Warning: This post may be potentially confusing. Proceed with caution!
Just wanted to give that disclaimer because I have several thoughts that are chasing each other in my mind and I don't know if I can put them into writing in a coherent manner, but I wanted to share them just the same.
First, I've been losing ground in this fight against laziness. I've seen it coming for the last week or so like being chased by dogs in the distance and realizing little by little that they are gaining on you! A little laziness here and a little indulgence there and all of a sudden...BOOM... you're life is falling apart around you! Hmmm...that sound like something I've read before "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, Your poverty will come in like a vagabond, and your need like an armed man." Proverbs 6:11 Well, right now I have a vagabond and an armed man standing in my house! I contemplated posting a picture of the destruction that is around me, but I'll spare you the pain. Destruction: that leads me to my next thought. (I warned you this could be confusing!) I read this morning in Proverbs 18 a verse that is beginning to brand itself into my mind. At times it brings stinging conviction, at times I read it and feel despair. This morning it was little of both. So here it is..."He also who is slack in his work is a brother to him to DESTROYS." Pro. 18:9 Oh how true this is! Have you ever heard the proverbial southern saying (most likely from your mother) "This house looks like it was hit by a tornado!"Now we all know that there was no actual severe weather that caused destruction, but rather as the proverb says, someone was "slack in his work". But in the end the result is the same:DESTRUCTION! This morning, my house looks like it's waiting for the governor to arrive and declare it a disaster zone! So I read this and felt it's bite and knew that I was the slack man akin to the destroyer. And then I read on. Verse 19 of Proverbs says, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe." Now I know that the Proverbs are little snippets of truth usually placed randomly and that verse 8 does not flow into verse 9 as in other parts of Scripture, but this morning my heart NEEDED to hear v 9 after the pain of v 8! All along, my intention in writing this blog has been to give an account of my battle with laziness, but sometimes I begin to see it as only MY battle. I forget that in all my working and striving I accomplish nothing without my HELPER, my LORD who has ALREADY accomplished ALL that I need by His perfect life, sacrificial death, and victorious resurrection!!!!! This thought had been stirring in my mind ever since our Pastor's sermon yesterday morning. He was beginning his series on I Corinthians and giving an overview of all the problems in the Corinthian church and then he read I Cor. 1:18 "For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the POWER OF GOD." He went on to say that the answer to all the problems in the Corinthian church was THE CROSS, the answer to all the problems, issues, sins in our lives is THE CROSS. Lydia even asked me after church what he meant by that and I told her that I think he meant that the Cross took care of our greatest and only eternal problem:SIN, but I've been thinking about the real significance of the CROSS in my life. The truth that the Cross of Christ answers all our problems is so familiar that I can overlook it and want to move on to something else, but as our pastor also said,"We never graduate from the Gospel" I want to contemplate Christ and His Cross and the refuge and safety that it is for me, protecting me from God's just, furious wrath for my sin and bringing me into His Presence with favor and grace!
When I sin against HIM (Pro. 18:8 for example) I run to HIM for safety! AMAZING!
We offend HIM yet HE is the One who helps us and protects us from HIMSELF! In our battling against sin HE is our place of safety. I don't know what "name" of the Lord Pro. 18:9 refers to, but I know that the name of Jesus literally means "SAVIOR" and in that name I will be safe!
So here comes another turn in the road of my thoughts, I also read Psalm 46 by the Providence and Grace of God! It begins, "God is our REFUGE and STRENGTH, a very present HELP in trouble (lit. tight places!) " and verse 7 and 11 repeat "The Lord of hosts is WITH US; the God of Jacob is our STRONGHOLD." Do you see a pattern beginning to emerge? And before I read that my husband was reading "Spiritual Growth" by A.W. Pink (an excellent book HIGHLY recommended!!!!) and he mentioned Heb. 4:16 so I looked it up and it begins with a therefore so I had to find out "what the therefore was there for". I went back to verse 14 and begin reading, "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, JESUS THE SON OF GOD, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. THEREFORE (because of who JESUS is and what HE's done) let us draw near with CONFIDENCE to the throne of grace, so that we may receive MERCY and find GRACE to HELP IN TIME OF NEED!" Our Lord is SO faithful to teach us and remind us that what we really need is HIMSELF! I don't just need to be diligent. I don't just need to fight laziness and learn to be a keeper at home, I need HIM FIRST! And then, in HIM I will have all I need to live as HE commands.
SO, when the tornado is coming threatening to bring destruction (the tornado being my own sin) I can run to my SHELTER and be protected and refreshed to continue to fight for holiness in HIS STRENGTH! He is gracious to show us that in all our obedience the truth HE wants us to find is that WE NEED HIM!
Righteous, (amazing that we are called that!), run to the strong tower that is the name of our LORD, "JESUS THE SON OF GOD" (Heb. 4:14) and be SAFE!