Tags: 1 Corinthians 10, 2 Corinthians 12, All in All, Biblical Parenting, Christian parenting, God's supremacy, parenting, Psalm 119, Psalm 27, Psalm 73
As Christian parents we should want the children that God has entrusted into our care to be utterly convinced of the absolute supremacy of God. And, although it may be hard for us to accept, the lesson that God is absolutely supreme may have to be learned in times of trial, struggle, darkness, and even affliction. Remember, we are raising these kids for Him, and, having entrusted them to us, He wants US to trust Him with them.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
We must bring the Scriptures to bear in our parenting, and we must confront our children with the Scriptures in times of suffering and despair. Learning God’s “statutes” (principles and precepts) will assist us in teaching them to find comfort in Him. They are just as important as a rod of correction in discipline, and more so in times of affliction that already involve pain, because we do not wish to inflict additional pain where pain has already been inflicted from above or allowed by God through circumstances.
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
II Corinthians 12:7-10
Let us not, as parents, exhaust all our prayers on deliverance. Let us reserve some for the recognition – and acceptance – of humbling thorns in the flesh. And let us teach our children to pray through them, and recognize God’s strength supplanting their own perceived strength.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
I Corinthians 10:31
We should think of this well-known verse as a reminder to try to utterly convince our children of the absolute supremacy of God, but, in its context, it is not so much a verse of victory as it is a statement of defiance by the Apostle in the midst of persecution. People were speaking evil of him and his teaching, and, rather than worrying about safeguarding or defending his reputation, he was concerned with God’s glory. For our children, the “whatsoever ye do” would include getting picked on and made fun of, as much as it would include a scraped knee, a lost purse, or the disappointment of not being invited to a best friend’s birthday party. There is no conviction of God’s absolute supremacy when we see Him only as supremely in charge of granting our favorite blessings.
Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
This is a general and true statement. No created being will make a good “God.” But it is also a desperate realization. Our children must learn to think Biblically. They must not see God as all they need (although He is), or even as all they want (although that would be great). They must see Him as all that they have. In a world of vanity, deceit, hypocrisy, anarchy, uncertainty, and unpredictability, God is the God of Heaven (eternity, the sweet by and by), but He is also of God of all the Earth (the nasty now and now). He’s the God of our church, our home, our car, our refrigerator, our little league team, our vacation, and our toy box. I’m no longer talking about just looking for illustrations or spiritual lessons; I’m talking about seeing God as supreme – both better than anything AND above anything AND truly our All-in-All.
One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
God is so holy that no man can see Him and live. However, if we are doing our job as parents, our children should have a burning desire to see God – to “behold His beauty” – to “enquire” of Him and ask Him otherwise unanswerable questions. In teaching and preaching the Gospel to your children, tell them that God DOES want them to see Him – and look what great lengths He has gone to, to make it happen!
Tags: 1 John 2, 1 John 4, 1 John 5, 2 Corinthians 5, Deuteronomy 4, James 4, John 17, Mark 4, Matthew 13, Psalm 119, Psalm 12, Revelation 22
The “world” is often the Bible’s word for the ungodly system of this world, which opposes Christ and His Kingdom.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
I John 2:15-17
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
I John 4:4-5
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
I John 5:5
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
Worldly cares and concerns can crowd the truth of the Bible out of a person’s mind.
And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
However, we must not let the animosity that exists toward the Word in this world keep us from diligently getting out into the world as evangelists and witnesses and missionaries.
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
II Corinthians 5:19
Christ Himself is the Living Word of God, and His mission to reconcile lost and otherwise hopeless sinners to the holy God was and is accomplished by the power of His Word.
Finally, we need to make sure that we keep the “world” out of the Word. The canon of Holy Scripture is closed, and our complete Bible in 66 books is sufficient to show us everything that God wants us to know about Godly living and the plan of redemption in this life. We must not let the transmission of God’s Word in our day be corrupted by faulty modern translations, by extra-Biblical false prophecies such as the Book of Mormon or the NWT Bible used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, nor by the influence of referential texts of false religions such as the Koran.
