Hey BCU family,
As usual, please enjoy the audio podcast (click on the icon below), the written transcript, or both! In either case, God bless you as you read, hear and apply the Word of God.
As we prepped and started heart surgery last time, we realized how lust and pride effects our hearts, speech and actions. Last time, we looked at the evil queen Jezebel, who had an innocent man killed in order to get her pouty husband, king Ahab a vineyard he just had to have! (I Kings 21).Let’s take a look what the Word says about lust and pride.
Do not love the world or anything in the world, if anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything in the world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, comes NOT from the Father, but from the world. The world and the lusts pass away, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (I John 2:15-17).
This is a fixed fight, and God wants us to be victorious over our heart meditations and gives us the Word in which to do it. Our anchor scripture, Psalm 19:14 says, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O, Lord my strength and my redeemer. Let’s talk about the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, and our some of our seemingly innocent heart meditations may not be acceptable to God.
Lust of the flesh: all having to do with bodily desires.
Your body needs: Proper nourishment in order to function optimally. Where do we go wrong? Gluttony. The word of God reminds us NOT to be among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. (Proverbs 23:20-21). The thought here if it is hard to control your appetite, it likely hard to control other areas– rather they likely control you. God gives the Spirit-filled believer the ability to say “no” to anything in excess through exercising the fruit of the Spirit, particularly, self-control found in Galatians 5:22. We just need to make sure to practice self-control with God’s help.
Something else your body needs? Sleep or rest! We DEFINITELY need sleep in order to repair, rejuvenate–just to even function on all six cylinders. Jesus told the disciples to come apart into the desert and rest awhile in Mark 6:31. Jesus Himself slept (Mark 4:38). Where we go wrong? Little to no activity other than sleeping. Yes, Jesus and the disciples rested, but they were tired from being BUSY from what they were called to do. The lazy and slothfulness we talked about from the lust of the eyes is closely related to this oversleeping lust of this flesh here. Listen to what the Word says.
“Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty. Open your eyes and you will be satisfied with bread” (Proverbs 20:13) that speaks for itself. Also, think about this, “the harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37). If we are playing/sleeping when we’re supposed to be harvesting, we lose out on the fruit of the harvest (souls saved, healed, delivered and set free), and make more work for the laborers. We want to be in the few as God directs. Rest, yes, just not in excess.
Another body need? some activity/to work. It’s all good—we thank GOD for those who work! But then there is the work-aholic. Always going into the office, always taking the overtime, always on call (even when you don’t have to be), folding, pacing, cleaning, checking—just can’t be still. If you are working or always doing some activity, you will not hear from God. Has the activity around social media replaced your prayer, Bible study, quiet time with God? Social media is a good thing—its the lack of self-control that’s the issue and needs to be surrendered to God. Let’s switch gears and talk about the pride of life.
Pride of life: These desires have to do with the spirit.
So, the desire to taking care of yourself, eating right, exercising, taking care of your hair, skin, nice clothes, etc., good! Weigh that against an obsession with trying to look 20 at 75. What is it with all this anti aging and commercials for facelifts? Where are the “mothers” of the church, neighborhoods? The wise folks? All looking to get “booed” or “bae-ed” up? We want to represent God by looking and dressing nice—vanity has no place in our hearts. Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman who fears (reverences) the Lord , she shall be praised (Proverbs 31:30). Men (and everyone really), 2 Corinthians 4:16b says, but though the outward man perish, yet the inward man us renewed day by day. Let’s make sure we take care of the inside as well as we do the outside.
What about the desire to please your parents, guardians, grandparents—what child doesn’t want someone to be proud of them? What happens when you do not “outgrow” that desire and it turns into people pleasing at ANY cost? Here’s where lying, stealing, deceiving, (acting like we like something) among other things can come into play—just to be liked–and it is NEVER enough. We better stick with God’s approval. He told Jesus in Matthew 3:17 this is my Son in whom I am well pleased. That should be our heart’s desire!
Let’s talk thorough the desire to know more about something—Proverbs tells us to get knowledge over gold (8:10). When you know something and others do not, is you heart calling them “stupid?”
I recall a “discussion” with someone years ago and they said “everybody knows that”. First of all, home skillet was lying, because everyone would include everyone—like my 5 year old niece—what does she know about grown folks business? She was likely studying Elmo, so NO, not everybody knows what point you’re trying to prove. Secondly, that prideful remark was a slick way of trying to make me feel less intelligent than that individual and everyone else in the world. I don’t recall how the Lord had me handle it, but with God’s grace, I try not to say that or anything like it to anyone. Innocent as it sounds, there is pride there.
What about us “good, saved” people? Our sins have been washed away, we’ve been baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost and we live Holy—no smoking, drinking, partying, etc. We are in the “right” church affiliation, so NO sermons, studies, devotionals, anything God reveals during prayer or reading time is for us, it’s a word for her. Him. Them. That prideful spirit hardens the heart, so that the Word doesn’t penetrate and stir us to repentance and changing what we do. It takes some dire circumstance to get our attention.
Years ago, I was talking to a friend very “innocently” about other persons—it wasn’t malicious or mean-spirited, just something God would rather I not do and likely had elements of pride. (well I would never, or why did she do….) I must have passed too many warning signs because someone got to telling my business to some friends of mine and I was HEATED. The Lord gently reminded me that I felt how those people felt. After that God blessed me to be a confidant to many people who wanted advice or a listening ear. We can discuss matters for better understanding, clarification and as a cautionary advice, but in the right spirit. Things like “if she were a better mother she would..” vs “it may be hard for her as a single parent….” “I don’t know what’s wrong with her…if I had raised her…” “ it sounds like Vaselina needs a more structure. We need to pray for her parents (or talk to them as the Lord leads) for them to help her follow directions. We want to crucify this part of our flesh DAILY!
We could go on and on about with different scenarios about heart conditions. I know the Lord spoke to me on some of these very things and with His grace I am more aware and alert as to when the enemy comes by. In fact, I took the kiddos out to eat and was on my way to pay the check. It was crowded as people were waiting to be seated, pay, etc. and the enemy said “you can walk right out of here without paying and no one would know.” I mean JUST like that. Thank God for the desire to pay—but it’s those thoughts you mediate on that you can give a voice and permission to act on.
This week, start paying more attention to your thoughts/ what’s in your heart. Ask God to show you (even if it’s painful), what areas need more attention or a purge and ask for His help in overcoming them and creating a clean heart Psalm 51:10. Also, step up your gatekeeping of the heart as directed in Proverbs 4:23. Finally, Philippians 4:8 reminds us to think on true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. This way, NO room is allocated for any of the pride and lusts we talked about.
Well, BCU family, this brings #SpeechTherapy part 3 to a close! I pray the Word blesses and challenges you to do things differently for the Lord. Thank you all for tuning in and please come back for #SpeechTherapy part 4! Until the next time we are together, #StayOnTheWall.