I was just reading in Genesis chapter 19 about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and it got me to thinking about Lot. Back in chapter 13 both he and Abraham had become so rich (wealth back then being defined by cattle not gold) that they had to go their separate ways in order for them to find enough pasture for their flocks. In chapter 14 those cities are conquered, Lot and his family are captured, and uncle Abraham has to ride to the rescue. Then chapter 19 takes place. There is no mention of Lot’s wealth only his civic job (judge at the gate) and the angels tell him to get all his family together and run, but no mention of all those servants he had had back in chapter 13. We know from the closing verses of chapter 19 that he has no more wealth otherwise his virgin daughters would not have had to get him drunk in order to have kids (on a side note, what would have happened if their plan failed the first time?).
What happened to those servants? Had they left his employ after the events of chapter 14? Did Lot buy his seat by trading them for it? Had they lead the mob to Lot’s door to rape the angels? Were they just so discussed with Lot that they didn’t believe him when his warning came (remember the angels asked if he had sons and whosoever thou hast v12)? Could that be why Abraham when he was pleading with God to not destroy the cities started with 50 because he figured a good part of Lot’s servants would be believer’s? Surely these missing servants died with the rest in Sodom, or even perhaps some had already moved on.
As I draw this to a close I can’t help but think about people who I have met over the years at church. People who have left the local assembly. Not those who moved away or relocated to a different church mind you. I am talking about those who have just gone missing. For whatever reason they left. Perhaps because they had their feelings hurt. Maybe they had come expecting one thing and when it didn’t go their way they gave up on their idea of God. Some left because of sickness or work and even after that stretch was over they just stayed where they were. Comfort can be a bad thing for a Christian and many have fallen into that trap as well. We need to pray for the missing, pray that they come back on the scene before God starts lighting His fire.
God doesn’t want His children living in the world, and as such there are times when He will send someone to pray them through. Genesis 18:23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Abraham knew where and how his nephew Lot was living. God came and laid it on his heart to pray for his nephew’s deliverance from that place. Is there someone God has laid on your heart to pray for?
A light bulb burnt out in our livingroom. The fixture uses 4 bulbs so we still had light but it was noticeably dimished.
It was a quick fix.
As I made my way into the room with the new bulb I got to thinking about Elijah over in 1 Kings 19. He had just won a great victory for God but was burnt out spiritually, mentally, and physically. So when the threat from queen Jezebel arrived he ran for his life. He southern journey took him first to a juniper tree and then to Mt. Horeb.
At the juniper tree God refreshed him enough to make it to Horeb. There at Mt. Horeb God had to fix him, a new bulb waa given to him if you will. Elijah needed help, help that he could not gice himself. Just like my light fixture couldn’t change itself we, like Elijah, need God to make repairs to us. Sometimes it is major, sometimes it is simply changing out a burnt out bulb.
At our depot yesterday we are getting new docking plates installed. The boss had me watch them being installed to see if we could do it ourselves and save some money. Everything the guys did I know how to do but I am on lite duty, so I can’t, and we don’t have some of the tools needed.
While I was watching though they started using a welder. Of course you can’t watch the actual welding going on without proper eyewear. So I turned my back. You could feel the electricity in the air on this humid summer morning.
It made me think of the revival that is going on now down in Burlington North Carolina. C. T. Townsend is being used by God mightily there. The meeting started in a church 7 weeks ago that holds 900 and they had to move it to a nearby field and put up a tent.
Churches are busing in people from all over! Last Friday night Kenny Baldwin preached the Youth Night service and they had over 5,100 people in attendance. Over 300 people so far have been saved so far!
God made Israel a promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” I believe God extends that promise to His saved people too. People are hungry for God, there is electricity in the air down there and it is spreading some, let’s all pray it continues.
Anybody here ever have an occasion as a small child when mommy or daddy would tell you not to touch the stove because it was hot? Then one time they let you touch it, because it was only warm and wouldn’t hurt you but would get your attention. That is called first hand experience. You have gone from having the knowledge of that the stove could be dangerous to now knowing that it is dangerous and must be respected.
