Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Take Heed When You Think You Stand

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A couple of Sundays ago, our Pastor gave a message about "Doing Wrong When You Know to Do Right". Something that is heartbreaking and life destroying. He spoke of what it is like to counsel with someone who previously has shared the joy of salvation and has now chosen to pursue a sinful life. This of course, being completely different than a bad choice made, in haste, confusion, or just plain fleshly weakness, and quickly repented from (which means to turn away from and head in another direction). But, somone who purposes through choice, after choice, deliberately chosing to turn their back on what they know to be true, through God's Word to us. And instead turn towards and pursue choice, after choice the lie of moral relativism. You know, the thought process that is overtaking our society, where each person must do what is "right" for "them" in a given situation. Another term is "situational ethics".

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This message was inspired because of a series of phone conversations he had been having all the previous week. With a man and his wife. The couple having been in ministry for some 30 plus years. The man at one time being a sometimes mentor to my Pastor. The man had been living a double life in the last year or so. And now everything had come crashing down around him.

I won't go into details. We have all seen the same sort of stories on the internet every month or so. Someone who was once steadfast for the Lord, now caught in adultery, financial tom-foolery, and sometimes even worse. I never cease to be grieved when I come across such a story. The stories themselves do damage. Then there is the person, who once having tasted of the sweetness of life in Christ, now has renounced it. Not all find their way back. What of the family members? What pain. Then there are the congregation members, some who are weak in spirit and this will prove more than they are willing to endure and they may become offended and fall away. Instead of clinging even tighter to the cross, even tighter to the Name of Jesus. Even tighter to the Word.

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As I listened to the message, and prayed for the people I thought of involved in this specific moral car wreck, I felt impressed with this scripture, again Maria's paraphrase "Take heed. Take heed when you think you stand lest you fall." I felt a solemn stirring to seek God for strength to hang onto Him and not be distracted. To seek Him for wisdom as I assessed where I am right now, where could danger be looking? "Teach me Lord, show me your ways, teach me your paths."

It's been almost 2 weeks since that message and from time to time the phrase comes back to me in my spirit. I have felt compelled to share this with you, my friends. Let's take heed. Of course I did a word study. Here's some things to think of:

Thinketh (as in you think you stand) means "to seem" to be whether truthfully or uncertainly, to be accounted of or supposed to be of good reputation.

Heed means to watch, look, behold, consider.

Stand means to establish, covenant, to stand, abide, continue.

Fall means to fail or fall.

"11 Now these things befell them by way of a figure [as an example and warning to us]; they were written to admonish and fit us for right action by good instruction, we in whose days the ages have reached their climax (their consummation and concluding period). 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin]. 13 For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. 1 Corinthians 10:11-13 Amplified.

10 comments:

  1. AMEN...I always say it's God alone who has kept me His for 39 years and I can never think I won't be human...it makes me cling to Him in humility because I know I am weak and could cave except for Him.

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  2. Great post...We are all only once choice away. This post does go hand in hand with mine. Love you girlfriend. Great post!

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  3. Hello, friend! I'm so glad to "meet" another bird lover! They bring joy.

    This post is timely, as I was just reading about the Ted Haggard interview on Oprah. Such a sad thing to choose to give up so much. It boggles my mind.

    Yes, we must pray for these people.

    Blessings,
    Laura

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  4. Maria,
    This is a very important exhortation. I am one who fell through a series of poor choices (and so did my husband, who WAS a pastor who for many years lived to honor God), finally choosing to live in sin even after I had tasted the goodness of the Lord. Without the grace of God it would have been too much to bear and I would have died broken. Because of His great mercy I am now broken...AND forgiven AND restored.

    I feel for the family you are referring to, where the mentor of your pastor has fallen. I greatly sympathize with his wife and so many who are hurt, but because of my past I feel deep sorrow for the man who fell...because he is most likely hurting beyond belief and will be the least likely to find much needed help and compassion.

    Thanks for your post.

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  5. It is heart breaking to hear of someone who has followed Jesus, blatantly turning away from Him in sin. Hard to hear, and hard to understand. But like Leslie said, too, we're only a choice away.
    Yes, I agree with you. We need to take heed. I want to follow Him so closely that turning away is simply un-thinkable.

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  6. It doesn't take much, and it isn't always in the obviously bad choices. Hardness of heart, pride, vanity, unforgiveness...so many other sins that gnaw away at our relationship with the LORD.

    Good post, girl!!

    Julie

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  7. I have been a little under the weather but I caught the interview with Ted Haggard on the Oprah show. I prayed all during the show that somehow God would be honored by what was said.
    I hope He was.

    There have been many times in my life when I turned from God because I wanted to go my own way. Sometimes I felt I hid these things from the people who would count. I thank God that He drew me lovingly back. Will I go those directions again? I pray not. But now I know what this body of sin is capable of.

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  8. Good message foe today. This post reminds me of the verse my first grade Master's Club class studied this week found in James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is a sin. We talked about how God is not just asking us not to do wrong, but to go a step further, and to do what we know is good to everyone around us. We also talked about Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. I agree with Joyful Days, because I think we need to stop and evaluate our hearts -a lot. ~blessings!

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  9. It seems like a timely post. Very interesting also to read all the comments of your readers.

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  10. I, of course, a newcomer to this blog, but the author does not agree

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