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Only one little letter makes the difference between “world” and “Word,” but that letter could have an eternal impact. We need to:
1. Get out of the world and get into the Word.
2. Get the Word out into the world.
3. Get the world out of the Word.
Tags: 2 Peter 1, Acts 17, Bible study, hermeneutics, John 3, Psalm 119, Revelation 20, Romans 3, The Bible, Word of God
Previously I discussed some of the exciting things about reading the Bible. Be patient with the Bible. Some sections are like a torrid novel (there are even some scandalous passages!), but some parts are more like the terse outline in a study guide for a history exam. Other sections are beautiful poetry. Take some time to figure out what genre you are reading. The Bible has an unlimited depth. The more you learn, the more you will want to know. And the more you want to know, the more fascinated you will be. Here are some practical tips for getting more out of your Bible-reading:
1. Remember the truthfulness of it.
Thy word [is] true [from] the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments [endureth] for ever.
The Bible is unique in this respect. It is absolutely true in every circumstance and situation. It is the Word of God, and God cannot lie, and He cannot change. Therefore, His Word cannot be wrong, and it does not become outdated. Everything else you hear is susceptible to being (and often is) a lie. The Bible is the “verily verily” of God – the “true truth.” You can depend on it and rely on it, even when everything around you and “common sense” seems to indicate otherwise.
… yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
2. Reacquaint yourself with God in it.
Some people only have a second-hand knowledge of God. You know Him through your parents. You know Him through sermons. Your main experience of Him is through praise and worship. It’s time you get to know Him better – in the Bible.
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
II Peter 1:3
We know that God is loving, just, merciful, gracious, wise, and powerful, because He tells us these things about Himself, and He has recorded Himself demonstrating these things in the Bible. Can you imagine your spouse, child, or favorite person in the world giving you a letter telling you their most important thoughts, and telling you what they are truly like, and you don’t bother to read it? God has demonstrated His love and His care for us in the highest way conceivable. How can we not want to find out as much as we can about Him?
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
3. Recognize yourself in it.
The seeker-sensitive cliche’ “it’s not about you” is true, in a sense. But in another sense, it is about you. The Bible is where we learn how we got here and what our reason for existing is. A good hermeneutic principle to follow is to picture yourself as the sinner in every Bible story you read.
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:11-15 (emphasis added)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 (emphasis added)
You are in the Bible in one of those two verses. If you are truly a Christian, then you are a “whosoever” in John 3:16. If you have never trusted Christ as your Savior, then you remain one of the “whosoevers” in Revelation 20:15, and I plead with you to ask the Lord to change your status today.
Tags: 1 John 5, didactic, first use of the Law, freedom, imago dei, John 14, Law of God, Old Testament Law, Psalm 119, the Law
Lord, I say with the psalmist, I love Your law. We should meditate upon it every day and every night. We know that it is better than our own thoughts. We know that it is absolute truth. We know that those who love Your law will have great peace. Help us to see the correct uses for Your law, and especially Your Ten Commandments. In the name of the Lord Jesus I pray. Amen.
The Ten Commandments are a part of the “Law of God” – specifically, the Old Testament Law. They are normally thought of as something that children need to learn, or that we need to teach them to help them behave better, or that need to be posted in public, so people can see what Christians think of as “right and wrong.”
Do you believe in the Commandments of God? Most Christians would say yes. Do you know the Commandments of God? Some Christians would say yes. Do you teach the Commandments of God? Most Christians would say a hearty “yes” (or at least agree that they should be taught). But this is a different question: Do you love the commandments of God?
Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.
The Old Testament believers were supposed to love the commandments of God – to “love His law” – but in the New Testament we are “under grace” not “law.” So should we love the Commandments?
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
God’s commandments are not cosmic laws that God discovered and decided to adopt to keep order in His universe. They are not rules He made up to keep Himself entertained as He watched over His creation. They are simply an expression of Who God is – which leads us to the first of three purposes which are revealed in Scripture to tell us some of the reasons for God giving us the Ten Commandments and His moral law. (These are not the only three reasons. There are more, but these are three big ones.)
