Proverbs 11:29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.
2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord; do not touch any unclean thing, and I will welcome you. Paul, the Apostle, was crying from his heart when he was asking the Corinthian church to grow up and start making mature choices. 2 Cor. 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
Why is the maturity of Christians such a sticking point in our personal growth in Christ? It seems that the same people with the same issues come forward week after week for prayer and deliverance for the same old thing. They can’t seem to get the victory over the repetitive problem. Outside of being deceived, I think that personal-will within God’s love has got to be expressed and exercised to be able to come out of the swamp and mire that many stay stuck in. Jesus has already done His part. We have to stand up by faith and come out of the world’s quagmire and be counted for.
What is the pull in some people’s lives that cause them to choose self-destruction and make terrible life choices, keeping them chained in bondage to their circumstances? Why do some people who are given chance after chance to get up and do something right, just continue to fall flat on their face? According to the word of the Lord, God has delivered us from the pit of despair. Psalm 40:2 He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure. Yet, many go right back into the pit and refuse the deliverance available to them. When will the stench of the swamp start to become disgusting in our lives and we finally want a real cleansing?
I was talking with an alcoholic who is showing signs of cirrhosis of the liver, and becoming disfigured because of the effects of alcohol on the body. To me, the sad thing is that he has a strong church background and knows he is messing things up by the choices he makes. He always has excuses for his recidivistic return to the bottle. Like so many alcoholics, he is always sorry about the collateral damage he is causing his family, and the few remaining friends have heard it all before. Like most alcoholics, he doesn’t do anything about it, he just remains sorry. Prov. 11:29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.
This continual destructive behaviour is a conundrum to me. Maybe it is because, with God’s help, I have overcome alcoholism and I wonder why anyone would want to stay in that state of ugliness. Prov. 23:35 And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t even know it when they beat me up. When will I wake up so I can look for another drink?” All I can do is hand him over to God’s grace and hope this scripture verse becomes a reality in his life. Micha 7:18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love.
Only God knows the deep reasons for destructive life choices, and only God can help people overcome when they are truly ready to do so. God will honour our personal choice to be miserable, but He will encourage us to choose life. Deut. 30:19 Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! Coming out of the world’s swamp has got to be a continual and daily choice of our will and heart. With the Lord’s help and divine power dwelling within us, we can make the righteous choice to choose God and live, but we have to want it. Blessings.
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About the subject of your blog, I know that we Christians tend to underestimate the power of sin. We struggle with invisible forces using carnal means. Paul says the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. Any bondage must be taken to Christ and the Cross for the power of that sin to be broken by the Lord. He is our only source of power over sin. The sinner has to have a gut full and get serious.
Faith in the finished work of the Saviour and the cross exclusively is the only hope for victory over that dreadful power of the sin nature. The enemy of our souls is no match for the Glorious blood of Jesus Christ. He says Come unto me all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.
Sometimes draining the swamp isn't effective.
Calling upon God should never be the last resort but as the saying goes, "Better late than never". Only God can change your desires.
Thanks for the timely and encouraging post Norm! Regardless of where I am at in life, there always seems to be some sort of swamp trying to hold me back. It seems like I always have to be aware and on guard.
Great article Norm! Bless you