and the One who walks with me on it.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

When a Sword is Not Always a Sword

       One of my favorite resources when studying God’s Word is e-sword, a free computer program that I’ve been using for years. It contains different Bible versions, Strong’s numbers, dictionaries, commentaries and notes. (There are some you can pay for, but the free stuff is sufficient for me). I find it valuable mostly in word definitions: some which I don’t know, and others I think I know only to find out it’s not what I think.

     So it was one day I was looking for all the two-edged swords in the NT in order to find all the places Jesus is seen with a sword coming out of His mouth, when behold, I found out a sword is not always a sword. G4501- rhomphaia- a long sword (saber, broad cutlass) is the Greek word for the sword which comes out of His mouth. A long sword as in the ones able to cut through a neck or body part with one blow.

For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hb. 4:12
We have a spirit, we are not spirit- that immaterial part of us which can connect to God who is Spirit. (Jh. 4:24)
Human beings are souls- the material and immaterial part of us which makes us who we are.
living- G2198- zao- live, active, blessed, having vital power in itself
powerful- G1756- energes- active
piercing- G1338- diikneomai- go through, penetrate, pierce
discerner- G2924- kritikos- skilled in judging
heart- G2588- kardia- the heart, center of all physical/ spiritual life, soul or mind, seat of (intelligence) the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours, will, character
     In the case of this Scripture, the sword is not the same Greek word. It is G3162- machaira- knife, dirk, small sword. As I meditated on the importance of this word difference I thought of my life and how the Word had changed me over the years. Surely there was one dramatic moment when I realized the Truth and gave myself to the Creator.

     That was like one blow dividing the old man from the new man… I wish I could say it was complete, but that would be a lie. I still struggle to be pure and holy. Over many years there have been great strides forward, but mostly when I continually apply myself in the Word.

     Ah, there was the difference. Changes occurred in small steps, one at a time, just like when one cuts a piece of meat, back and forth; a little at a time. This knife or dirk in the Scripture does not finish the job with one hit, but takes many cuts to separate that which needs to be separated: the soul and spirit and the joints and marrow.

     It can do this because the Word is living, active, powerful in our lives. It pierces even into those dark places we never expose to our friends and family but which God sees. And it is able to discern that which we think and our intent. It tells the difference between doing something to help others out of love or for self serving purposes. Ouch, that’s gonna hurt a lot of us when we’re before Jesus’ judgment seat!

     We want to be closer to God, to experience His favour and be used by Him in mighty ways, but we are not willing to continue in His Word which is able to help us mature (Mt. 5:48), transform our mind (Rm. 12:2), and help us know Him (Jr. 31:33,34) and His will more. Is it because it hurts too much or are we looking for a quick fix like winning money from a lottery instead of becoming rich by diligently working hard? Are we just lazy, or afraid God will require too much from us?

All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work. 2Tm. 3:16,17

     Until the body of Christ diligently read, study, meditate on the Word of God, we will continue to be only a dull light in an ever darkening world. We need to step up and allow the Word to be active and powerful in our lives, open ourselves up to its cutting action which will change us from glory to glory until the face of our Father is seen in us (2Cr. 3:18).

but according to the Holy One who has called you, you also become holy in all conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
1Pt. 1:15,16
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ,
Php 1:6

Lord help us,
   and continue to actively ‘cut’ us with Your Word that we may be holy as You are holy.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Disgusted with Myself

     Once again I’ve been unwell. On June 20th I knew a tooth problem was about to happen due to the light throb. Midday on the 21st, the prescribed pain medication no longer helped relieve the intense pain. I lived with that pain until the 23rd when I had the left back molar removed along with the bright red abscess at its base. Soon after that, drainage began from the left nasal cavity.

     The 24th I was exhausted and started with a low grade fever. By the 26th I knew there was infection and visited the dentist for antibiotics followed by another 2 days of exhaustion with low fever. The 27th brought coughing up of gunk (from the sinuses). On the 30th the dentist removed the stitches and told me the sinus infection I’d acquired was not because of the tooth and to get meds from my doctor: antibiotics round 2. Still tired a lot, napping often, and getting a bit of work done when possible. I’d love to say I am completely better, but I’m not. So, am I just posting a complaint? No.

I did something bad.

More importantly, I neglected to do something good which is why I did something bad. 

     During all that time I was “too tired” to read and study the Word- but I wasn’t “too tired” to watch movies and tv shows. I talked to God, listened a bit, and worshipped some, but I didn’t read much of the Word. I watched a specific tv show that I said I wouldn’t watch again due to content that could revive thoughts that kept me in bondage for years and from which the Lord delivered me. Sure enough after watching, my flesh was weak, I could not fight the sinful thoughts in my head and I sinned- a sin I thought would not catch up with me again.

(Sin usually starts in our minds first)
You have heard that it was said to the ancients, "You shall not commit adultery." But I say to you that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Mt. 5:27,28

     I hated every minute that my mind was in that darkness but my flesh enjoyed it. I tried in my own strength to fight the thoughts, and even asked the Lord to help, but I knew this mess was one I created by my own decision to watch what I shouldn’t watch. Afterwards, I was disgusted with myself. On July 5th I went to church still feeling shame and filthy even though I’d asked for forgiveness. I knew I was forgiven but I could not forgive myself for purposely doing what I knew would harm me and betray my Love.

How stupid. How weak. How unfaithful of me.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free*. Jh. 8:32
Therefore if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. Jh. 8:36
   *make free; set at liberty from the dominion of sin

     Jesus makes us free- indeed. The Word says so. I didn’t give up on Jesus or His truth, so I should have remained free, right? “…Whoever practices sin is the slave of sin.(Jh. 8:34) What I neglected to do is read the whole passage and put it in context of all the Word.

Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed on Him, If you continue* in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Jh. 8:31,32
   *remain, abide, continue, tarry in, do not depart, kept continually

     Because I neglected to continue/ remain in the Word, my mind became weak and my flesh gave in to my weakened mind. Our minds need to be continually renewed:

I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God. Rm. 12:1,2
For this cause we do not faint; but though our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 2Cr. 4:16
For you ought to put off the old man (according to your way of living before) who is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. And you should put on the new man, who according to God was created in righteousness and true holiness. Ep. 4:22-24
having put off the old man with his deeds and having put on the new, having been renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, Cl. 3:9,10
For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2Tm. 1:7

     This renewal doesn’t happen just by thinking of God, prayer, praise and such, but through the revelation of God and Truth in the Word:

I have hidden Your Word in my heart, so that I might not sin against You. Ps. 119:11
Sanctify them through Your truth. Your Word is truth. Jh. 17:17
Casting down imaginations*, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2Cr. 10:5 KJV
   *reasoning: such as is hostile to the Christian faith

     I’d like to think I finally learned my lesson. It is probable I will still fall again, but I won’t go into it purposely believing I can handle it, I can control it, just this once… Like an alcoholic who should never take another drink, I should never watch certain things. We should not walk or live in the darkness. We are children of the light therefore we should walk in the Light. (1Th. 5:5; Ep. 5:8; Jh. 8:12)

May we all CONTINUE in His Word.