1. The Revelatory Purpose of the Ten Commandments
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
“Revelatory” just means something that “reveals” something – something that lets us know what something else is like. If you love God, you must love what God loves. The Ten Commandments reveal to us what sort of being God is. We know that He is the only true God, because the 1st Commandment tells us that there are no other gods before Him. We know that He is holy and is righteously jealous, because the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Commandments tell us that we are not to make anything that is supposed to look like Him, we are not to mess with His Name, and that we are to have special days set aside just for worshiping Him. We know that He is a God that ordains authority and submission and obedience because of the 5th Commandment, and that obedience and submission are how He prefers love to be expressed. We know that He loves life, because He condemns murder. We know that He loves and promotes marriage, because he condemns adultery. We know that He loves truth, because He condemns lying and stealing. We know that He is omniscient – that He knows everything – including what’s best in every circumstance, because He condemns covetousness, which is dissatisfaction with what He’s given us.
Some people call the “revelatory” use of the law the “teaching” use, so this purpose for the Commandments is also known as the “didactic” purpose. The Holy Spirit uses the law of God to teach us how to live in a way that’s pleasing to our God after we have trusted Christ unto salvation.
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
I John 5:3
Do you see again the connection between loving God and loving His commandments? The lie of Satan and the lie of this world and the lie of our flesh is that rules and laws and commandments restrict our freedom – that they are “grievous” – that they are given to be a burden to us. But God says that this philosophy has it backwards. The worst type of slavery – the worst type of imprisonment – is “freedom” from God’s commandments. The worst thing that can happen to you is that you “get free” from God. Like a stray dog – a person who is “free” from God has himself for a master – and a man with himself for a master has a terrible master. Stray dogs get run over, they get sent to the pound, they get shot, they get killed by bigger and meaner dogs, they get rabies, they die alone and scared and miserable. Dogs are meant to be dominated by a master, and you and I are meant to be dominated by our loving Heavenly Father.
When you love God’s commandments and keep God’s commandments, that’s when you find true freedom. That’s when you become what God originally intended for you and I to be: His image-bearers – His good and obedient and loved and blessed children. That’s real freedom.
Next time, we’ll take a look at a second reason for the Ten Commandments.
Tags: common expressions, common expressions in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 8, Ephesians 6, hardened heart, marriage advice, Proverbs 21, Psalm 119, stubbornness
My wife’s mother, who has been married to the same man for almost fifty years, gives this marriage advice: “If you want your marriage to work, you must be hard-headed about the right things.” Generally speaking, the expression “hard-headed” means stubborn. I think what she means, though, is that when times get tough in your marriage, you need to be downright stubborn about keeping the vows you made before God, and committing to stay together and work through the difficulties, no matter what.
I could not find the expression “hard-headed” in the Bible, but I did find a reference to hardening of the face.
A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way.
This kind of hardening is not good. It refers to stubbornness that ignores wisdom. It is the outward result of the inner hardening of the heart.
The hardening of the heart is a process, and a head is hardened by repeated stubbornness. The hardening of the heart involves both our own wills and God’s will, and a hard head is the result of God finally reinforcing what we want to think, anyway. The hardening of a man’s heart occurs when God gives him over to his own way. A hard-headed man can’t “change his ways,” because they’re his ways, not God’s ways. The hardening of a person’s heart negates that person’s warning system. It keeps him from seeing the danger in the direction he’s “heading” (no pun intended). A hard-headed person is sometimes called a dullard. He’s sleepy and lulled into a false sense of security. When someone is hard-headed, he is unable to see the danger which is abundantly clear to others. Don’t be hard-headed when it comes to sin and disobedience. The only thing hard about a believer’s head when it comes to sin should be his helmet.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed.
Tags: divine revelation, Job 38, prayer, Proverbs 23, Psalm 119, Psalm 78, revelation, Word of God
If you work in a Christian environment, or attend a Christian school, or live in a Christian home, I would assume that you are presented with multiple opportunities throughout the week – sometimes throughout the day – to hear from God. This is a great privilege, but we often take it for granted. God had no obligation whatsoever to speak to you. He is not lonely, bored, or depressed. When God decided to speak to you and me, we call this “condescension.” It’s when someone bigger and smarter and more important than you takes an interest in you even though you don’t necessarily want anything to do with Him. It’s a stooping down to our level. If God – the greatest, most magnificent, most majestic Being in all of existence – would condescend to speak to you, wouldn’t you want to hear what He has to say? To pay attention?
