- My dear spouse, why do I find it hard to receive biblical perspectives and teachings from you?
- Why do my family and friends always discourage me from my heart’s desires?
- Why are my family and friends not as excited about my prospective mate?
Do some of these questions hit home? For Bible believers, they are tied together quite intimately.
Last night I was starting to sleep when my wife woke me up and asked me, specifically why it is that when I present my spiritual opinion or my biblical perspective on a theological topic to her that she immediately opposes or doubts it, instead of trusting and believing it.
My response that spewed from the depths of my near REM sleep was:
- the Spirit of God is living in you, so He is safe-guarding you against deception
- all men are liars and God only is true
- I am your husband and you’ve seen a track record of imperfection, hypocrisy and failure
As I reviewed my knee-jerk response in the morning, I was actually pretty surprised at the truth therein. But the cherry on top was that when I opened my Bible for my daily Bible-in-a-year cycle for the new testament, lo and behold I found myself one day ahead of schedule and landed upon Mark 6. As I read the section I couldn’t help but get excited about how God has been speaking so directly to me lately. Last week it was a friend from the other side of the country He spoke through and today it was His Word but in the most clear way I have seen yet. Here is the excerpt with my underlines added:
And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing [him] were astonished, saying, From whence hath this [man] these things? and what wisdom [is] this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed [them]. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. [Mar 6:1-6 KJV] 1
Friends! Family! Flesh!
The un-spiritual trinity (lol?)
But seriously. The only place in the new testament that I can find where Jesus could do no mighty work was in his home town where his flesh was raised. Now check this verse out:
Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more. [2Co 5:16 KJV]
I’m guessing I don’t have to expound too much on anything here. The answer to my wife is simple: she is my friend, my family and she knows my flesh, too. I cannot think of anyone in the entire world who could possibly have a harder time trusting my spiritual insight, direction, theology, etc, than my wife. She has to fight all three. And so, my new response and suggestion to her would be this:
- get even closer to God and subdue the flesh and submit the soul entirely to God
- although you have experienced my fleshly humanity, try to view me as an eternal spirit and a resident of God’s kingdom passing through this troubling life
- do not *know* me after the flesh. Know me after the spirit
- increase time in prayer together – somehow – anyhow
The last one is for some reason the toughest.
Friends and family, although they mean well and care, often times are unable to view their family and friends as spiritual beings but merely as earthly souls. Hey – they did it to Jesus so don’t expect better from your friends and family.
That’s why the church is so important. It’s the spiritual family – the one that travels into eternity with us.
Hope this little chunk of insight from God is useful to someone out there, not just Wayne Out There.
I know the title of this blog post is pretty strong, but it’s the truth. As I get older the burning desire inside of me for truth has been further fueled.
At about the age of 11 I had my first exposure to pornography when I found a magazine under a bush near my house. The very depths of my being knew (without having been taught, please note) that it was wrong and very dark. Yet I was drawn to it like a moth to a headlight. Everything in my heart knew it was wrong and I should run but everything in my flesh pulled me back.
My flesh won.
From that point I was a captive and a slave for the rest of my life until just a few years ago when I enrolled in a course called Setting Captives Free.
From that point, I would never look at females the same and I would never be fully free in my mind, heart, conscience or otherwise.
Pornography is a very secretive and dark sin that thrives in the dark like mould on a wall. The only solution to the problem is light. Like mould, it continues to grow and worsen in the dark until the problem has reached an epidemic and ultimately sickness and death follows.
“Death? Oh, Wayne-Out-There, you are too extreme! It’s just porn. All guys do it a little. As long as you don’t touch it’s ok. It’s a release! It improves sexual creativity, blah blah blah blah blah blah”
No. You know I’m right and you’re in full blown denial, just like I was. I totally understand you, but you are rejecting the truth and choosing death over life.
Sickness is the first sign of impending death. Your mind becomes sick. What made you full yesterday isn’t enough today. You need more excitement, more extremism, more depravity, more, more, more. Your flesh will not leave you alone. You become a lustful person – a person full of lust. You have to fight your mind and tell it to behave because it no longer obeys any form of normal. It is now sick (and twisted). What was wrong yesterday is ‘somewhat wrong’ today. What was unacceptable before, is ‘not the worst thing’.
You have become sick and death is coming soon.
First comes the death of your relationships. You become angry because you are fully aware of how your adulterous and twisted mind is. Peace departs from you and rarely returns. If there was intimacy in your marriage, it quickly fades and disappears because no spouse could compete with the speed of evil streaming through your internet connection.
Once your marriage is dead, you may see the death of your job, dreams, relationships with children and more.
It’s all one big ugly package and it was planted by that one seed of wickedness that was planted in my mind at 11.
But I’m free now, by the grace of God and the work of the volunteers at Setting Captives Free, and I would not trade this new found freedom for all the coffee in Peru.
Today could be the first day on your long road to freedom.
There is hope. If you can’t trust yourself (I was in this condition), trust *me*.
Well, as the Lord God explicitly laid out for me, 2013 was a ‘year of pain’, 2014 would be a ‘year of recovery’ and 2015 is expected to be a ‘year of gain’.
The first two have played out exactly perfectly to a tee.
2015 is a mysterious mystery which lies before me and I’m like a man about to enter a corn maze…
And that’s why faith is so exciting.
I don’t really have anything inspiring to say because I’m not an inspiring person, however, what I do know is that the flip of the calendar number is a great time to make sure we have looked both behind us and before us.
For me, what I have done in an unstructured way, was do a quick synopsis of the year behind me and set some basic goals for the year ahead of me. Unfortunately, however, that was fun but some of the future stuff didn’t pan out. Some of that is obviously out of my control while some of it was.
This year, what I thought I would do is structure it a bit. Break down this short life into a few categories and see how I’m scoring. Feel free to take the backbone of the structure and tailor it to your life. Mine will be God-heavy where yours may be ‘something else’ heavy. Here are the categories that I have come up with and I’d love to get other suggestions if you have any:
- Health (oh yeah! Health!)
A thought I also just had was that success in each category in the above list could already be linked directly to the ol’ YMCA Canada slogan that my dad taught me (and that I didn’t verify until searching right now and confirming with this link) of
Body – Mind – Spirit
If you apply these three to all categories you should prosper, I’m thinking (assuming it’s the right ‘spirit’ otherwise you’re hooped). It would be interesting to put together a ‘holistic survey’ for this time of year where you grade yourself in each of these categories with very pointed questions. For example, under ‘marriage’ you might have to answer a questions like:
- What grade would you give yourself out of 10 for how much you loved your husband/wife?
- What grade would your husband/wife give you out of 10 for how much love you showed them?
You can see how this might be both painful and useful at the same time….
For now, since I’m out of time and didn’t come up with the idea soon enough, perhaps we could collaborate and come up with a little something for next year. Nothing wrong with doing this any time in January, either.
Can I get an amen, someone?
I’ll amen myself.
Happy New Year!