What is Chasing You?
I realize in our Spiritual warfare section we have reminded everyone that our
amour does not protect our back so we are not suppose to retreat...but
we also have to remember that the Word of God does tell us to FLEE at times
Umm FLEE... When I think of this word...I think of one word...R U N......Why would we run from something? The only time I can think of is when we are facing something dangerous...something we can not defeat. I would flee from a lion or bear but sure would not from a house cat.
This was our topic for chat Monday night but I feel we need to be posting this. I just deleted a post that had a link on it which in turn had a link to some models. These models were not wearing much. Oh, they may have been covered more then many at the beach these days but we need to see what God says about this:
We are told to flee from four things.
1: SEXUAL TEMPTATION.
2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness...
1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Ephesians tells us not to even let a little bit of this enter our life's...NO dirty jokes, cartoons or anything else should enter our mind. "let it not once be named among you" This is why we delete links that may be ok in society. It is NOT ok with our LORD. We will not allow anything to remain on this board that may tempt someone to fall. Since this post may well be posted in many clubs we do not have control over, I want to let you know that this was written for Gods Rest, Shattered Men, Draw Near to God and its partner clubs. It is an important message for all. I said this to remind you that the founders in these clubs check carefully ALL links that are posted in all our partner clubs. We NEED Your prayers. We are not immune from the risk of one wrong click...one wrong link. People..."I" use to be hooked on pornography. I do NOT want to go back there, yet I have to check links to protect this flock. I am sure the other leaders desire your prayers regarding this too. For those clubs we are not a founder in, I am sure the same can be said for your founders. Some filthy links have been posted which look like they go to Christian sites. That is why we have to check ALL links.
Sexual temptation. NO one is immune. We all know of several leaders both in politics and in the Christian church that have had problems with sexual impurity. Both men and women are tempted with this. Pastors of main steam Christ based churches have had affairs with women in their church. Pastors wives have ran off with elders, deacons or other pastors. WHY did this happen when they should have known better?
Well for one, they may well have thought "I am strong...it can not happen to me." They were WRONG! FLEE...RUN from youthful lusts FLEE...RUN from fornication.
Often the internet will open on a page that will tempt us sexually. Delete it immediately. If you are reading a joke that has dirty words...do not keep reading...delete. Delete cartoons that are sexually suggestive. Do not run the risk. It is not worth it.
Another way sexual temptation can creep in is in helping others. Often when someone is hurting badly, they can develop a too close relationship with the person that is helping them especially if they are of different genders. If you are working with someone and you start feeling more of an attraction then is right FLEE...RUN. Tell the person you can not go on and will find someone else to either help them or to get help from. Do NOT let temptation go on. The other person will understand. If you are getting help from someone and feel a stronger attraction let them know and prayfully they will help find someone to take over. It is NOT worth the risk.
I use to go out for breakfast after work with women from work. I try to make sure my wife has met each one of them. When I worked in Texas, there was a woman about my age that I would not go out for something to eat with after work. She asked me why and I told her that I felt I could easily be attracted to her in a unhealthy way and I was not going to put myself or her in the path of temptation. As it turned out, she felt the same way and she appreciated this for she wanted nothing to come between her and her husband. Do NOT put yourself in the path to be tempted!
Remember we are suppose to even avoid the very appearance of evil. We can not afford to give any of God's enemies room to start gossip about us.
1 Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
What is an idol? Although many may think it is made of stone or wood or gold such as the golden calf, it can be alive too. Anything that we value above the LIVING GOD is an idol. This could be our car, our homes, our boat, (no I do not have one) even our spouse or our kids. Anything that comes between us and God. Ummm it could even be our MINISTRY. Do we value anything more then we value God? A word of caution here... if we find we are placing our wife or husband ahead of God...the answer is NOT to leave them...the answer is using Romans 12: 1 and 2 to change OUR thinking. It is too easy to look for reasons to support wrong ideas.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
1 Timothy 6
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
OH how we can make this look so good. Why we even have some that say there is nothing wrong with having the best that they even claim we can name it and claim it. After all, God wants His children to have all they can. Yea right. Which of these people will give their kids everything they want. Oh some may...but is that love? Real love sets limits. We would be unwise parents if we got everything our kids asked for. God knows when to tell us NO!
How many Christians do you know that waited in line to buy that lottery ticket when it was so high? Oh we justify it...we say well if I win that 50 million, I will give 10 million to my church and then I will give another 10 million to other ministries. I will only keep a million or two for myself. Umm seems we are trying to bribe GOD? Oh ...I am stepping on MY toes now too. I had thought it would be nice to have a few million to set up offices for Shattered Men throughout the country and internationally. FLEE....RUN FROM THIS!
I have never heard of a person that won millions that did not have it affect their life for the worse. I have even known of some ministries that would not accept the money if it were offered if they know the source of it. Evil can not buy Good! Our LORD wants us to depend upon HIM...not the lottery. Our faith is made stronger by trusting HIM. It is made weaker if we had so much money we no longer needed to trust God for it. Most ministries would be ruined if they were suddenly given all the money they could use...for it would eliminate their need to be dependent on God also. Luke 11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread. God wants us to depend upon Him day by day...not to be so self sufficient we do not need to.
