all you know. Make sure yours is a crown. Your husband…that’s his problem to work out. Who knows, Maybe your husband will tell you he doesn’t want to know. If he’s a schmuck that is an easy thing to submit to, right? 😉
And if your husband or wife is a truly godly person, this probably is not for you except to remind you that your obedience of God’s word will be rewarded well. Keep on doing what you have been, obeying the word, being accountable to Him and to your spouse first, and growing in Christ-likeness and in closeness to the one God has given you to cherish and to help you grow. And know how blessed you truly are in that! God be praised!
“When you’ve sinned against your spouse, is it important to bring all that out into the open? Isn’t it enough that we were broken before God? Why take my husband/wife through all that pain?
What should you tell your wife (or your husband) about the struggle you’re having? Anything?
Faithfulness in marriage cuts both directions but for the Christian, the Bible lays the greater responsibility on the husband who is supposed to be leading his family as their spiritual head and loving his wife as Christ loved the Church, so that’s who’s under the limelight, here.
Like clockwork, at the annual men’s retreat the topic of lust will inevitably come up, along with strategies for taming the monster. Before long, the speaker is advocating“getting real” with your “accountability partners” – that group of a few guys to whom you tell all.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with getting together with your buddies and confessing which pigpen you’ve been wallowing around in. And it is alittle uncomfortable to talk openly and pray with the guys for victory over the various ways you’ve been committing adultery.
Hey, wait a minute . . . I’m not an adulterer!
Really? According to whom?
Jesus said that merely looking at a woman with lust is committing adultery. So even if we’ve kept the sin discreetly inside our minds, looked at magazines when nobody’s looking, or erased the porn history on our computers, its adultery by God’s definition – you know, the one that matters.
Time to get the accountability group together . . . I can tell them but I definitely can’t tell my wife. It would really hurt her and I want to spare her the pain.
Every married man understands this logic. When we’ve sinned sexually against her, our wife is the last person on earth we want to talk to about it.
Question: Is it really because we want to spare her the pain or spare ourselves the shame?
There’s something too easy in telling only the guys – all of whom struggle or have struggled with sexual sin. There’s a safe comfort in the fellowship of failure. It’s a no-risk proposition. After all, you’re confessing your sin (against another person who isn’t present) to a group of guys who have pledged that no matter what you’ve done you will never be rejected and nothing, absolutely nothing, of what gets said will violate the gag-order you’ve all agreed to.
That’s not what Jesus did.
He became sin in front of the very person against whom the sins (our sins) were committed: God. And, Jesus bore the shame and the pain of God turning his face from him. He was physically tortured, bleeding, and shamed – hanging off nails, buck-naked for everyone to see.
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
Jesus didn’t hide from shame. Neither should we.
Your wife is the accountability partner God provided for you.
And, wives, your husband is the accountability partner God provided for you.
According to Him, the two of you are one single entity (the two shall become one) and your bodies belong to each other, made crystal clear by 1 Cor. 7:4.
A lot can happen when we don’t hide our sin from our wife – when we confess and ask for forgiveness. She will be hurt. She might even reject you. Sin brings shame, pain, and consequences.
But, there’s something that happens when we’ve borne the shame of our sin before our wife. What once had a hammerlock on our conscience begins to lose its grip.
Confess to your wife and drag Sin, kicking and screaming, into the light where you can get a good look at what a powerless wimp it really is.
So, step into the light with your real accountability partner. Tell her (or him!) you don’t want to just say you are one but to live that way from now on.
Circumstances will vary and applying this principle will not look the same in every marriage but for most, this is how God would have men and women deal with the sin they’ve committed against each other – even the most shameful kind.
When we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
God bless you as you walk in the true oneness of unity.
I think that this is such a great gospel tract that I am posting a “commercial” for it….
The world defines “pride” as: “a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.” Yet the Word of God says a person’s pride is followed by disgrace (Prov. 11:2); pride is arrogance (Prov. 21:24); pride will bring a person low (Prov. 29:23). The Word of God says pride is something evil that comes from a person’s heart (Mark 7:21-23), and that God is opposed to prideful people (James 4:6). God sees pride the same way He sees so many other behaviors—as sinful (2 Tim. 3:1-4). God sees pride as evil because it is contrary to who He is. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, humbled Himself to take on human flesh and then humbled Himself even further when He sacrificed His life in the most humiliating way—death on a cross. What awaits prideful people? What comes after pride? Destruction (Prov. 16:18)—God’s judgment of sin, the punishment for which is eternity in hell. Your only hope is to turn from your sinful pride, turn toward God and, by faith alone, receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ—fully God and fully man, yet without sin, voluntarily shed his innocent blood and died on the cross, taking upon Himself the punishment you rightly deserve for your sins against God. Three days later, He forever defeated sin and death when He rose from the grave. Yes, God is opposed to the proud, but He gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Humble yourself. Repent and believe the gospel, today.
