Do you ever feel anguish? I sometimes do and wonder…what has become of this world?
I’ve been thinking about the many problems that plague our society. Sometimes I see things that literally startle me and leave me asking, “have we lost our minds? Are we blind?”
Look how young girls, even little girls, and women are dressed. It is as if our bodies are on display to draw sexual attention. Is that the purpose? Why would we want our daughters, ourselves, on display? Where are our values?
We know, from statistics, that internet pornography is rampant, even among people who claim to be Christians. According to Jesus, when we look with lust in our hearts we are committing adultery. For what other purpose would a person look at pornography, other than to lust?
Yesterday a thought pressed into my mind that had never before been realized. The old testament scriptures reveal to us the many times God’s people chose to forsake Him, the true and living God, for idols, literally blocks of wood or other dead creations that were made by the hands of mortal men. The real, the true and the living was exchanged for the unreal, the imagined, the dead, that which was and is false. Is pornography not a form of idolatry? It is certainly against God. People are forsaking integrity and real relationship by engaging in and clinging to the unreal and the imagined. Hearts are being broken, relationships shattered, and minds and hearts corrupted daily. No wonder some don’t seem to see their scantily dressed girls and women if their eyes have been roaming the perverted and obscene.
My heart aches in anguish over the condition of humanity at large. It’s as if some believe what is done in private and alone has no further implications or consequences beyond what to them seems a simple indulgence and this is such a devastating deception.
In truth, the condition of the heart is the source from which all other matters in one’s life is determined. What we say, what we do, emanates from the heart. From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).
Discussing behaviors and the determinants of behaviors with my students, reveals to me the lack of understanding, knowledge, and wisdom that is rampant. The indoctrination of the world has profound impact on what we think, feel, and believe. We surely must guard our eyes, our ears, in effort to guard our hearts!
Think of all the messages we are bombarded with! Commercials on television, billboards, magazines in every grocery store aisle, provocative posters in storefront windows…everywhere in our world there is deceit and seduction. How, without intentional, purposeful endeavor to know truth and to live a pure life will we find any measure of goodness? OH, how I long for a place of innocence, safety, and freedom from sin for my little children!!!
I know that many have suffered death for the sake of righteousness over the course of time. I believe many of us, now, who love Jesus and still believe, are suffering from broken hearts for the sake of righteousness. I couldn’t help but think of the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah when I was teaching yesterday. In their time as well in our’s, “…truth has stumbled in the street…”(Isaiah 59:14)…Oh Lord help us, it surely has.
When attempting to deal with the reality of sin and evil, it seems another deceptive notion has taken root among “believers.” Because all have sinned and fallen short and man’s righteousness is as filthy rags before the Lord, sin has somehow been deemed acceptable and excusable. I believe the apostle Paul would say, “God forbid!” Yes, we will bear our sin nature until death of our natural bodies, but that does not permit us to go about breaking commands and living according to the desires of our flesh. Vanity and self-indulgence are not to be markers of a follower of Jesus Christ. We are not saved by our works, but we are saved “unto good works.” A heart filled with the Spirit of Christ will bear out good fruit and we will know a tree by the fruit it bears. All we need do is open our eyes and see what is bearing.
Another thing that has become apparent to me is that we must know what we believe and why we believe it or we waver. I believe God’s Word is what it says it is; Holy, inerrant, infallible, TRUTH. So then, I believe, as it convicts me of my own sin; causing shame and calling me to repentance, that as a follower of Jesus Christ, I must say amen to my own conviction, repent and turn from my sin. I can’t pick and choose what parts I want to honor and believe. If we are choosing to honor only those things that are comfortable and acceptable to our flesh, who then is the Lord of our lives?
Either, the Lord is my Lord and I honor Him as such, or I follow and pursue my own desires and I then become my own Lord. Now…God gave us choice. So, indeed, we are free to choose, but may we choose knowingly, honestly, without deceiving ourselves. My heart is burdened because I believe so many are deceiving themselves and there is a great big world out there reinforcing the lie. Jeremiah 9:6b, “through deceit, they refuse to know Me.”
We can’t have it both ways. We can’t honor God and feed our flesh simultaneously. It is either the one, or the other. A friend of the world is an enemy of God (James 4:4).
If you are burdened with an anguished heart, pray with me for our world, for our children, for the confused and misled that eyes will be opened to truth and hearts purified and united with Christ for all eternity.