In Genesis 28:18 the Bible records, “And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up fora pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.”
Over night Jacob had had his own personal experience with his God. No longer was it just dear old daddy talking to him about God, now it was him talking with God. That first hand experience taught him very quickly a little about God that he hadn’t understood before hand.
Granted there are many things in this life that we don’t nee to find out for ourselves but our own experience should work with the knowledge others have shared with us to keep us from gaining our own personal experience in the wrong subjects. As far as God goes though He wants us to find out for ourselves as much about Him as possible.
James 1:15 “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Typically we look at this verse and we automatically assume physical death. However, death takes many forms and effects many things. What I would like to do though here is to look at the death brought about in a different light.
Let’s look at lust and porn or pornography as it is short for. The young men love it because they get to see naked women. Not just naked women but beautiful and willingly nude women. Their hormones are raging seemingly out of control and for the most part it doesn’t take much, even for a good Christian boy to get into porn. Might I also add that the numbers of women getting into viewing porn is reported to be on the rise as well.
Now you might rightfully ask how do I know this, well honestly because I have been there and that’s why I am writing today to show others that this is what it does.
Porn cheapens the human body, both male and female, turns sex in any form into a commodity. The more porn consumed the stronger the material will need to become in order for the full pleasure of what is being viewed to be achieved. Till one day the individual wakes up and is searching for the hardest porn they can find. Their sense of what they are watching is so refined they know just how much “acting” is taking place verses a real life situation, and yes there really is some realism but to get that you have to go deeper.
Death from porn happens in this sense. Your marriage can easily fail, especially when your partner doesn’t share your hungers. The God given joys of sex die out and become just mundane, you have to go through the motions just to get your partner to leave you alone, because truly you are no longer interested in them. Not because of their appearance but you want to be with the person in the video or in the photos. If you are saved your death is the death of your fellowship with God as you grow colder and colder. I would also add mentally there is death in your decency, because your eyes locked onto to someone’s body parts long before you ever see their face and every word spoken by them is filtered in your mind to check for any hint of an invitation to jump in bed. It don’t matter where you are at either, because even in a church building those lusts are alive inside of the individuals mind, slowly killing the person off.
So how can someone get out of this then?
James 5:16a “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.”
Get an accountability partner, someone who you can confide in about your problem and the both of you pray about it. Then have this person check in on you often. When ever the desires come calling call that person and get to praying.
Proverbs 16:3 “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.”
Put forth real effort to get into God’s word. Be busy doing what God has called you to do. No one was called to be a bench warmer. If we are busy serving God we have no time to mess with temptation.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Understand and accept this very important detail. You are still human, saved by grace but you still are in this robe of human flesh. What that means is that temptations are going to come your way. It is a fact of life. Now what do you do? Don’t roll over for them!!!! Take it to God. Start praying, get back to work (idle hands ate the devils playground), where is your Bible cause you need to be reading it and not them, move away from that temptation, leave the room or whatever. Trust me, asking God to help you all the while your mind is focused on the temptation is just words that mean nothing to God because He knows where your heart is really at. It may tale longer to give in but eventually you will if you don’t flee it.
Have you put on the whole armor of God as recorded in Ephesians 6:14-17? For that matter is it still on? Many times we get comfortable and start dropping pieces here and there, then suddenly we are spiritually naked. And a naked soldier is a dead soldier. There are other verses but this is running long.
Stand by your defenses and God will stand by you.
Ruth 2:21 “And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.” Boaz gave this foreign woman, this poor stranger, woman who needed-him-more-than-he-needed-her one simple bit of instruction, ‘if you want the blessings you got to stay here’.
How many times have we come to God in need, unable to do a thing for ourselves but rather than wait for God and His time we rush off to do things our way? If we were honest how many of those times did we end up crawling back still not having the issue resolved. Yet if we had just stayed with God, in His field of grace, and carried out His instructions the mess would have been already resolved, the need supplied, and extra blessings realized.