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As I mentioned the other day, I was in a bit of a funk. This particular funk came about in a period of convergence. I am not talking about some astrological event. I am talking about a much more terrestrial phenomenon. Though it has some similarities as I think about it.

Over the course of the last few months, I have said yes to a few people, while not pruning my existing schedule. All those ‘yeses’ seemed to converge on my calendar, aligning a number of schedule orbits.

When these orbits align themselves like this there is a pretty natural consequence. Pressure builds.

There is a sin that “easily besets me” as the scripture says, a temptation that tiptoes up and knocks on my door from time to time, that I normally can withstand pretty well, but in times of these schedule convergences, my resistance lowers and I buy in to my old friend enemy self-pity.

Now my problem here is that I don’t always see it as the ferocious enemy that it is. It presents itself as a cuddly kitten that clearly needs to be entertained and embraced. It feels like an old friend.

The tricky part about self-pity is that often times the ones who love you allow self-pity, unlike other, less ‘godly’ sins. My wife would never suggest I head down to the strip joint to let off some steam. My brother elders would not tell me to get drunk and forget my problems. But in my clever presentation of self-pity, I can elicit others to fuel my own self-destructive behavior.

The real point I want to make today is that there are sins in our lives, (clearly self-pity is one for me) that we don’t recognize as deadly, and so we allow them to slip into place, and begin their destruction of all that we have built. Once in, they set up house keeping. Paul calls it a stronghold.

We must identify these as sin and begin to hate them. We must go to war with them.

Sin – any sin – leads to death at some level. [Tweet This]

Remember James’ progression?

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. - James 1:14-15

  • Temptation of our own lust
  • Sin is born
  • Death is harvested

These ‘little’ enemies must be destroyed or they will eat our lunches. (and hey – I like lunch)

My self-pity and your _______________  is killing us.

This means WAR!

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

Let’s mix it up today.

Ben

Peaceable Kingdom - Edward Hicks

Deborah asks:

I have a question for tomorrow studying Hosea 2. Do you think that verse 18 is not only referring to the natural but also the spiritual realm of warfare?

shalom, shalom

Deborah

Wow Deborah!

What a great question.

I have to say, as I have said before, I am not a scholar by any means.

Here is the text Deborah is asking about – with a little bit extra on either side.

And it will come about in that day,” declares the LORD, “That you will call Me Ishi And will no longer call Me Baali. For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, So that they will be mentioned by their names no more. In that day I will also make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, The birds of the sky, And the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, And will make them lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, ~ Hosea 2:16-19

When I read this, I am thinking we are talking as yet unfulfilled prophecy. This is not something that I believe has come to pass as yet.

The Lord is pointing to a day in the future. What is sometimes called the Peaceable kingdom.

So Deborah’s question is does this mean actual animals at peace with one another, some cessation of spiritual warfare, or I might add a third choice – both.

Generally speaking I don’t hold strongly to any one view of end times at this point. I have just not studied it enough to be convinced one way or another. Actually, my problem may be the opposite of that. I was convinced, and then I studied from a different point of view and was convinced again – and then --- well you get the idea. There are many ways to read these scriptures.

So will there be a time in heaven or on earth when wars will cease and animals will get along.

Yep, I believe so.

I get the sense that was the case in the garden with Adam and Eve, which was an expression of a time with men and no sin. There was however that old serpent even then, stirring things up.

There are other accounts (2 in Isaiah – Ch 11 and 65) where the animals are getting along.

I love that this talk of peace is sandwiched in bridal language – Vs 16 – you will call me man not master – or perhaps  - husband not master. And in vs 19 – I will betroth you to me forever.

One more thing for you all to ponder. I am a firm believer in breaking through dispensations.

What I mean by breaking through dispensations is doing like the Syrophonecian woman did with Jesus, where He said, "I can’t heal the gentile dog because at this time I am here for the Jews." (really loose paraphrase therefore not in red)

She was like – I want it now – I can’t wait for the cross – my daughter is going to kill herself before that – and she would not take no for an answer.

How is it with you. Are you hoping for a day of peace? Spiritual – Natural – Political? Pull it forward – press in – Ask Seek Knock and not just a little. Knock for all our are worth.

Ben NelsonHappy Friday

Have a great day

Ben

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