Saturday, 8 February 2014

Guard Your Heart

 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.   But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:12-13  (ESV)

Hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. The worst sin is pride. It caused satan to think he was superior to God Himself, and cause others to come with him and join him in his falling from grace.

If a person is truly saved, changed from the inside, born again, it is impossible for such a one to lose their salvation (Jesus said so)...and some may lose their way temporarily, but will return to Him because He draws His own to Himself (John 6:44) however there are those who have an "appearance of godliness", they appear "good" but it isn't the goodness that comes from God because they deny His power, and we are to turn away from those.

2Ti 3:1  But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
2Ti 3:2  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,
2Ti 3:4  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2Ti 3:5  having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
2Ti 3:6  For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,
2Ti 3:7  always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

However there are warnings in the Bible. There are things to avoid, just as we would avoid anything icky and disgusting and horrid. In the Old Testament there were rules for how to deal with lepers. They had their own area that they had to be in so the healthy would not be in contact with them. They had to remain "outside the camp" until they were deemed cleansed.

I have been reading the Old Testament beginning from the beginning. I'm now in the book of Numbers. There is a scene in the text where Aaron and Miriam stand against Moses, and God punishes Miriam (I wonder why not Aaron? oh well) with leprosy. Moses pleads for Miriam but God says she has to endure the disease for 7 days after-which she
must go through the steps to be declared clean. I'm sure it was a humbling experience for her...and she required humbling, not the fake "oh look at me I am humble" that Buddhist monks do, but a real humbling of being embarrassed to be seen by anyone, and to be ostracized and separated from the people you love, being lower and more disgusting even than the people you formerly thought you were so much better than. If God does it, it is for real, not a feigning of anything.

My DH said he once tried to explain the difference to a family member (unsuccessfully). The way he put it is if you are still "choosing to do good" you are doing it and not God. If you do good without even a thought of choosing to do good, THAT is God doing it. Are you "choosing" to not murder someone today? Does that make you a good person? Or are you not going to murder anyone because it isn't in you to even think about murdering anyone? THAT is the grace of God, and many have that grace without even being born of His Spirit, just that the Restrainer is holding back the evil that is in the flesh to do.

That list above in 2 Timothy 3 has many things listed that I still see in my flesh, and if I rely on my flesh those are the things I see at work. Thankfully, I can rest in the Spirit of the living God, who transforms me in His likeness, not because I am good, but because He is good. I don't have to keep learning and seeking amongst the garbage cans of the worldly wisdom philosophies to gain more knowledge. I can rest in the fact that Jesus paid a terrible price for me, and that wisdom is the only thing that matters, and that of itself is much higher than is comprehensible to my flesh, so why do I have to strive at the rest which is garbage anyway? Why seek for a scrap of something edible from a garbage can when God the Father has invited me to eat from His table? And yet I see ones who "used to call themselves Christians" now agreeing with atheists and getting kudos from them as they eat their scraps of  regurgitated mess together in their unholy communions. And to what end? Where does that wisdom lead them? Were they truly saved to begin with? Only God knows. The Bible tells me that if they are, they will eventually end up with Him scarcely saved by His grace.

 1Corinthians 3:15  If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

That is how loving a God we serve. He is good not because we are good. We are good, only if He has made us good, and that is from Him, not from ourselves.

These days are evil, and there are many deceivers about. Lord I pray that we do not fall victim to these deceivers, but that by your strength we remain in You, and that You transform us into your likeness, which causes us humility for seeing from what you dragged us out of, the same garbage and filth that we see all around us. I pray that those who are deceived and deceiving others may likewise come away from that garbage and be saved by You and through You. I pray this in Jesus name, through the blood of Your sacrifice on our behalf, to remove that stain of awful sin, that stench, that putridness, so that we can be in Your presence for always. Amen.

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