Life's a Beach but Definitely Go with God
Purity 485 07/31/2021 Purity 485 Podcast
Today’s photo of some of the grounds of Lake Taghkanic State Park in Ancram NY comes to us from yours truly as I took advantage of the good weather on Tuesday, this week’s Saturday for me, to take a short walk and go swimming for about an hour before relaxing under a tree with a good book. The park’s swimming area was crowded so after my swim I set up far away from the mob near the back of the swimming area’s parking lot where I decided that, even though my spot was a bit reclusive and not a normal area where anyone would set up “camp”, my view was photo worthy. The quiet stillness I found at the back of the grounds was the peaceful tranquility that I was looking for and if I decided not to set up in this unorthodox place, my visit would have been a lot shorter.
Well, although I have to work on this Saturday, I am encouraging all my friends to do something to celebrate the last day of July. It might seem silly to concern ourselves with the days of the calendar, but I must tell you that sometimes we have to break out of the normal routine of our lives and recognize where we are in the present and see that the days are moving forward because if we don’t we will miss the opportunities that only existed for a short time or season.
I did one of these check ins with the reality of the season on Tuesday and recognizing the good weather and the fact that I could always enjoy the comforts of my home’s comforts and entertainments during season where you want to stay inside, I forced myself to “do something”. So after I finished with an errand and finished a zoom meeting regarding future opportunities for development, I hit the road to Lake Taghkanic.
And wouldn’t you know, 15 minutes down the road, I realized I forgot my wallet! So I cursed myself for my forgetfulness and headed back home. I had somewhere to go in the late afternoon, so I only had a few hours to make this trip and I considered scrapping the whole thing when I realized I had to go back home. But I reminded myself that I could always stay home on other days that were not in July, so I hit the road, again.
And of course, with summer roadwork and mid-day traffic, the going was slow causing me to again curse myself, this time for the “need” to go “do something”. I honestly believe this was part angsty me and part demonic spiritual attack, it’s hard to say sometimes! Because I got thoughts like “What are you trying to prove?” “What’s a trip to the lake actually going to do for you?” “So another trip to Lake Taghkanic? Wow, does it bother you that you are in the same area after 49 years of life? Shouldn’t you have gone somewhere in your life by now?”
I defended myself from these condemning thoughts and just kept driving assuring myself that it was sort of one of those “now or never moments” at least as far as the month of July was concerned. Realizing that I had to work the remaining days of the month, I reminded myself that this was it!
So then I get to the beach and see all the people! “OH great!”
I silenced that last negative thought and took a walk down the beach to the picnic area on the right side of the beach and took a few shots of the lake that didn’t include the mass of humanity on the beach and was glad I came. After that I wormed my way through the crowds on the beach and enjoyed swimming for about an hour, doing laps at the back of the swimming area where only the tall and old dare to tread.
On the way out of the water, I knew I wasn’t going back and was ready to jump in the car and leave the crowded beach behind for good when I saw the tree at the back of the parking lot and decided that since I paid $10 to get into the park, I should stay longer. Not caring what anyone would think I set up shop on the left side of the parking lot near my car, where I dried off and read a book for an hour.
I hope this little glimpse of my afternoon on Tuesday encourages you to resist the voices that would tell you just to stay home and help you to “do something” today. It may not have been some epic experience but when autumn and winter come later this year I will be glad that I took the opportunity that I had and spent a second day relaxing in the sun in July of 2021.
Some may say “Wow, you went by yourself, I don’t know if I could do that.” Well, the good thing about walking in the Spirit, is that no matter where you go the Lord goes with you and although you may be cruising solo, you never walk alone.
In my little trip, the thing that gave me peace in the commute, in crowds and under that tree was the fact that I was in the presence of the Lord. I repeatedly thanked Him for my life and the day that He had made. The book I read was about interacting with Him in prayer. Although I was by myself and was even annoyed for parts of the trip, I never felt lonely.
