Greetings, fellow believers,
Today, I want to share a bit on some of what the Lord has been teaching me. It’s always a humbling experience when the Lord grabs my attention. I get to feeling good about my walk with Christ, then suddenly – bam! He shows me who I am and how much of me continues to feed the carnal man. But you know, one reason I get comfortable, as the Lord is showing me, is because I have believed so much false teaching.
A few years ago, I was dating this Christian man. He was a lovely man, flawless in so many ways. He was a committed believer, a leader, and such. But as perfect as he was, he still managed to get himself in some big messes. Well, naturally, since we were dating, I followed suit. The whole encounter was a good lesson. Without any specific details, after the dust settled, this man of God walked away, seemingly unscathed. He told me that our relationship had to end because it had started on the wrong foot. He confessed his misgiving to God and moved on. After that, all I heard was blah, blah. He walked away as if nothing happened, but I was like what!? I had gone through something similar with my ex-husband that to this day, I don’t understand, but not this man. I appreciated his reasoning, and his conviction-it made perfect sense to me. I guess I was happy that he was able to dust himself off and continue his walk with the Lord, but I was left spiritually confused. That was fifteen years ago. The Lord had yet to begin working in me.
Well, The Lord did eventually stop me in my tracks. Years of want, need, and whining came to an end. In short, in 2014, He led me on a spiritual journey. I came to realize that the Lord had been working in my life, and I didn’t even know it. In that time, the Lord had stripped me of my worldly identity. He made known to me who I was in Him. The year was one of revelation about Him, but also about me. I have to be honest. I did not like who I was or what I had become. It’s a long story, one that I wrote about in my book. If you are interested, you can read about it in my book-The Diary of a Christian Woman.
Anyway, the lesson here was that in our walk with Jesus Christ, we fall, we stumble, we confess our sins, we ask for forgiveness, and the Lord graciously forgives our sin to remember it no more. Well, when we choose not to live as Christ commanded, we can influence the walk of other believers, young, new, less mature Christians. And by our example, the less seasoned Christian learns to accept and mimic Christ-like behaviors and attitudes – that are a compromised version.
In my walk, I had picked up some behaviors and attitudes from fellow Christian women (faithful in their church attendance) – that in my mind were contrary to God’s word. These women were able to rationalize each behavior, leaving me further confused and feeling foolish. Though in my mind, I was like, “If they can do it, I can too.”
What is the purpose of living a Christian life if one’s desire is to live and consume, lust after the things of the world, like the non-Christian? What’s that scripture? Anything that is not done in faith is sin (Romans 14:23). That scripture can be used to justify all sorts of ungodly living. Talk about context? If I rely on the witness of a reckless Christian, or a pastor, preacher, teacher that hones in on that one verse to justify material gain, or anything that feeds the flesh, guess what?
Forward to 2017, when I reunited with the man that was to be my husband, I was a different woman. The Lord had done tremendous work in my life. In the two and a half years since we married, my husband has made little comments about my behavior and attitude. Of course, I would be offended and deny his claims. Sadly, my husband was correct. Since getting married, I had changed. Not so dramatically that anyone would notice, except for him and, of course, the Lord.
The Lord was gracious to me. I was on a weekend trip with my sister when the Lord rebuked me. My heart was breaking. My spirit ached when I realized what I had become. I had to make it right with my husband because my worldly self had dragged my husband down with me.
There are numerous apologists, writers, bloggers, and so on that offer their interpretation of scripture regarding creating a stumbling block for a fellow believer. And I can imagine many would say the Scriptures tend to be taken out of context. However, its been interpreted, I can say my experiences have shown me that whether we do something in faith, or not, it does not matter; we are and will be held accountable for leading someone down the wrong path. So if a woman, or a man, proclaiming to be a believer and follower of Jesus Christ lives a life of promiscuity, guess what?
