Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WARNING: SIN SUCKS...

...the LIFE right out of you!
Have you noticed?  Do you remember your old lifestyle?  Do you have a past?
Do you ever take time to recall the grandeur of our YESHUA (YHWH Saves) in your life?

"You are to remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and ADONAI your God brought you out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm." ~ D'varim 5:15


Does your heart feel compassion for those around you who still are living lives of grasping for the wind, as you once did? 

Mine does.  But not because I'm special.  My heart feels compassion because of what HE continues to do in me.  Through me.  To me.  

Understand, I once was fine with my old lifestyle.  The old man was the only man I knew.  It really never entered my mind that I could change.  I never knew that Someone could change me...if I relented. 

Straight to my core I sincerely believed that you had to be 'born into that perfect lifestyle' to experience such freedoms from what I'd grown accustomed to.  I was partially right.  You did have to be born into it...'born again' into a NEW LIFE, that is.

In the midst of my sin, I sat back and pondered for months why it is I had no peace.  Joy.  Life.  Continuity.  Stability.  Love.

I had been 'had', folks.  That is the easiest way to put it.   I no longer found satisfaction in that way of living.  I had had enough.  I finally realized that not only did this way of living (which is really a slow death) do great damage to my emotions (which would take some sanctifying repair), but also, there was NOTHING NEW about what I was doing.  

Can you believe it?  Nothing new.  Along this broad way I was walking were miles and miles of the wandering footprints of my predecessors.

'How can you be so alone when there is so many others on this broad path?', I thought to myself.

There was nothing new at all about my sins of choice.  They'd all been done before me through different timelines and cultures.   

This broad path was old, tired, and played-out.  Solomon's quest for life's answers as depicted in the book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) was centered around the somber and shared cogitation 'Is there life BEFORE death?'

I was on a quest.  Some of us had good counsel and guidance along the way.  Some of us did not.  Some of us didn't care to listen to whatever good guidance we were given.  Some of us just didn't care.  

Ya see, I was on a quest for SOMETHING NEW like so many people today.  New experiences.  New love.  New heights to lessen the low depths of my soul (that black void I was trying to ignore by earthly anesthetics).  It worked, too, for brief periods.  All those people I hung with were anesthetizing their voids as well.  We all were helpless and wearing disguises.

My reckless attitude of 'Who needs God?' was the destructive mindset that propagated the very sin that was slowly suffocating me.

Joy.  I didn't have it.  I didn't know how to get it.  I was afraid to give myself to God because that meant He would REQUIRE my sin.  I preferred my chains only because I was so used to them and afraid of what change might mean.  

But the LIGHT began to break through my sin-seared conscience and I slowly began to realize that HE wanted to ACQUIRE MY SIN, rather than requiring it.  

There's a difference.  HE was extending His Hand to lift away the heavy burden of sinful destruction from my weary bones.  

HE wanted to clothe my sin and shame with the sacrifice of HIS SON just as HE did with the VERY FIRST sacrifice (of any kind) in the Garden with Adam and Havvah.  ADONAI had to kill an animal in order to clothe the sin and the shame of His beloved Adam and Havvah (Genesis 3:21).

Likewise, HE was doing with me.  I am ever grateful that HE saved and continues to save me from myself by His tender mercies.

Pray for your lost, suffocating friends.  Love THEM as they are.  They may be rejecting your Message (Christ in you), but one day, Friend, if the sin is not unto death (absolute and final rejection of Christ), their unbearable pain will cause them to look to the closest Christ they know...you.

Pray for them.  Love them.  And wait for their place of brokenness.  

They do not need a judge.  They need 'Jesus with skin on'.

When the darkness becomes too dark and their earnings begin to overtake them, they will look to that Christ in you.  The one who loved.  The one who prayed.  The one, yes, whom they have rejected.

When they have ears to hear, tell them that sin has bankrupted their spiritual bank accounts because sin's wages are DEATH (Romans 6:23).  That is what sin earns us.  The employer - Sin - pays back DEATH to its employees.  Carousing behaviors never satisfy because our idols always betray us.