If you feel lonely at times, take my advice, and develop your relationship with God through placing your faith in Jesus Christ and following His wisdom and ways on a continual basis. The results are peace and joy that are not subject to circumstances. I extend the Lord’s invitation to the abundant life that He has for you. So if you aren’t doing so already, start walking and talking with God.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NKJV)
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;
Today’s verse spells out the Lord’s will for every Christian’s life and makes a direct suggestion for sexual purity.
I have often heard this verse quoted in various messages from pastors over the years but usually only the first part of this verse is mentioned or alluded to saying
“God’s will for your life is your sanctification.”
“Be holy, for I am holy.” From 1 Peter 1:16, usually gets thrown out right on the heals of this exhortation.
But the second part of the verse telling us to “abstain from sexual immorality” is not expounded upon. Don’t get me wrong. I have heard one or two messages where the pastor has brought this up and would recommend those who were suffering from the evils of “porn” to find an accountability partner to get pure. But not surprisingly, even after these messages, the testimonies of victory over sexual immorality never seemed to come forth. This indicates that there were no victories to report or that the victors were too ashamed to announce them.
Unfortunately, the grace and forgiveness that Christians enjoy can also lead to us to not seriously attempt to be pure.
Some denominations of Christianity will approve of masturbation as a lesser evil than that of adulterous affairs or, God forbid, the suffering of not fulfilling our sexual needs. So depending on your Christian tradition, you may or may not even consider masturbation as something to abstain from, it’s just something you have to be continually forgiven of, praise Jesus.
I know hearing the word “masturbation” is unsettling and apparently taboo in Christian circles as this sexual sin is often referred to as “having a problem with porn”? While viewing pornographic material is certainly a contributing cause, it is not a necessary component to sexual sin. The sexual thoughts, obsessions, and actions of men and women are the problem and instead of prescribing masturbation as a lesser of two evils the word of God prohibits all forms of sexual immorality.
So if we want to do the will of God for our lives, we need to consider that command and trust the Lord has our good in mind when He tells us to abstain.
The mental, emotional, and spiritual bondage that sexual immorality causes in our lives is akin to the bondage of heroin addiction. If you don’t think you have a sexual immorality problem and are not addicted, can you stop any time you like? As in stop, as in never?
I know it’s a big challenge, but the Lord calls us to trust Him to take the challenge. Of course, although accountability relationships can be a great support in our battles against all sorts of problems, the relationship that will empower us to over come is our relationship with the Lord.
All things are possible with God. He calls us to be sanctified and our relationship with Him is the means by which we can walk in victory. So submit your self to God, resist the devil’s, or your own, temptations, and you can leave the darkness of your sexual sin behind to discover that God has peace, love, and joy for those who endeavor to be in harmony with Him.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing Chapter 9.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:
Expose the Lie and You Win the Battle
Satan is a defeated foe; therefore, his power is limited, but he still has the ability to deceive "the whole world" (Rev. 12:9). Jesus said: "The devil . . . does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies" (John 8:44). Satan has no authority or power over you except what you yield to him when you are deceived into believing his lies.
How much deception is actually going on in Christians today I can only speculate. In my ministry I encounter false beliefs in nearly every counseling session. Many Christians are hearing voices in their minds, but they are afraid to tell anyone for fear others will think they are going crazy.
Most Christians I counsel are plagued by difficulties in their thoughts that negatively affect their personal lives and devotion to God. These mental distractions usually reflect their own flesh patterns, but they could also reveal a spiritual battle for the mind that Paul warned us about: "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1).
Because Satan's primary weapon is the lie, your defense against him is the truth. Dealing with Satan is not a power encounter; it is a truth encounter. When you expose Satan's lie with God's truth, his power is broken. That is why Jesus said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). That is why He prayed, "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:15, 17, NIV). That is why the first piece of armor Paul mentions for standing against the schemes of the devil is "the belt of truth" (Ephes. 6:14, NIV).
Satan's lie cannot withstand the truth any more than the darkness of night can withstand the light of the rising sun. We are not called to dispel the darkness; we are called to turn on the light. Deceiving spirits are like cockroaches. They come out only at night, and when you turn on the light, they head for the shadows.
Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.
God bless you all!
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