Darn the flesh which seeks to be praised! As if battling my sin was not hard enough I also have to contend with the flesh which tries to keep me self centered instead of Christ centered. It’s not all about me dog gone it!
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15. ESV.)
I love that piece of scripture! Oh, how dangerous the desires of the flesh truly are…and that includes self-centeredness. When I am doing laundry and/or cleaning house my thoughts are consumed by foolishness until I am jabbed by the Holy Spirit and realize I am not taking each thought captive. Minutes, maybe even hours are wasted in empty, flesh satisfying thought. But thank God for His grace and reminders of His sovereignty!!!
Job 15:35: They conceive trouble and bring forth futility; their womb prepares deceit.
Psalm 7:14: Behold the wicked brings forth iniquity; Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood.
Isaiah 59:4: No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.
Romans 5:12: Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned –
Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This week I have seen two breathless reminders of God’s power, control, and His amazing grace and mercy. Wednesday night we returned from a dinner outing to a clear sky with no sign of a disturbance on the horizon. One of the older children in my home was on the phone with a friend of hers who lives about an hour away. Her friend was commenting on the intense thunder storm that was rumbling outside her home. We thought nothing of it and continued our usual evening routine with bedtime at its regular hour. Two 30 in the morning the household (except for the younger children) was awakened by severe lightning and house shuddering thunder. The flashes of lightning were blinding and when I first woke up I thought we were experiencing an earthquake, the thunder was so forceful. I felt so small and prayed for God’s mercy on our family and home. The fear of a lightning strike and fire played through my mind until I was comforted by the Holy Spirit and was able to relax. I counted the seconds between lightning flashes and thunder claps as I slowly fell back to sleep.
Friday held yet another unbelievable display of our King’s supremacy, authority, forgiveness and compassion. My dear sister in Christ and her family has been in a nine to ten month journey toward adopting two precious boys from Ethiopia. The experience has been a roller coaster of immeasurable joy, heights of delight, nearly unbearable waiting, and depths of sadness. After eight months of anticipation the adoption came to a surprising end when a biological parent returned and did not want the boys to be adopted. It seemed the story was over. We rejoiced as the children were going to be reunited with their parent however there was a great sadness they were not going to be joining my sister in Christ’s family. The adoption process had to start all over again with two, new beautiful children. About a month and half later (just a few days ago) the family was notified the original children (the two boys) were theirs and they can go and pick them up next month. God had done what seemed impossible. The story had not ended, rather it was just beginning. I was reminded of Abraham and Sarah who learned NOTHING is unworkable for God. EVERYTHING is attainable by Him whether it is regarding an adoption, a hardened heart toward Him, a sick child, physical or mental illness, etc.
Job 12:7-9: “But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this,”…
Psalm 19:1-6: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, and its circuit to the other end; and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
Jeremiah 5:22: “Do you not fear Me?” says the Lord. “Will you not tremble at My presence, who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.”
My faith and trust must stay in the Lord. My sin of self centeredness, doubt, fear, frustration, anxiety, discontentment, unthankfulness, pride, impatience, and worldliness must not take my focus from my King. I must remain Christ centered and not self centered!
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:31-34. NKJV.)