Pretty great huh? Hard bottom line truth. So when you continue to “confess” pride and do not a thing about killing it but instead seek to either cover it up by appearing “humble” or you seek to put on a nice guy face to make others think more highly of you than they ought (like you think more highly of yourself than you ought by doing that and proving that you are nothing BUT pride), you gotta know…you have never turned to anyone but yourself. Because you are too prideful to truly submit to the truth of the word of God. God is not fooled. And no doubt the people who are close to you in your “real” life are not either. And if pride goeth before a fall, great indeed will that eventual fall be. And even your pride shall not be able to cover it up. If you REALLY look at your slimy sinful wicked self, what in the world do you have to be prideful of? How much you spit at God, the One who created you and who is perfect, holy, righteous and just? The One who sacrificed His Son because it is the only way prideful self serving people like yourself could EVER be forgiven and granted His presence? Think about that. Think about all the sinful things you continue to indulge in, to embrace, to refuse to give up, and that is AGAINST God in their very essence. If you are prideful, there you will find every kind of wickedness imaginable. Ongoing rampant pride belies any biblical repentance at all. In fact it indicates exactly the opposite. So how often, how many years have you leaned on the crutch of pretending to yourself that you are sad about your pride when it is pride that makes all your decisions for you, every stinkin’ choice you make about anything? That is nothing short of worldliness dressed in psuedo Christian sheep skin, with a wolf hiding underneath. Repent…and throw yourself upon the mercy of God, and let Him really humble you as you seek to honor HIM through obeying HIM, instead of you and how you look to others. In truth, you look only like a fool. One who is still destined for eternal damnation. Am I talking to you? Yes. Repent and be saved.
It is related that the famous French artist Gustave Dore was once wandering in the mountains of Switzerland, when some officials met him and demanded his passport. “I do not have it with me,” he replied, “but my name is Gustave Dore.” “Prove it, if you are,” replied the officers, knowing who Dore was–but not believing that this was he. Taking a piece of paper, the artist hastily sketched a group of peasants who were standing near, and did it with such grace and skill that the officials exclaimed, “Enough, you are Dore!”
In the same way, the world cares little for a mere profession. We say we are Christians, and the challenge is, “Prove it!” If we are of Christ, then we must do the works of Christ, live the life of Christ, and show the spirit of Christ. The artist’s skillful drawing proved his identity. Just so, we must prove that we are the followers of our Master by the love, the grace, the beauty, the holiness of our life.
Religion is not merely a matter of creed and profession, or of church-going and public worship; it is far more a matter of daily life. It is not how we behave on Sundays, nor the kind of creed we hold, nor the devoutness of our worship–it is the way we act at home, in school, in business, in society, in our associations with others. It is vitally important that all who profess Christ–shall manifest Christ’s beauty in their life and character. It is not enough to preach the gospel in words alone; others must also read it in our daily life. “So that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders.” 1 Thessalonians 4:12
“Whoever says he abides in Christ, ought to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself.” 1 John 2:6
“Therefore let us go to Him [Christ] outside the camp and bear the reproach He endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.”~Hebrews 13:13-14 (ESV)
“The Christian’s reason for ‘leaving the camp’ of the world’s sin and religion is not because he loves to be singular, but because Jesus did so; and the disciple must follow his Master. Christ was not of the world: his life and his testimony were a constant protest against conformity with the world.
“You cannot grow in grace to any high degree while you are conformed to the world. The life of separation may be a path of sorrow, but it is the highway of safety; and though the separated life may cost you many pangs, and make every day a battle, yet it is a happy life after all. No joy can excel that of the soldier of Christ: Jesus reveals himself so graciously, and gives such sweet refreshment, that the warrior feels more calm and peace in his daily strife than others in their hours of rest.
“A moment’s shame will be well recompensed by eternal honour; a little while of witness-bearing will seem nothing when we are for ever with the Lord.” ~Charles Spurgeon
“Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.” II Corinthians 6:17
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”
(1 Corinthians 15:33). All evil companionships “corrupts.”
