Monday, October 5, 2009

At the Well - Living In An Evil World

Gathering At the Well

Do you find yourself taking part in godless living and sinful pleasures?

How is that for a deep discussion topic for today's At the Well? If so....What steps are you going to take to gain strength in wisdom, righteousness and devotion to God?

I personally enjoy more sharing about purity, self control, virtue and godliness and good things, but I also understand that each person is a sinner and Christians are simply sinners who have accepted God's forgiveness. As Christians we are living in an evil world. The world beckons for us to indulge in sinful pleasures and then offers excuses (if we were to feel guilty) such as "everyone does it", "you deserve some fun", "is this really wrong?" etc. Many Christians are tempted daily and at times fall into this temptation to do things not pleasing to the Lord.

When I was raised as a child, there was not much supervision to what I saw or watched on television. Some of my earliest memories were watching soap operas all day with my mom. I grew up with and for years felt like I knew these people personally! The older I got I was allowed to watch the nighttime dramas and listen to music that contained ungodly lyrics.

I became a Christian at age 20, but still watched the nighttime dramas with no conviction that they were wrong. My favorite show was Knots Landing. I faithfully waited each Thursday night for it to come on. I'll never forget the night I was waiting for it to come on and the advertisement came on right ahead of it and said something to the effect, "Are you ready for more deception, lying and sensual plots?, stay tuned, it's coming right up in Knots Landing." Right then the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart, "Is this what a Christian looks forward to?" I shut the television off and did some heart searching. No, a Christan should not be eagerly looking forward to a sinful show.

Twenty years later, I don't have a desire for those shows anymore. But there are a million new ways of temptation through tv, radio, Internet etc. The dangers are graver and the need for purity and self control is greater than ever.

God's Word gives direction and guidance for our lives. Some of my favorite verses include:

Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Proverbs 4:26 This reminds me to stay focused on where I am going and be alert to snares and dangers.

I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. Psalms 101:3 We need to identify and develop a godly hatred for evil.

Depart from evil and do good;Seek peace and pursue it. Psalms 34:14

There are also numerous verses to meditate on to seek and establish purity in our hearts:

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22

Create in me a clean heart, O God,And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalms 51:10

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

There are numerous evils in our world today and opportunities to indulge in sinful pleasures. But our world is also looking for genuine Christians. Christians who when faced with temptations can stand and say "NO" to evil and "YES" to purity and holiness. Being tempted is not failure, it is giving in to the temptations that causes failure. Temptation is something we will always deal with, but we do have control over what we do with that temptation - give in to it or avoid it.

May we always rest in God's unfailing strength and wisdom and make the right choices day by day. Remember the old saying “Sow a thought, and you reap an act. Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit, and you reap a character. Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.” May our sowing be of good things: Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.

Then keep in mind God's instruction: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

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