Purity 446 06/16/2021 Purity 446 Podcast
Today’s photo of blue skies and an off-center peak in the background of the Grand Prismatic Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming comes to us from a friend who went west to visit what some have called one of God’s natural cathedrals.
I share it because it’s Wednesday and it meets the qualifications of having a peak to represent our transitioning over the midweek summit, but I also share it for the hot spring’s rich colors and alluring but deadly beauty.
My light research of the springs revealed that since 1890 at least 22 people have lost their lives due to venturing too close to those rich colors and hot waters, with the most recent death occurring in 2016. The victim of that accident, a 23-year-old man, apparently fell into the springs and was completely dissolved.
The deaths and injuries suffered at Yellowstone’s hot springs warn us that just because something is beautiful and seems to offer to satisfy our needs for warmth doesn’t mean that we should abandon reason and jump into their depths.
Last evening my divorce support group discussed the topic of new relationships for the recently single and many participants, including myself, shared their tales of when they were mesmerized by the potential of a new relationship to satisfy their needs for love and fulfillment.
Some stories testified of the heat of passion or the warmth of companionship that drew people into new or recycled relationships only to have those fires eventually go out leaving one or both parties feeling burned or ice cold as their hopes at new romance or a new spouse went up in smoke. In some cases, the hurt over the broken new relationship seemed to be more intense than the pains of their divorce.
Others testified of the very apparent signs of incompatibility or red flags of dysfunction that were present in these new candidates for romance only to have them ignored by hurting people who wanted to believe in the fairy tale that their love would cover a multitude of sins or miraculously overcome vast caverns of personal differences. Ignoring the signs proved to be unwise in every case with some only suffering mild embarrassment and rejection and with others needing to involve law enforcement agencies to ensure their and their family’s personal safety after a tumultuous break up.
Of all people, who shouldn’t believe the fairytale that marriage will some how complete us, the divorced should know better and learn from their mistakes. But we are human, we are hurt, and we want love. There is a saying that “hurt people hurt people” and I would say that with the fractured lives of the divorced the damage can be massive to oneself, perspective partners, and the children and families involved on both sides.
So what do we do, just give up on love?
I don’t think so. But what we can do is try to learn from our mistakes by working on the person that was directly involved in all the messes of our lives: us.
Instead of trying to find someone to fix or complete us, we should seek wholeness from the only One who intimately knows us and has unlimited power to help us: God.
That’s right, like Steve Winwood said, “Bring me a higher love”!
God is the only one who will perfectly love us and when we follow His wisdom and ways we can see the truth that we were blinded from when we were “looking for love in all the wrong places”.
We must allow God into our lives and allow Him to shine His light of truth on the darkness of the past so we can be strengthened and empowered to live the new life of wholeness that only He can give us.
When we surrender to the Lord, our hurts can be healed. He can take our broken hearts of stone and make them hearts of flesh.
He can guide us in His wisdom, so we don’t go running into the next hot springs relationship that catches our eye.
He can also make us see ourselves from his perspective and cause us to love ourselves.
Whitney Houston sang that the greatest love of all was learning to love yourself. Unfortunately, the song didn’t tell you that the One we had to go to learn that lesson was the author of all truth and wisdom: God.
So if you somehow are still walking alone in your journey of life, call on the Lord and ask Him to walk with you. He will heal your heart, sharpen your mind, and quicken your spirit to take you on a journey of discovery and love that will take you from here to eternity.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Deuteronomy 6:6 (NKJV)
6 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
Today’s verse shows us what is to be the depths of our relationship with God.
The context of this verse involves the nation of Israel receiving God’s written instruction through Moses. Here God is instructing the nation of Israel to make His word a priority in their lives.
We could look at this verse and interpret the phrase “Shall be in your heart” to mean that we will know the commands of God “by heart”, meaning to memorize the scriptures.
There are “Bible-bee’s” where people compete in Bible memorization and recitation. These events are a stark example that we can know God’s commands “by heart”.