The way I understood it was like this. When in the course of our walk to heaven, we fall into various potholes and sinkholes. Along the way, we may recklessly drag someone down with us, and both fall into one of these holes.
On a dry road, a pothole, or dips on the road are easy to see, and the depth easy to gauge. Although, distraction can make it easy to miss. If you don’t slow down you might hit your head on the roof. A heavy rainfall can mask the potholes and the dips. If you’ve not traveled on the road after a rainstorm you may not know how deep the water can collect. Those potholes and dips become unavoidable in the rain, but familiarity with road prepares you. Years ago, I lived in this little town. There was this little mom and pop store I would stop at when I needed to pick something up. To get home, I used to take a short cut. It was an unpaved road created by drivers doing likewise – taking a short cut. When the path was dry I had to slow down for the dips. One time, after a heavy rainfall I stopped at the store and noticed the path was wet. I had not driven on it after a rainfall, so I figured it was going to be a sticky ride. Guess what? On that road, one of the dips turned into a mini sinkhole. When I felt the drop, I looked out my rear view – I could see the trunk of my car. I laugh about it now, but it was not funny at the time. I was freaking out! The Lord is so good. Two gentlemen in a pickup saw what had happened and offered to pull me out. I was so thankful. I honestly did not know how I was going to get my car out of that hole.
A sinkhole, on the other hand, happens unexpectedly. It’s much deeper and extremely dangerous. The reasons they occur are too complicated, but one that occurred here took the lives of two people. Had the drivers known the ground would collapse beneath them, I am sure they would have taken a different route. Attempts to rescue the two individuals proved futile.
As Christians, we sin. Sometimes, we surrender to flesh without thought. We jump in and consider the consequences later. When we realize our error in judgment, we confess to the Lord, seek forgiveness, and move on.
Sin begins with a thought. We allow that thought to fester in our minds. We find ways to rationalize sin, and before we know it – we are trapped in that sin – in the mind and/or in the body. We wallow in the mire. Attempts at rescue may be futile. We may not care that someone is trying to help us out of the mock and mire. The Holy Spirit has been quenched.
Our Christian walk is our testimony of God’s mercy, grace, forgiveness, and all good things that represent God. Do we continue to sin that grace may abound? No. Do we live a life contrary to God’s word? We often do. The question is, when the Spirit of God convicts us, do we acknowledge our sin? Do we confess and do we seek forgiveness of God and those we inadvertently, or intentionally dragged down with us?
Romans 8:28 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
28 [a]Also we know that [b]all things work together for the best unto them that love God, even to them that are called of his [c]purpose.
Romans 8:28 Eighthly, we are not afflicted, either by chance or to our harm, but by God’s providence for our great profit, who as he chose us from the beginning, so hath he predestined us to be made like to the image of his Son: and therefore will bring us in his time, being called and justified, to glory, by the cross.
Romans 8:28 Not only afflictions, but whatsoever else.
Romans 8:28 He calleth that, Purpose, which God hath from everlasting appointed with himself according to his good will and pleasure.
The Christian walk is about transformation. It us transforming into the image of Christ. It’s about awareness. The devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. If continue to fall into the same messes, guess what?
There is so much deception in the church, but you know what? There’s always been deception in the church. And the enemy has perfected his deception. We are quite content to have our ears tickled.
2 Corinthians 3:18 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
18 [a]But we all behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord with open face, and are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18 Going forwards in the allegory of the covering, he compareth the Gospel to a glass, which although it be most bright and sparkling, yet doth it not only not dazzle their eyes, which look in it, as the law doth, but also transformeth them with its beams, so that they also be partakers of the glory and shining of it, to lighten others: as Christ said unto his, You are the light of the world, whereas he himself was the only light. We are also commanded in another place, to shine as candles before the world, because we are partakers of God’s Spirit. But Paul speaketh here properly, of the ministers of the Gospel, as it appeareth both by that that goeth before, and that that cometh after, and that, setting them his own example and his fellows.
Y’all be blessed.