The War Within Us

We know that the law is spiritual, but I am not spiritual since sin rules me as if I were its slave. I do not understand the things I do. I do not do what I want to do, and I do the things I hate. And if I do not want to do the hated things I do, that means I agree that the law is good. But I am not really the one who is doing these hated things; it is sin living in me that does them. Yes, I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is earthly and sinful. I want to do the things that are good, but I do not do them. I do not do the good things I want to do, but I do the bad things I do not want to do. So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing them. It is sin living in me that does those things.
So I have learned this rule: When I want to do good, evil is there with me. In my mind, I am happy with God’s law. But I see another law working in my body, which makes war against the law that my mind accepts. That other law working in my body is the law of sin, and it makes me its prisoner. What a miserable man I am! Who will save me from this body that brings me death? I thank God for saving me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So in my mind I am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful self I am a slave to the law of sin. -Paul

Imagine a world where people really followed Jesus.

Imagine a world where people really followed Jesus.

Jesus teaches His followers to love their enemies, pray for others, forgive when wronged, love others as you love yourselves, not to judge others, look at your own sin and become clean instead of pointing out others sin, and to build your life based on His word.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. -2 Chronicles 7:14

Pain has a purpose

I was in a hurry to get my truck fixed, wrenches turning and time burning I knew I needed to finish before my weekend was over. In my rush I slipped on a bolt and my hand was cut. While I wanted to keep on working the pain forced me to go inside and clean the wound, apply Neosporin and bandage it up. If I had not felt the pain of the cut, my brain would have never told me to stop and treat the wound, I would have kept on working; getting grease inside the wound and eventually it could have gotten infected and even caused me to lose my hand, my arm…even my life! I had an uncle that suffered something similar. He had diabetes and his foot got a small cut that led to him losing the foot and then the leg and then both legs and eventually his life.

I have learned that while pain is awful it serves its purpose even when it is my heart that suffers and the pain is emotional.  If I went through life never feeling pain I would never know when to make a course correction. Often in my pain I learn more of whom I am, who God is and how I zip through life never slowing down to see what lies in front of my nose.

I have experienced so much this life has to offer and no matter the pleasure or the high I am always left wanting more and never satisfied. I believe this longing deep in my soul was put there by God so that I will seek Him. I believe He put this in all of us. I think we go through life trying to fill it and when the temporary gratifications wear off and the void remains; emptiness is all that is left. I don’t know why but I seem to take this path often and even though I know Christ is what fills the void, the things of this world creep in and it feels good so I forget what truly satisfies me… until something happens that causes me to suffer. In this season of pain, I stop what I am doing and run to the LORD, I read the bible, I fast and I pray and the LORD patches me back up.

I don’t know why I do the things I do but what I do know is pain has its purpose and I am learning to not ask God to make the pain go away but to change me and show me how to not repeat the mistake that led to the wound in the first place. In the end, all that really matters is that we honor God and obey Him.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. -Psalm 139:23-24

Born in sin: Come on in.

There was a time when I wouldn’t admit what a sinner I was. But my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration. All day and all night your hand was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, ‘I will confess them to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. -Psalm 32:3-5

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1:9

I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. -Hebrews 8:12

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. -Romans 8:1

Ponder these verses. Meditate on what the Holy Spirit speaks to you… Who can travel this path without sin? Is there anyone on this rock that can honestly say they sin no more? But wait, didn’t Jesus say: “Go and sin no more”? God knows we are at war with ourselves in this realm. Self control and discipline are important steps to freedom from sin but a few things I am observing  is that God does give a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13) and even more importantly is that nothing we can or will ever do will atone for sin. We are forgiven because of what Christ did and sometimes I think we forget that and allow the deceiver to whisper how worthless we are until one day we wake up buried by our own guilt.

I don’t believe God wants us to place pebbles in our shoes and walk in pain but instead He wants us to be accountable, confess and repent. There is no room for guilt when the Grace of the LORD washes you as pure as snow, that is why we need Jesus in the first place after all.

So, when you do stumble, don’t push away the hand that reaches down to pick you up, embrace it, confess and turn away from that sin. The LORD will renew you, you are wonderfully and fearfully made -Psalm 139:14

 

I’m right here Scott.

While driving to work this morning, I was thinking out loud and talking to God (thankfully I have tinted windows) and asked myself, where is God right now. I mean when I fast, study the bible and meditate I can sense His presence or sometimes at church I can tell He is there but while driving to work or under my car I really can’t tell if He is there or not. So, I am driving to work and I asked myself where was God. I stopped at the red light, looked beyond the street signs, beyond the power lines and into the sky as the sun starts to peep from behind the morning clouds and I realized God is always a constant, it is me that is relative. I travel through this life (often at a high rate of speed) and it seems that God is always moving but really it depends on my perspective. The sun is always shining behind the dark clouds of the day and beyond the shadow of dusk. I asked God where He was and He told me “I’m right here Scott”.

If I go up to the heavens, you are there. If I lie down in the grave, you are there. If I rise with the sun in the east and settle in the west beyond the sea, even there you would guide me. With your right hand you would hold me. -Psalm 139:8-10