We Can Do/Have/Be…What?! PART 1
“Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.” Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 (NLT)
Secularland has always promoted a “Do what thou wilt” philosophy, hasn’t it? I don’t care what century it has been or what governing body it had taken on, “Do what thou wilt” as always been the whole of its law. The funny thing about this is that it is a law that has to be broken and it is mostly broken by the ones who endorse it. Because at the heart of its matter Secularland can only endure so much chaos before someone steps up and takes command of the situation. This can come with an unfortunate truth however, and that is the one who makes the stand comes with some dangerous absolutes that are basically centered in a “Do what thou wilt” framework and a society suffers because of it.
There is no question of the suffering Jesus endured on the way to and by hanging on The Cross…but I wonder about His 40 days fasting in the wilderness. The Father announces to the world, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” after Jesus is baptized, then we turn the page to read this, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1) Not exactly what I would call “good times” but this needs to happen. The Edenic problem needs to be solved and Jesus Christ is the solution. By the time His 40 days are coming to its end the adversary shows up with the same temptations he had for Eve in The Garden. This time there will be no caving in to them but that doesn’t mean it ends there.
The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is alive, well and breathes its contemptible little self in the very hearts of our existence. If it weren’t for the fact that our God didn’t want robot’s worshipping Him I would venture to guess those three elements were to never exist at all, but they do. And for those of us who may think that when we do wrong we can fall back on the saying, “the devil made you do it” needs to rethink that. The devil only really makes suggestions based on appealing to our egos. So if one were to have a high opinion of one’s self then you are open to suggestion. “Surely God wouldn’t want this or that to be this way or that way” or “Did God really say this or that” are popular suggestions of thought we deal with…daily!!
I’ve been reading a booklet titled “Understanding Temptation” by Mark E. Shaw and he has brought some interesting thought to this whole idea of temptation. His one point is that Satan may be a real threat but Jesus taught the primary source of all sorts of wickedness is our own hearts. He shared a quote from a Chinese general who basically said if you know both you and your enemy you will not need to fear your battles. If you know you but not the enemy you’ll get a victory then a defeat BUT if you know neither you will succumb in every battle. And that my friends is how it rolls in Secularland as it does in Christendom.
Over the course of the next few weeks understanding temptation and getting to its antidote will be my subject matter. Yes, we now know that Jesus is the antidote but to say that early on is like saying just drop a nuke over our enemies and blast them back to Stone Age. You have the answer now but you didn’t have it then and if you don’t take the time to understand the history you’ll just take the antidote for granted. Like if we keep on sinning, God is faithful and, because of Jesus, will just keep forgiving us for our sin (by the way, that’s REAL BAD THEOLOGY). I hope that we can get to heart of the matter and realize that what we read in Romans 12 isn’t a suggestion but a doctrine to live by. Amen? – Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger. You can write to Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: The widest thing in the universe is not space; it is the potential capacity of the human heart. Being made in the image of God, it is capable of almost unlimited extension in all directions. And one of the world’s worst tragedies is that we allow our hearts to shrink until there is room in there for little besides ourselves.”—A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “ … in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.” Titus 2:7-8