Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Defeat or Disobedience????

I am doing a study on holiness that is so rich and so convicting. I feel compelled to share it here. I do not have a funny story or life event to go along with it. In fact, it is more sobering if anything.

How many times have you heard someone address a situation with the words "victorious" or "defeated"? How about when it is used by Christians? Such as "I have been victorious in my christian walk" or "I am defeated when it comes to [name a stronghold]". I grew up with those kinds of word-pictures as it related to sin. A relationship of being victorious or defeated. A viscous cycle of victory or defeat.

Here's a different way to look at it...

Its time for us Christan's to face up to our responsibility for holiness. Too often we say we are "defeated" by this or that sin. No, we are not defeated; we are simply disobedient! It might be good if we stopped using the terms "Victory" and "defeat" to describe our progress in holiness. Rather we should use the terms "obedience" and "disobedience". ~Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness

Chew on that for a bit and tell you you don't come back humbled, even shamed.
Holiness is dying to self, dying to sin and living for Christ. God gives us the Holy Spirit when we choose Christ, choose to die to sin, and through the Holy Spirit we are able to see the eternal implementations of sin as God sees it. Boy, do we fall short with this view sometimes? Do we sometimes slip into satans grip and sin? Is it really just a mere "defeat" or is the truth of the matter that we have chosen to sin, chosen to be disobedient. To me, that is a much harsher picture that shakes my spiritual core and penetrates my heart and mind.

"When I say I am defeated by some sin, I am unconsciously slipping out from my responsibility I am saying something outside of me has defeated me. But when I say I am disobedient, that places the responsibility for my sin squarely on me. We may, in fact, be defeated, but the reason we are defeated is because we have chosen to disobey. We have chosen ti entertain lustful thoughts, or to harbor resentment, or to shade the truth a little." ~Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness

Though the Holy Spirit helps us to live holy lives, free from the control of sin, it requires our action, our obedience. You "put to death" sin. You can't just sit back and expect the Holy Spirit to do all the work. You must make an effort to be holy.

For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live ~Rom 8:13

Victory and defeat are words that I am well acquainted with in my spiritual walk. But as I put on my spiritual glasses and look closer, I now see obedience and disobedience as I examine my life. How about you?

Oh Holy Father, help us to live by the Spirit, so that we will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature (Gal 5:16). Forgive us when we have looked at sin with shaded glasses. Forgive us when we have not taken the responsibility for our defeats as disobedience.

His Maidservant~Pamela

Friday, August 14, 2009

"BUSY" = B-eing U-nder S-atan's Y-oke?

A friend from church sent me this in an e-mail. I have seen it before but this morning it tugged at my heart because I have been so incredibly busy this summer. More so than usual. I felt inclined to place it here. Be careful, it may convict you too....


Satan called a worldwide convention of demons.

In his opening address he said,

"We can't keep Christians from going to church."

"We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth...."

"We can't even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their SAVIOR."

"Once they gain that connection with JESUS, our power over them is broken."

"So let them go to their churches; let them have their covered dish dinners,BUT steal their time, so they don't have time to develop a relationship with JESUS CHRIST.."

"This is what I want you to do," said the devil:

"Distract them from gaining hold of their SAVIOR and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!"

"How shall we do this?" his demons shouted.

"Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds," he answered....

"Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow."

"Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles."

"Keep them from spending time with their children."

"As their families fragment, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!"

"Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice."

"Entice them to play the radio or I-Pod whenever they drive." To keep the TV, DVDs, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly."

"This will jam their minds and break that union with CHRIST."

"Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers."

"Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day."

"Invade their driving moments with billboards."

"Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes."

"Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so their husbands will believe that outward beauty is what's important, and they'll become dissatisfied with their wives. "

"Keep the wives too tired to love their husbands at night."

"Give them headaches too! "

"If they don't give their husbands the love they need, they will begin to look elsewhere."

"That will fragment their families quickly!"

"Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas."

"Give them an Easter bunny so they won't talk about HIS resurrection and power over sin and death..."

"Even in their recreation, let them be excessive."

"Have them return from their recreation exhausted."

"Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on GOD'S creation.Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead."

"Keep them busy, busy, busy!"

"And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences."

"Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek Power from JESUS."

"Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause."

"It will work!"

"It will work!"

It was quite a plan!

The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere To get busier & more rushed, going here & there.

Having little time for their GOD or their families.

Having no time to tell others about the power of JESUS to change lives.

I guess the question is, has the devil been successful in his schemes?

You be the judge!!!!!

Does "BUSY" mean:
B-eing U-nder S-atan's Y-oke?

I am afraid some of those things are model by my life. Grief. Humbling. Sad.

Forgive me Lord....Though I have not seen You, I love You; and even though I do not see You now, I believe in You. Filled me with Your inexpressible and glorious joy (1 Peter 1:8). I am willing to be made willing in those areas above that I have fallen short.

In His Graces~Pamela

Monday, August 3, 2009

An Approved Worker...

I'm back if but for a fleeting moment again. I so miss everyone and I know the busyness of my life has cost me losing blog followers. The women's ministry and youth ministry God has me involved in has been on fire and so my time has been wrapped up in that. I know we are right where God wants us because satan has been attacking so much and so hard (do I dare mention my 15 y.o. dauther peirced her lip when she has been told "NO!"?). BRING IT ON!!

This past weekend I kidnapped my husband and took him to a remote cabin a few hours from our house for his birthday. When I asked him what he wanted for his special day his exact words were "you and quietness". Well, he got it! The beautiful cabins were one room studio's with kitchenettes and showers. No TV!! No Computer!! We had almost too much quietness but it was such a rich time for us physically, mentally, and spiritually. We have decided we need to do this at least 4 times a year.

God recently showed me this great verse that I have chosen to be my memory verse for this week with The Beth Moore Siesta Scripture Memory Team bloggers. I have all these verses surrounding this one marked and highlighted but last week this verse really stuck out to me and has not left my thoughts...

2 Timothy 2:21 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
So if anyone purifies himself from these things, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

Read the Amplified version...

So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work.

What the verses are referencing to be purified from can be found here but it is primarily talking about our words, words that hurt, words that are arrogant and foolish. Cutting words. Fighting words. Then it cautions us against our "youthful passions", maybe put another way, our strongholds, addictions, shortcomings. OUCH.

This is what I know... this purification process, this aim for holy living doesn't come easy or without cost. BUT, it has now become what I crave. It has become my addiction, my focus. Holy living, usable for the Master!

So I pray...

Lord, make me a instrument for your use, set apart, holy. Prepared me for Your work, Your will, Your use. Holy God, purify my life, my mind, my heart, my thoughts, my words. I am Your maidservant. Humbly I seek You, reverently I worship You.