Bless -ed Is The Man…

Charles Spurgeon, in his exposition of the Psalms, talks about the progression of sin in Psalm 1:1. This isn’t something discussed in polite circles anymore. In fact, today using the word ‘sin’ itself, is a trigger word for those who are opposed to even exploring the concept the word represents.

And I can agree with them. Sin is not a safe word. Not safe at all. But if we refuse to discuss it, the eternal consequences will eventually crash upon a person’s life as inevitably as death itself; truthfully a double death, as temporal death gives way to the blinding light of Truth, and convicted by their own thoughts, words, and deeds, the person is resigned then to am eternal slow death in regret, for having rejected Truth when opportunity to embrace It had been held out to that person, again and again and again.

So how did this person end up awash in pain, bitterness, and regret for eternity? Psalm 1:1 outlines it for us.

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked, or stand in the way that sinners take, or sit in the company of mockers,

(Psalm 1:1 NIV)

Walking within the scope of the modern day culture leads to standing with them. Forward momentum toward spiritual maturity has slowed, and then stopped. This led to falling in line with the culture, a spiritual standstill. Then came sitting in the mocking section; the person has forsaken any thought of spiritual sensitivity and has hardened their mind and heart against it, to the extent that he now scoffs at having even tolerated those who hold such antiquated and boorish and exclusionary beliefs. In the modern vernacular, he considers himself “woke” from such tolerance.

However just the opposite has actually happened… and his spiritual blindness is now replaced with a bitter spirit of victimhood, a necessary mindset for the ability to mock.

“When men are living in sin they go from bad to worse. At first they merely walk in the counsel of the careless and ungodly, who forget God… The evil is rather practical than habitual… But after that they become habituated to evil and they stand in the way of open sinners who willfully violate God’s Commandments and if left alone, they go one step further, and become themselves pestilent teachers and tempters of others, and thus they sit in the seat of the scornful.”

– Charles Spurgeon

He goes on to say that the one blessed by God goes out of their camp, bearing the reproach of Christ. Moses also had experienced this, as he learned the reproach of the Egyptians for turning down the privileges and delights of the palace, and the power and prestige as a grandson of Pharaoh.

Oh for the grace to forsake the siren call of sin, to lash ourselves to the mast and resist; and for the grace to bear up under the rejection of God’s existence and standards by the culture around us; and to confront in the power of the Risen Christ the deception of evil spirits who work continually to convince men that being woke is actually freedom instead of bondage for eternity.

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What Do You Want For Christmas?

Oh. My. Word. I just realized the lie of Santa Claus. His love for children is conditional. Only the “good” children get their heart’s desire; “bad” children get lumps of coal. When Santa asks a child what gift they want for Christmas, he is asking them to search their own hearts and tell him what they desire most in the world. It sets a child up to focus on tangible things as the solution to the longings of the soul. It tells a child that playthings will satisfy the inner hunger they feel.

And as adults, we still behave as if we are three and sitting on Santa’s lap. We are still trying to satisfy the longings of our hearts with tangible things, yet knowing deep down inside that even when we get the thing we asked for, it doesn’t take long before that rush of delight to fade.

Santa’s elves make toys. They don’t make emotionally mature adults who will love a child and fill their world with loving interaction, satisfying the inner need for healthy relationships.

Not Big Enough

Nothing comes into my life unless it first passes through His hands. Nothing catches Him by surprise; He stands outside time and He intimately knows the timeline of my life, from beginning to eternity. So when things don’t go ‘my’ way, when He doesn’t answer my prayer in the way that I want, that means He has a greater purpose in mind, one which is for a better good than if He had said yes. My prayer wasn’t big enough; my desire wasn’t big enough, and I need to adjust my emotions to His plan, be patient and not act out, and trust in His grace at work in my life.

Standing On The Promises Of God

“We must never let go of the blood and righteousness of Christ as the ground of our right standing with God and guarantee of all God’s promises. By faith in Christ, we embrace Him as our righteousness and we embrace all that God promises to be for us in Him. The Fulfillment of those promises, grounded in the work of Christ, is what I mean by Future Grace. This is the way we fight sin. Or, to put it positively, the way we pursue righteousness and love is to fight for faith in future Grace.” (John Piper, “Battling Unbelief”, p.89)

This book is turning my perspective in a new direction, changing my focus. We sing the old hymn, ‘Standing on the Promises of God’… but do we really truly DO that? Because if we did, then anxiety and impatience and fear and doubt would melt away like a morning mist. I’m reaching for this kind of faith, fighting to grab hold of it, battling my own habits of unbelief to reach it. It’s like trying to run through emotional jello! It really is. But I can see it ahead of me and I am choosing to stand on those promises regardless of how the circumstances are, and what my emotions are. I have to RETRAIN my emotions, like a dog obedience school.