Tell them that the insatiable inexhaustible nature of our human existence has carried them off into captivity.  Tell them that empty black void in their soul is crying out for LIFE!  Tell them, however, that there is a Redeemer.

Tell them that TRUSTING CHRIST (the One Who continues to hold out His nail-scarred hand) will GAIN them something in which HE has already paid in full.  And as they trust, HE will give to them what HE intended we have from the beginning.  Eternal LIFE.

There is no bankruptcy in ETERNAL LIFE.  Life begins to happen NOW as we continue TRUSTING, together.  Tell them.

Tell them their 'friends' may surely forsake them and persecute them.  But one day, those same friends will look up to the Redeemed for help from their sin-saturated pits of tumult.

Tell them it is a lie that they have to remain trapped in their personal Egypts.  Tell them that Jesus Christ wants to ACQUIRE their sin debt that they may inherit a NEW LIFESTYLE of worship...freedom from sinful self-indulgences.  

Tell them they were made to worship!  They have just been worshiping the wrong things.

Tell them.  Pray for them.  Pray with them if they allow you.  Love them.

Tell them that all their problems with not simply disappear overnight if they begin to Trust Christ.  But, tell them that...
...the ACQUIRER of their sin-debt is now their ADVOCATE...and if GOD, their Advocate is for them, who (pray tell!) can be against them?

Tell them there is precious FREEDOM from the wandering madness of a vigorous life's journey of 'chasing after the wind'.  Tell them that their Advocate has REST for their weary souls.

Tell them that HE is the ONLY ONE able to untangle them from this Mess they call life.  

Tell them that after they have trusted and yielded their lives to Christ, that HE Who has now begun a new work in them will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.  Yes, HE is coming back for His own.

Tell them.

"I know in our day, rebel means sinner.  But everyone is sinning, so it's no longer rebellious to sin.  Jesus was a rebel who was countercultural.  You're just a conformist if you're drunk and naked, driving around on a loud motorcycle, smoking cigarettes, breaking commandments, and getting pregnant out of wedlock.  Everyone's done that; that's so tired!  If you really want to be a rebel, read your Bible.  Because no one's doing that.  That's rebellion...that's the only rebellion left!" ~ Mark Driscoll

5 comments:

jesnicole said...

PREACH IT, SISTA!! LOVE YOU.

jcdisciple said...

My heart continues to be in tune with yours (and our Lord's). Keep up the great proclamation of God's word.

Darryl Schafer said...

"There was nothing new at all about my sins of choice."

Sins of CHOICE. There's a lot in that statement. Pursue it. We have a new master now (Romans 7).

Familiar words (for me, at least): When Paul talks about the gospel, he doesn't talk about "Admit, Believe, Confess" or "Roman Road," etc. He talks about himself (Galatians 1). We are to incarnate truth and grace just as Christ did/does. In other words, we're called not to just tell good news but to BE good news. You sound a lot like Paul. Pax Christi.

Tracy Berta-daughter to the King, wife, mother, speaker, writer said...

I sit here WEEPING, Carmen! I am copying this (if that is OK!) and handing out to the girls in my small group.

Thank you for your honesty and BOLDNESS!

AMEN!!!!!!!!!

Kathryn said...

Just recently, Carmen, the Lord has led me towards Scriptures about "relief", "comfort", and "burdens". Every day it seems, He crosses my path with one who needs relief and comfort from their burdens. The Lord enables me to encourage them without judging them and to direct them to the One Who's "yoke is easy" and "burden is light" (reference Matthew 11:30).

Today, our 18-year-old nephew is coming to stay with us for an undetermined amount of time. We pray to be "Jesus with skin on" for him.

Blessings, dear sister with the squeaky clean house! Wish the cleaning fairy could hit the guest room for me today. :-)

But as for me, Heaven forbid that I should boast about anything except the execution-stake of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! Through Him, as far as I am concerned, the world has been put to death on the stake; and through Him, as far as the world is concerned, I have been put to death on the stake.  For neither being circumcised nor being uncircumcised matters; what matters is being a NEW CREATION. And as many as order their lives by this rule, shalom upon them and mercy, and upon the Isra'el of God! 

~ Galatians 6:14-16

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