All evil is contagious, and association with evildoers, whether they are “church members” or ‘open infidels’, has a defiling and debasing effect upon the true child of God. Mark well how the Holy Spirit has prefaced His warning: “Do not be deceived.” Evidently there is a real danger of God’s people imagining that they can play with fire without getting burned. Not so! God has not promised to protect us when we fly in the face of his danger signals.”~
Arthur Pink, “Godly Companions”
Friendship with the world makes you and ENEMY of God. Who’s approval and company do you seek regularly? What is your mind full of? That is what your heart is full of. Proverbs…it’s in the Bible. Along with more warnings about false professors who live like and for the world. Maybe you should let the truth found there cut you to the marrow, perhaps sparing your life…You are what you seek. And unless your conscience is so defiled that you have none, you KNOW what it is you are really seeking. God forbid it be a way out of Hell without submitting to Christ as Lord, being truly reborn in Him, and banking on a form of spirituality that in practice denies it’s power….You ARE how you actually LIVE. THAT is where the truth is found out…objectively and held up against the unchanging, inerrant word of God. You remember Him? The One who calls you His enemy? Repent and throw yourself upon His mercy…more…submit to the counsel of God and His truth. SUBMIT. Lip Service is not enough, you must submit to the word and live BY it and FOR HIM. Knowledge won’t save you. Only true rebirth through the biblical Christ will save you. And in that, your submission will show itself clearly, biblically. But you must SUBMIT. Aye, there’s the rub, eh?
“One of the most deeply harmful things pornography does, therefore, is reinforce the false lesson that sexual excitement is not about a whole-person union at all. Instead, sexual excitement becomes associated with isolation from others and a focus on self. That which is suppose to be about sharing becomes all about getting.”~ Tim Challies
Sex is for a man and a woman only. For both- not one. Pornography and the like is selfish and destroys God’s design for marriage.
The marriage bed is to be PURE. This applies to sharing videos of your sexual activities and watching people do these activities. ~ Esther Gensler ~
Do you honor your marriage bed? Do you honor God in how you honor your marriage bed? Really? Do you live by His word? Do you obey Him? Or do you obey your flesh? What is your idol? How’s your marriage? What would your wife say? A wife left deserted for slavery to your own flesh, is not a wife with a Christian husband. Nor do you have a marriage. Especially not a marriage as designed by God. Now, it doesn’t have to be porn. It can be the internet and that draw that you cannot ignore or simply not go to. Or it can be sexual in nature, and usually is….It can be masturbation with your own “mind porn”. That would be what Challies is rightly also describing. All sexual sin involves the mind in one way or the other. Where is your mind? Is it on Jesus? Is it on living in obedience to Him? Well, if you are living in relational isolation, if you are forcing your wife to live life alone because you are disengaged, isolated, and self involved to the exclusion of her or really anyone else (or spouse, as women do this as well, although not nearly as many women are involved in this sin as men are) then you are living outside of God’s commands to Christians and most pointedly to husbands. And you are soiling the marriage bed that you are suppose to keep PURE. So truthfully, your isolation objectively proves that your mind is NOT on the word, nor on Christ, and your life is one of disobedience. And as He says in regard to unbelievers…unregenerates…”those who are disobedient to the word….”(I Peter 3:1, II Peter 2:8, Ephesians 5:6…), you are headed for eternal Hell unless you humble yourself and throw yourself on His mercy for redemption. But usually, what is being referred to above is part and parcel with sexual sin of some kind. No way around that. Isolation like that only comes from sin. And that usually sexual in nature. Think you can hide or deny it? Your life shows it too clearly to be able to effectively do either. You are only fooling the fool…you. You live in constant deception. I ask you, who is the father of that? God?
If you are not a slave of Christ, you are a slave to what will kill you. You are a slave of the devil if you want the truth. Even if you don’t want the truth. You still are anyway because God’s word makes that truth extremely clear. In God’s eyes, you are an adulterer…to Him. Let alone to your spouse. And you are answerable to BOTH. One you will answer to on that great and terrible day. And no fantasy will help in Hell. He will let you eat the fruit of your own fancies. What a huge price to pay for your pride and love of self in your sin. Foolish. Especially when Christ could pay that for you if you would but surrender it all to Him in tears and repentance and truth. Only fools try to have both their sin and “Jesus”. I cannot suggest strongly enough that you humble yourself, go to your wife and God, confess your sins, all of them, embarrassing as it may be for you it is the first step to freedom and genuine humility and demonstrates your REALLY wanting to live for Christ within your marriage, and just may be your first real act of obedience to the word…and asking for forgiveness and then STOP SINNING like that….you can only do it in the power of Christ as a new creation. Anything less and you will fail every time, and you will destroy what God has given to you to protect and represent HIM in…and we all know what happens to the Destroyer, don’t we? And there is no one to blame for that but you. Men….God puts it all on YOU. His marriage, His way. Just like His offer of salvation. HIS way.
22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge. 23 Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, 25 Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27 When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you.
28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord, 30 They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. 31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. 32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.”
Living like this you are God’s enemy, not His child, and the only prayer that God will listen to is one of humble and genuine repentance and surrender to the biblical Christ as LORD. Anything less, you may as well talk to a plant.