He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9
Monday, August 24, 2009
For the past couple of years, I have been dealing with an area of sin that has kept me in bondage and has influence those that I love in some very hurtful ways. This past Sunday, was for me I believe the hardest time I think I have ever had in my walk with the LORD. I began to confess to my husband some of the ways I believe this sin has effected us in our marriage as well as some of my relationships with others. Of course with him being my closest neighbor, he began to share with my how he had already been praying for me in this area. I have been such a complainer, such a self centered image bearer, such a disobedient child. Saturday we attended the wedding of some friends of ours and at the reception another friend of ours shared the Gospel message, yet, he also challenged those of us who are believers to not do things for the Lord in a 'half hearted' manner. I was immediately convicted! I immediately in tears begin to confess to the LORD how I have not 'whole heatedly' done all that there was to be done in KILLING SIN. I begin to ponder at that moment what it looked like for me to gouge out my eye and throw it away if it causes me to sin, or if it was my hand, foot or tongue, how I am to cut them off and throw them away. (of course I don't mean litter ally). But I am to do all that there is to be done to KILL SIN in my body before it begins to KILL ME!
I took today to go up to the community garden and pull/dig up all the weeds that were killing the herbs/vegetables. When I first stepped unto the land, I begin to become overwhelmed with fear. Fear of my life looking like this garden if I don't put to death the deeds of the body. Fear of being so entangled into my sin that it becomes nearly almost impossible for me to want to get out because of my heart becoming harden. Man, that brings me to tears. I have been a fool!! A fool to think that I can do all that the LORD places before me without Him. I have not said it literally, but with my life, that is exactly what I am saying. I was telling a friend today that my biggest fear is missing out on seeing the LORD. You can be the most excellent wife in the eyes of many (including your hubbie and kids) you can serve the fatherless, love the poor and still miss out on the LORD. I don't want to be the Christian who's life is being used to influence others for the gospel, yet I don't see the LORD myself. Oh, HOW THAT BRINGS MUCH FEAR TO MY HEART!!!!
I have been studying Romans in my time with the LORD, chapter 8 to be exact, as well as listening to John Pipers sermon series on How TO Kill Sin. Here is a brief list of what I have been learning :
-We are not debtors to the Flesh.
-If you try to survive any other way than by the spirit YOU WILL DIE!!
-LIFE IS A WAR!!
-If I want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven I MUST TAKE IT VIOLENTLY!! How?-Matt. 18:8;Romans 8:13
-The only 'foot hole' Satan has in my life is MY SIN. No one goes to hell because of Satan, but because of SIN. Much more important than fighting Satan is fighting my own FLESH!! My BIGGEST enemy is Nicole! Satan has already been defeated!! Christianity is WAR on our OWN SINFUL IMPULSES.. I must make WAR ON THE FLESH 24/7!!
How Do you Do This (putting to DEATH the deeds of the Body)??
-Step One: Set YOUR mind on Things Of the Spirit.
Romans 8:5-6.. I must direct my mind,my heart, and my spiritual focus in another direction, namely on the things of the Spirit.
-Step Two: Set Your mind on the words of God and the realities they stand for.
1 Cor. 2:13-14; Romans 8:6; Eph. 6:17. I must welcome and embrace the WORD of God in my mind and heart.
-Step Three: By Hearing with Faith, not Works of the Law
In temptation I am to look to the word of God, especially a word that promises he will be more for us and do more for us than what this sin promises.
Piper ends with saying " You must immerse your mind and heart in the fountain of TRUTH and life in the promises of God...When temptation comes take this all satisfying word, this sword of the spirit and BELIEVE IT, and by it SEVER the root of sin. KILL IT"
This task of KILLING SIN before IT KILLS YOU is a most challenging one. I have all day, strive to practice self control and have made it my goal through the grace of God to practice Philippians 4:8-9.
My prayer is that I would see MORE OF THE LORD this week, grow a even stronger HATRED towards SIN and persistently MAKE WAR On my FLESH so that I don't make a LIE out of my baptism, a mockery of Jesus and my profession.