Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Flee Youthful Lusts

I like to consider myself a mature believer. I've been pursuing a relationship with Jesus, who I now call Yeshua, for over 30 years. I've spent my entire adult life in one sort of ministry or another and have raised my children in a home that requires honor and obedience to the Father and his Word.

But there's one area of my life that I have always struggled to give Him complete control over---my health. Back in my 20s, I would have just said "my diet"---but now in my 40s, these years of sugar binges and lack of nutrition have caught up to me and I'm starting to see their effects on my overall health. I've had plenty of warnings from the Father---but I've chosen to ignore them, I've chosen to serve my idol instead.

I recently heard a fellow YouTuber say something like, What is Yahweh talking to you about giving up and how much longer can you refuse before He stops talking to you about it anymore? Whoa. That hit me. Will I be given over to my foolishness by a God who has chosen to go silent on me? It's happened to others---the Bible is full of examples. This thought terrifies me.

"But you, O man of God, flee these (temptations) and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness." 1 Timothy 6:11

Refusing to give up my addictions shows immaturity. Refusing to walk in self control shows laziness and irresponsibility.

"Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from (dishonor), he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts." 2 Timothy 2:21-22

We have three adult sons---two who still live at home. The rule for adult children at home is that they must take care of their own personal bills and either pay us a small monthly rent or contribute significantly to the running of the home. If these conditions are not met, they must move out. Thankfully, I've not had to kick anyone out yet---but I'm not opposed to doing so, if needed. Our mature children must take responsibility for themselves. 

But am I modeling this in my own life? If I won't take care of my Father's "house" (me), then one day I fear he may give me over to my irresponsibility and throw me out! This body belongs to Him and years of unhealthy living are manifesting themselves in signs of an increasingly unhappy home.

The second half of Romans 1 spoke to me pretty clearly this morning:

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (28)  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting…" Romans 1:18-25, 28

In verses 18-19, we learn that the wrath of God is on those who know what God has revealed but suppress it. It is true that there are certain subjects I don't address in my ministry because I'm not obedient in them myself. While it may seem noble to avoid hypocrisy, the righteous thing to do would be to get those things figured out in my life so I can walk in true obedience.

In verses 20-21, we learn that we have been able to understand Him since the creation of the world. Therefore, we have no excuse not to walk in His ways.

Verse 22 tells us we have chosen idols over Him. Yes, I do this daily when I refuse to require my will to submit to His.

Verses 24-25, 28 are the real clincher for me. Concerning those who choose to worship themselves over walking in obedience to God---He gives those people up to the lust of their hearts and the dishonoring of their bodies. How can I pray for the blessings and favor of the Father when I won't give up the things I know are creating the very problems I'm praying against? It sounds so ridiculous---but addictions are hard. They're traps---not of the body, but of the mind.

If I'm truly a mature disciple, I must walk like one. It's time to grow up.

"But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind." Philippians 3:12-15

"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For YOU died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:1-7

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like the father is giving you another chance. You can do it! I will be praying for you.