Anytime we value things more then PEOPLE... we need to FLEE. I have seen or heard of accidents and the first thing that is said...is how is the car...NOT "is everyone all right? MY GOD....help us to value PEOPLE more then THINGS!
NO...money is not evil...the love of it is.
4: EVIL DESIRES
What are evil desires? 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Well it is any desire that does not glorify God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Desire to argue just to proof we are right. Desire to look more godly then we are. Desires to gossip...to back bite, to find fault with others.
Desires to have the "right" to be angry, to be bitter, to be unforgiving. "But if you only knew what they did TO me...you would be bitter too!" Does not God tell us to love our enemies...even if they are our husband...our wife?
Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
NO ONE is immune from these temptations. LUST (be it for sexual gratification, money, or any other evil desire) is no respecter of persons. If we bolt our front door, it will pound on our window. It will slip in our living room through the TV or in the den on our computer screen. It pops up on e-mail and those pop up ads. It invites us to explore all if its pleasures...all for free...but IS IT?
The Pleasure of SIN
Sin is never free. It always has a price and it is always more then we want to pay. To see the high cost of sin...to us. Look at IT IS FINISHED to see the cost of SIN to our GOD. http://www.shatterdmen.com/IT%20IS%20FINISHED.htm
We all know of those...we all have loved ones that are being chased but are not
fleeing...in fact are embracing these things. It may be YOU!
Oh how we hurt when they will not flee....oh How our LORD must hurt when WE do
What is the DEFENSE for what is chasing us?
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
1: INTIMACY WITH GOD!
The section on idols above shows we should not place anything before God. God does not want a religious person, HE wants a RELATIONSHIP. One in which we can call Him "Daddy" Yes I know this is hard for those who have suffered abuse to understand and do...but this is one of satans biggest tricks to get us to see GOD as we see our human fathers. Many have had the onslaught of satan just to make sure our children will not see God has HE is...yet we can...we can learn to lean...learn to trust GOD fully.
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Abba is the term for Daddy.
We could post hundreds of verses here to show the importance of an intimacy with God. verse that show His love...verse that show HE takes care of our every need. If anyone needs more on this...please post and ask for more information. I am sure someone in this club that this is posted in would love to reply about their intimacy with our LORD
2: RIGHT RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS
This first of all means a right relationship with our husband or wife. We can not have any right relationship with others if we do not have a right relationship with God first. That is the first step:
The First Step to Better Relationship
If we love our wife or our husband we will do all we can to avoid hurting them.
We will then more likely meet their needs so they are not tempted. We need to
help them avoid temptation also.
MARRIAGE...HIS DUTIES....HER DUTIES
Right relationships with our boss, our neighbor and others around us will also
be a hedge of protection. If I love my neighbor, I will not covet the things
that belong to him or her...including their spouse.
3: SUFFICIENT REST
If I am overtired, I am more easily deceived. I do not think as clearly, as quickly as when I am rested. Yet often satan will tell us we need to help that one more person.... Idea...why not set an appointment to talk to that one more person the next morning...after you have rested so you can think more clearly? If you are seeking help, respect the person you are seeking it from need for rest or to even spend time with their family.... and remember...if this happens and there is no one else on line...go back to point one here...INTIMACY with God...He wants that from YOU so much. Often I have found when no one is around...He wants us to go to HIM....directly to HIM... Is He waiting for YOU...right NOW? If so...read the rest of this later...do not keep HIM waiting...HE loves YOU sooo much...RUN TO HIM, RIGHT NOW.
We need to seek accountability partners. It would be best if these were mature Christians. Christians that know the importance to accept, to not condemn, not throw stones.. but will accept you as you are but not the sinful behavior. An accountability partner should be one that makes themselves available to you. That will pray with you and will guide you gently where you should go. If this is your need, let us know or post that you need an accountability partner. God has just the one for YOU.
5: MEANINGFUL MINISTRY
2 Corinthians 1
3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
Our LORD wants us to pass the help we have gotten on. Being there is often the best answer to helping those who are there, It is easier to listen to someone that knows what we have been through and how to get victory over it. I know for a fact that being a DOER of the Word as James 1:22 tells us has been my best defense over wanting to go back. I enjoy the ministry God has given me...and I would not want to do anything that will cause harm to it. Most of all, I do not want to hurt my LORD. Much as Paul said:
1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
This does not mean Paul was afraid of being thrown away...He did not want to be set aside...put on a shelf and not used by God. I fully understand that. Getting involved in a meaningful ministry will keep us on track.
6: Attitudes of Joy and Thanksgiving.
In recent chats we taught keys to overcoming the worse of situations. Lets look at two verses and see this key.
Jonah 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.
Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
PRAISE for our LORD has been and always will be the KEY to overcoming adversity. Jonah was released from the fish AFTER he started to praise God. Paul and Silas were released from prison when they started praising HIM.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
7: A VIGILANT
satan is always lurking, always looking for when we have our guard down. We can not afford to lower it at any time.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
1 Corinthians 10
11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
12 Wherefore let him that **thinketh he standeth take heed** lest he fall.
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.
14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
2 Timothy 2
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
One last thing...the best DEFENSE....IS a GOOD OFFENSE...lets take BACK ground lost to satan!
LORD, help each of us to recognize these things we need to FLEE from...and give us fast feet to do so.
This message is from the ministry of Shattered Men