These lessons are about three “R”s, but not “readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmetic.” These are a different three R’s. They stand for how you and I should approach the idea of the Lord speaking to us:
We know a great deal about getting ready. Students do it before school in the morning (hopefully). They do it before a test (hopefully). People get serious about it before a big a social event. But when we know that we are going to have a chance to hear from God – whether we are coming to a church service or getting ready to read our Bibles – we need to really prepare to hear from God in two specific ways:
Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.
Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Hearing from God is not a time to be silly. It’s serious, because He is holding you and me accountable for what He says.
Next time, we will think about being receptive in our preparation to hear from God.
Tags: cliffhangers, Ephesians 1, Hebrews 3, James 1, mysteries, Proverbs 16, Psalm 119, The Bible, Word of God
Last time I addressed the misconception that the Bible is boring. Here are three types of excitement in the Bible:
1. The danger in it
In many places the Holy Spirit employees a style of writing which we might describe as a “cliffhanger.” In other words, a narrative will build up to a moment of suspense, then there will be a pause in the action before it is resolved. In Genesis 22, for example, God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac – and at the last instant tells him to stop. Then He provides a ram (which itself is another cliffhanger that does not get resolved until the sacrifice of Jesus in the New Testament.) The end of Genesis Chapter 2 is another example. The Bible makes an ominous statement about Adam and Eve being naked and not ashamed… right before the serpent shows up in Chapter 3.
There is another danger in the Bible, though, too: a danger for us. For when we read it, we can obey it or reject it.
While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
There are great blessings in reading your Bible – if you practice what you read. But there is great danger in reading it and then ignoring its commands.
2. The mystery in it
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him:
Ephesians 1:9-10 (emphasis added)
Bible mysteries are really not mysterious in the way we normally think of that term, because, if you read it, they are revealed. It is obvious there is a Creator just from looking at everything around us, and we can learn much about Him just by observing His creation, but to really know Him – and to be partakers of the mystery of His Gospel and His will – even for our own lives – we must dig into the Bible.
3. The fascination in it
The Bible is a page-turner, and not just because of its suspenseful passages, but because it is so intensely interesting – in a supernatural way. The Holy Spirit illuminates the Word of God to make us want to understand it and to want more and more of it.
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Honey is not something you eat quickly. You chew slowly and savor it.
Next time I will give some practical tips for getting more out of your Bible-reading.
Tags: cultivating good taste, discernment, God's omniscience, good taste, omniscience, Proverbs 14, Psalm 119, spiritual discernment, spiritual health
Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.
The Hebrew word for “judgment” in this verse is ta’am and it literally means “taste.” One of our regular prayers ought to be to ask God to give us “good taste.” It is generally recognized by her friends that my wife has excellent “taste” – except when it comes to picking husbands. (I think she tastes great!) But what we’re really talking about here is a big word for taste: it’s the Christian doctrine of “Discernment.”
We don’t like to think of ourselves as “judgmental.” It’s a term that has a bad connotation if you use it for someone who thinks he’s “better” than someone else, but “judging” is not really a sin – not when it’s done according to God’s standards. Every time we take a bite of food in order to determine whether we’re going to eat the rest of it, we’re being judgmental. We think, “This tastes good, but how fattening is it?” Or, “If I eat this and this, I’ll be too full to eat that.” Or, “If I don’t eat what my wife brought to the party, she might get mad – especially if no one else is eating it either.” Or, “This will give me heartburn and keep me up tonight.” Or, “This is going to make my breath smell bad.” That’s how “discernment” works: you make decisions based on past experiences, potential consequences, appetites, what people will think of you, and on and on. There are many benefits to cultivating good discernment, especially if we move on from thinking about food, and apply it to thinking spiritually.
A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.
