Wednesday, 06 June 2012
Struggles in this life are as sure as breathing I believe; there isn’t a high road that we can choose to bypass the inevitable temptations and our inclinations to indulge these things from to time to time. Sometimes we face them with the ''eye of the tiger'' in the power of Christ and win, and sometimes it feels as if we are mere kittens looking into the eyes of lions, into the eyes of constant defeat.
In the jungle madness of life, we have the distinct misfortune of being side swiped and bombarded by almost every single aspect of the culture that we as Americans live in. From alcohol beverages being paraded around in most of our commercials, billboards, and magazines; to curse words becoming relatively common place on any platform of life even the pulpit at times. We are inundated by cover girls revealing all but too much to look away from, every car commercial and magazine advertisement has with it a half-naked lady accompanying it. Our culture has become over saturated with the obsession of visual candy, what we have is a sex driven society with little to no restraints at all.
We have become extremely and hopelessly materialistic; we live, sleep, eat, drink, primarily to supplement our psychological need and our fleshly desire for more things. The next model car, the newest IPhone, the latest Laptop’s, the hottest clothing, the coolest homes, the biggest boats, the finest of jewelry, and we give our time and effort to these things simply to gain the attention and praise of other people most times.
Conversely, in the eyes of one who loves God, and is seeking to gain a deeper and closer understanding and relationship with Him; doesn’t matter at all how he/she at times may run after these things, the fact is that these things are distractions. We have indeed been transformed and are being molded and sculpted into the image of Christ through His Holy Spirit in the work of sanctification by the work of God; but this doesn’t mean that we won’t desire and want to run after the things that the world has set before us as their gods, it just means that anything we run after that isn’t Christ will not satisfy us.
Luke12:15 says: “Then he said to them,"Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Just as Jesus here says to be on guard of greed, I would like to encourage each of you to avoid getting caught up in the paganism/polytheism of our culture in this matter on every level. From sex (Homosexual and heterosexual promiscuity) to the love of money, from Cell phones to anything else that you may struggle with (fill in the blank) that separates you from Christ; Hold on to your faith, and don’t get caught up into the cycle of insanity that leads to death.
Paul said this in Colossians 3:1-4: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.”
We will struggle in this life, and we will fall perhaps quite a lot, but we can’t afford to sell our souls to the world to acquire what isn’t eternal, what will pass away, we need to be heavenly minded. Paul the apostle said this to young timothy: “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.'' (2 Timothy 2:1-7)
Do you live with your head in the clouds? How do you avoid the temptation to become of the world instead of just in it? Is it wrong to be engaged in culture, or is there a point that is too far?