Unfortunately, people can know God’s command “by heart” but not have them “in their hearts”. I wish I could say that I haven’t met people who could recite Bible verses but who did not live according to its wisdom. People who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk of faith do damage to the church and themselves through their hypocrisy.
I feel that this verse means that it should be our heartfelt desire to live by God’s commands and that we would not only know them intellectually, but we would know them experientially. Having the Lord’s commands in our hearts indicates that we would continually meditate upon them and live by them.
The word of God has the power to instruct us in righteousness and transform our lives but the depth of our understanding of God’s commands must go beyond mental assent. We must let the wisdom of His divine truth be in our hearts and shown through our lives.
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 3.
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:
Get Right with God First
A few years ago a pastor asked me to counsel a couple from his church—the music director and his wife. I have never seen a family so blown apart in my life. They came into the room screaming at each other. Their relationship was characterized by infidelity and abuse. They were ready to leave my office in two different directions. I prayed silently to the Lord, If there's any way of saving this marriage, You're the only one who knows about it.
After listening to their bitter complaints against each other for several minutes, I interrupted them. "I think you need to forget about your marriage. There's no way we can save it—not now, not in this condition. But may I implore you individually to get right with God by restoring your personal relationship with Him?" I had their attention.
I turned to the wife. "Is there a way you can get away for a while all by yourself?"
She thought for a moment, then nodded. "My sister has a cabin in the hills. I think she'll let me use it."
"Good. Here are some tapes I want you to listen to. Go away for a few days and saturate yourself with these messages. Find out who you are in Christ and commit yourself to aligning your torn-up internal world with Him."
Surprisingly, she agreed. I asked the husband to make the same commitment and handed him an identical set of tapes. He also agreed. As they left my office I had little hope that I would ever see them together again.
Two years later I was sitting in a restaurant after church when that same music director walked in with his three children. Oh, no, I thought, they've split up for good. I kept out of his sight because I felt sorry for him and didn't want to face him. In a few minutes his wife walked into the restaurant and sat down in the same booth. They looked as happy and contented as any Christian family I have ever seen. I was really puzzled.
Suddenly the couple looked my way, recognized me and got out of their booth to come see me. "Hi, Neil, it's good to see you," they greeted me cheerfully.
"Yes, it's good to see you two." I really wanted to say, "It's good to see you two together," but thought better of it. "How are you doing?" I wouldn't have been surprised if they had told me they were divorced and they had met in the restaurant for the children's sake.
"We're doing great, Neil," the wife answered. "I did what you told me to do. I went up into the hills alone for two weeks, listened to your tapes and got my life right with God."
"I did the same," the husband added. "And we were able to work out the problems in our marriage." We rejoiced together about what God had done for them first as individuals and then as a family.
This couple discovered that getting right with each other began with getting right with God. Getting right with God always begins with settling once and for all the fact that God is your loving Father and you are His accepted child. That is the foundational truth from which you live.
You are a child of God, you are created in His image, you have been justified and positionally declared righteous by Him because of Christ's finished work and your faith in Him. As long as you believe that and walk accordingly, your daily experience of practical Christianity will result in growth. You will struggle, though, if you question the finished work of Christ, and try to become somebody you already are.
We don't serve God to gain His acceptance; we are accepted, so we serve God. We don't follow Him to be loved; we are loved, so we follow Him. It is not what we do that determines who we are; it is who we are that determines what we do. "Beloved, now we are children of God" (1 John 3:2, emphasis added). That is why you are called to live by faith (see Romans 1:16, 17).
To live the victorious Christian life you have to believe what is already true about you. Will you have opposition to believing this truth? Of course! The father of lies (see John 8:44) has deceived the whole world (see Rev. 12:9), and he accuses the brethren day and night (see Rev. 12:10). If that isn't enough, others will put you down. We have to keep reminding ourselves of these positional truths.
Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.
God bless you all!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship