Monday, February 20, 2012

Sometimes good is wrong

Satan does not always place bad things in our path. It is not necessarily his tactic to distract us with evil. I think just as often, if not more so, Satan lures away Christians by using "good" things.

Good, in this case, does not mean right... But it seems that when I am closest to God, and I start to feel like there is nothing that Satan can do to pull me away, he will use that to slowly chip and peck until I find myself drifting. It is among the devil's oldest tricks to slightly distort the truth of God and make it still sound good. It's how he has operated since before the fall... I figure it is how he convinced his legions of angels to rise against God at the very beginning. So, why would he change now, if it ain't broke, don't fix it

What I mean is this, we so often get caught up in doing "good" things that somewhere along the way we forget to keep growing in our personal walk with Christ. Our works begin to take higher priority in life. We reach a point when we say, "so I haven't opened my bible this week, I've been busy building relationships and showing my faith" we seem to get so busy putting on a show for others, instead of glorifying God.

When that happens, all the "good" we do is selfish, ego-stroking sin. Our relationship with Christ is to be first, out service and work is to flow out from there. If we allow Satan this foothold, he will find it very easy to distract us and keep us from the word, and slowly guide us down the gradual path to destruction

Friday, February 10, 2012

A deeply personal experience

Sometimes faith seems likes totally illogical idea. It feels like I must be crazy in order to believe the Bible. There have been plenty of times in my life that I have attempted to live as though I no longer believed. I decided it would be easier to live life as focused on only myself and what I thought was best. This always led to more pain than anything else... It seems that the words of Paul, in Romans, ring true... God's wrath can be delivered in more than one way.

We often only think of the explosiveness of God's wrath that is seen throughout stories of the flood and destruction of cities in the Old Testament, but what about the passive wrath? We learn through the words of Paul, and also Luke, that one of the most ultimate forms of God's wrath against sin is to give us over to those sins. It is how Hell is described in several places... And to experience it on Earth is a rather Hell-ish experience of its own.

From a flesh-sided point of view, this sounds very little like punishment... I mean, if I turn away from God enough, he'll eventually back off and give me over to my desires? But, having been there before, as a believer who went WAY too far astray, there is nothing more agonizing than the point when sin loses any pleasure and begins to consume you. I remember feeling like I was stuck, and drowning in my own life... I remember feeling God at a distance, and still knowing that it was my choice to place Him that far away.

The truly brutal climb out of that pit, in an attempt to find a way to get back to God is an experience that is so humbling that I think being burned alive would be more comfortable. I remember the points in the ascent that seemed like there was no hope, that I would rather stay in my personal darkness than reach to the blinding glory of Christ. But I also remember the encouragement and love beginning to break through the pain. I remember seeing God working through those around me to extend love and encouragement, I was fighting through my flesh to earnestly seek God, and he was there, reaching out for me.

I am so thankful for my relationship with Christ that I know has saved me from an eternity of the pain that I got a small taste of in my darkest time. I could not imagine walking through this life without knowing God. Faith in God may sometimes seem illogical, but it also seems perfect and right.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Prayer request

Been dealing with a lot of internal conflict lately... Feeling inadequate as a man, husband, father, Christian... Etc

Constant feelings of conviction on my heart that something was off kilter, last Sunday morning while seeking God's help I was reminded to get in His word. After spending a week reading in Job, I was still unsure exactly where the feelings have been coming from. After this morning, I have a clearer understanding that I need to make sure and have my focus shifted onto God. I need to stop focusing on attempting to achieve some kind of perfection. I need to focus on adjusting my thoughts to reflect a pattern of obedience and desire to grow in my faith and belief in Christ...

While holding and comforting my daughter this evening, I was reminded of something talked about in our men's class this morning... I want my kids to have a father who is not merely perfect, but that they can point to and say that their dad lived a life that strived to be obedient to the word of God...

So my request tonight is for the courage, strength, and belief to be the man my family needs me to be. They deserve it... And I want to be that man