“Understanding” is another word for discernment. Somebody who thinks they know it all already is a scorner. He’s not teachable and he stays ignorant. But, for someone who has gotten skilled at practicing discernment, it starts to get easier. He gets to where he can look right into the heart of a matter and make good decisions.
–Hey, honey, we can get this yacht for no money down!
-Wait a minute, Dear, remember what the Bible says about covetousness and stewardship.
–Can little Billy come over for a play date with Susie?
-Well, I saw you doing shooters at Big Mike’s last week, so I’m thinking little Billy and little Susie might not get the proper supervision at your place. How about if Susie comes over to our house instead?
When you practice discernment, knowledge starts to come more easily. So how are we going to do it? How are we going to cultivate this gift of discernment?
I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.
Remember to ask for it. According to I Corinthians 12, some people have it as a special spiritual gift, but we are all called to exercise it. We need to pray about it, then practice it (“I am thy servant”). Start thinking about your decisions the way you think about what you are going to eat. How healthy is this for me spiritually? Throw out the spiritual junk food. Cultivate a desire for Godly habits by practicing them.
“I am thy servant.” Remember that discernment is making the exact choices God would have you to make. It is doing God’s will, and where do we find God’s will? In the Bible as illuminated by the Holy Spirit. In reading the Bible with the intention of obeying it.
What do you think about boron? What do you think about Jupiter’s eighth moon during it’s fifth solar phase? Probably nothing. You don’t have an opinion one way or the other because you don’t know anything about it. You have an opinion on bananas in your Corn Flakes because you’ve tried bananas or Corn Flakes or both, and you know something about them. You have an opinion on whether certain words are cuss words because you grew up hearing them and you know what they mean and you’ve seen people’s reactions to them.
This is where we observe a huge distinction between God and us. His discernment and knowledge and wisdom and information and data are unlimited. He is truly omniscient. So you need to consult with God and try to find His Biblical revelation about every decision you make. Most of us know at least one “special” person who gets on our nerves because he acts like he knows something about everything. Nobody really knows something about everything – except for God. In fact, He knows everything about everything.
Tags: Biblical solace, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Spurgeon quotes, deep water, Psalm 119, quotes about swimming, solace, Spurgeon Quotes, swimming quotes
My brothers and sisters, that same Word of God which has made the earth keep its place, has, up to now, been sufficient to make you keep your place. Some of you have passed through deep waters and yet you have not been drowned. I have a sympathy with young people, when they are doubting, because they have not seen the mighty works of which their fathers have told them. But if you have been sustained for 40 years in the wilderness, you ought to know the faithfulness of God – and I am ashamed of you when you get disheartened and discourage your brethren.
Charles H. Spurgeon, “My Solace in My Affliction”
For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants. Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
Tags: Colossians 3, experience, Galatians 5, Judges 14, Judges 16, Psalm 119, Romans 7, Samson, Samson and Delilah
They say that the definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I don’t think that Samson was “insane” in the clinical sense, but we sure have to wonder about his tendency to repeat the same mistakes. They also say that those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Two times, with two different women, Samson was tricked into revealing a secret to his own detriment: Judges 14:16-18; 16:6-19. In fact, on the second occasion – with Delilah – he was fooled multiple times by the same ploy.
Where was Samson’s ability to gauge cause-and-effect? Where was his “nonsense” filter? Where was his aptitude to learn from his own mistakes? The same place yours and mine so often is: buried beneath a layer of sinful flesh.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
If you are a Christian, then the Lord has set you free from the bondage of the Law by His love and grace. However, our march toward complete surrender to His will and total conformity to the image of Christ is more of an uphill climb over rocky terrain than a casual stroll though a peaceful park. Thankfully, God has given us His Spirit to indwell us, His Word to instruct us, and His body to influence us.
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Experience can be a valuable teacher, but it is in our nature – apart from God – to repeat our mistakes. Our best method for learning from our failures is: (1) to yield to the Lord’s Spirit, remembering that He has set us free from the power of sin; (2) to stay focused on the Bible with the intention of obeying it; (3) to find brothers and sisters in Christ in a local Bible-teaching and -believing church who will hold you accountable in love.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: