Folks, I want to share with you on the topic of godlessness, partly because it has become perverse, and will continue to do so as the time goes on, but also because much of which I struggled with…..
And I don’t want you to struggle with the same things I did, and with the hope that by revealing to you an honest accounting of me, you will be encouraged that if God brought me through, He can get you through where you are…….
Today, we are on 11 Timothy 3:2-9. Here Paul is teaching about avoiding godlessness……Actually, much of what I am going to say isn’t all that deep, but it had such a profound impact on me when I read it, that I thought I would testify of God’s goodness to you…..
v. 2 “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.”
- There was a time, this described me to a T….I had come to a point where I was very happy being in my own strength, proud of my self accomplishments and not living right before God…I was happy having my cake and eating it, not living right, but doing all that I wanted……I had come to a point where God was so detached from what was going on in my life that I seemed to be making it by myself, and it was well with my soul…….Such folly.
v. 3 “Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good”
- This was me too….I had come to a point where my affections towards women weren’t natural……I had began to look at them as sexual objects, and vehicles through which to have my every desire met. I know some of you may struggle with other aspects of “without natural affection”. I was bitter, angry, and seem to genuinely dislike those who were living aright before God.
v. 4 “Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God”
- Again, this was me….I loved my pleasure….my meat, my drink, my sex, my porn, masturbation, whatever…..As long as it gave me pleasure, I was game…..Fortunately, no hard core drugs, but I know some of you may not have been spared..
v. 5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.”
- Indeed, I was content looking godly, quoting a scripture now and again, being able to acknowledge Christ, but still not being submitted truly to Him. Knowing of the goodness of God, but content cruising along, my way and basically coasting on the grace of God, and not truly doing enough to walk righteously before the Great I Am
v. 6 “For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with diverse lusts.”
- Again, this was me, me me…..have all sorts of sexual encounters with women who were already in themselves in sin, but not caring…..As long as there was some pleasure in it…And it wasn’t hard either to lead captive a silly woman already laden with sin, led away with diverse lusts…..
v. 7 “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
- Again, knowing the word of God, but never truly understanding it enough to affect the sort of change that I needed to!
I don’t know if this is you….Do you find that you aren’t living quite right before Him….Or maybe you are content in your ways, and your way seems to be working, and so what’s all the fuss?……
My encouragement to you is that although our God is merciful, you cannot deceive Him….Because He hasn’t chosen to deal with us according to the bountifulness of our iniquity doesn’t mean He doesn’t care…..His eyes are upon us, and He takes notice of everything that is going on……
I want you to know that there’s always a cost……When we don’t walk right before God, there’s always a cost, and the question then becomes, “What are you willing to risk?”…….Your blessing, your life, your health, your family, your finances?
For me, I realized that I was playing Russian roulette with my life, and if I was not careful, I was going to be led to certain destruction…..But all praise be to God, that He didn’t cast me away, but upheld me with the power of His outstretched arm….
Note, I am not saying that it is easy…..Some things in your life are easier to rid yourself off than others……But folks we have to try…..Cry unto God, pray, fast, do what you must to rid yourself of the cluches of the enemy…..
For me, this scripture challenges me especially on the area of pleasure……Because the moment I love pleasure in my life, more than I love God, there’s a problem…And when you do, all the other things mentioned in this passage of scripture come to be…..And it is so easy to slide into a place where you rejoice in the things that God has given you, than in rejoicing in God…..It isn’t surprising therefore that we seek God with much fervor when things are going badly, but not so when things are going well……When we feel like we’ve made it, God tends to be far from our hearts and minds…….
If I was to honestly look at my life, the love for pleasure and in the need to satisfy deep seated pleasure is what began to corrupt my faith walk with God, and brought about a whole lot of godlessness….
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with pleasure….The problem is that the enemy gets us to indulge in our pleasures to draw us away from God, and its easy to do because pleasure is nice, it comes naturally…..And then when he has exhausted the things that we were supposed to enjoy, He gets us to defile that which we weren’t supposed to so as to satisfy our need for pleasure…….
Take sex for instance……Sex in itself is pleasurable, but it has its time and its place…..But the enemy has gotten us to a place where we abuse it, have sex with everything anything, anyone….objects, animals, whatever, just to get more pleasure….
And so as I type this, I know that I am also speaking to myself, as much as I am speaking to you….My prayer for myself is that my pleasures delight in the ways of the Lord…..The word says that if we delight in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart……
Now that I write this, I wonder how far I would be if I had learnt to tame my flesh, to mortify my members, to pleasure and delight myself in the things of God…..If I truly hungered after God as much as I used to hunger for sexual gratification…….If I was quick to honor and please my God that my pleasure was to make sure that He was proud of me…….
OK, maybe for you it isn’t sex….Perhaps its money, perhaps its recognition, perhaps its position, perhaps its affection, perhaps its beauty…..I urge you to really look at your life, and to figure out what is it that would soon overtake you if the Lord doesn’t help you deal with it…….
My prayer for myself is that I may not deceive myself, and it’s the same prayer for you…..That you may look at your life critically, and figure out whether you are living for godliness or perfecting godlessness…….And that you let the word of God cut you deeply…….
OK, this is hard to write, because as I write it, I am cutting my flesh up, and bringing areas in my life that need to be wholly submitted to Him, Trusting and Knowing that He is able to deliver me and to sustain me in His love……..
OK, there’s a part of that scripture that I haven’t dealt with……
v. 8 “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth; men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith”
v. 9 “But they shall proceed no further; for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was”
Understand that we can lie to ourselves till the cows come home, but we can’t lie to God….And we will be held accountable for that which we did in our flesh, and our folly will be exposed…..and that which was done in secret will come to the fore-front……
So, its important for us to come to God and acknowledge to Him that we lack, and need Him to help us…..You need not out yourself publicly like I am doing, lol, but you do need to be honest with yourself, and talk to God plainly…Let Him know what He already knows, and submit yourself to Him……
Again, its nearing spring…..A good time to “spring clean” your heart and mind and rid yourself of the things in your life that are compromising your stand with Him…My prayer is that I daily submit my pleasures to Him, and that I daily delight in that which He delights in!
For I know that if I delight myself in the Lord, He will give me the desires of my heart….
God bless you all!