Guest Post: “I was part of the sexual revolution and wish I hadn’t been”

I was right there are men you get that sex isn’t the be all and end all it is just part of life, and beautiful, not meant to be made trivial and perverted.

Revolutionary Faith

4528791522_fbb77cc57d_z Photo by Stuart Conner on Flickr

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of the author at One For Jesus.

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When I was a kid, I couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t want to grow up to be a porn star. It seemed like the ideal job. Because even growing up in the comparatively innocent 1980s, when the raciest thing on TV was The Benny Hill Show, I got it that sex was the best thing going.

The adult men in my family—all good sons of the 1950s—had married young and missed the sexual revolution by about 15 minutes. As the eldest grandchild and first boy, I was to be their deliverer. I was to get out there and make all the sexual conquests they never could.

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Speak Oh My Soul

Speak O my soul in your distress

Cry out for darkness covers all

Where is the light to show the way

Cry and the Lord your God will hear

He will answer for he is light

 

O soul abandoned by earthly comfort

Take your rest in the arms of the Most High

Amidst your tears of sorrow rejoice

Your deliverer is present

 

In your sorrow find peace for God is there

The tapestry of life has many colours

Dark, sombre, clear and bright

Woven together create beauty

That endures and does not fade

 

As sorrow and joy success and defeat

In life create character

Reach out hear the cries of the people

Smile and touch a wounded world

Greed, bitterness and selfishness

Has robbed us of the gentle touch

The caring touch of undemanding love

 

Beware the Pharisee who exalting himself

Destroying the soul of all he touches

For none can ever reach his exalted state

For he has placed himself above all others

Seek then the company of common men and lowly

 

As the Saviour walked among us

He sought not the company of the self-righteous

But the needy and the common

His companions are

 

In the midst this motley crew

He found the twelve

Which grew to a body beyond number

Rough and ready with little to recommend them

Unified by the Blood of the Lamb

 

This body grows a triumphant Bride

Without spot or blemish

How can this be you say

This rags tag bunch are they not

Murderers, drunks, thieves, adulaters,

All manner of sinner.

Oh yes, by the Blood

They are clean holy, sanctified everyone.

 

None in their own strength walks the Kings Highway

In the name of Jesus a mighty army

Marches a multitude of love

Bringing hope and health

Joy and peace to that will

Come to the Cross of Jesus and

Be washed in the Blood.

 

Written Oct 1/91 E G Hicks

Seek Me and Live…Part 3

Seek Me and Live… part c

What did the Holy Spirit show me when he had me study Amos 5 so many years ago and what has he continued to affirm in my spirit? (This is not the exhortation I gave in church then, but the result of the study I have been doing through the years following that event.)

  • . If we seek God we will find Him…(Jer_29:13  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.KJV)
  • . We are not to seek him not Bethel…Verse 5. AMP Bible (seek not [the golden calf at] Bethel ) Bethel is traditionally the ‘house of God’ why are we not to search for God there… in Amos’ time it had become Beth-aven a corrupted house of God, the AMP Bible (Bethel [house of God] shall become Beth-aven [house of vanity, emptiness, falsity, and futility] and come to nothing..)
  • .We are not to enter into Gilgal…verse 5 b… some references refer to it as a circle of stones others a fortification a place of safety, the Amp Bible.. (Nor enter [idolatrous] Gilgal… Gilgal shall surely go into captivity and exile,)
  • . We are not to pass by Beersheba…Verse 5c… this was a place of oaths, AMP Bible (pass not over to [the idols of] Beersheba)

What is the take away here, God wants us to earnestly seek ‘HIM’ not a place where we gather like the church building or to search for him in those places where we made oaths and promises or run to our place of safety, He and He alone is to be our refuge and safety (Ps.91) 

This is not to say we shouldn’t go to these places but they are not to become our substitute for God through the comfort we find in the rituals and fellowship we find there. These places are temporary and will come to ruin, God never changes and is eternal.

6 Seek the Lord [inquire for and of Him and require Him] and you shall live, lest He rush down like fire upon the house of Joseph [representing the ten tribes] and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel [the center of their idol hopes]. Amp

What can we learn from this verse? Perhaps we should see what has traditionally happened to the ‘house of Joseph’ when they didn’t seek God but went their own way…for this study let us look at what happened at Ai the first battle Joshua had after the victory at Jericho …

Joshua 7:4 So about three thousand Israelites went up there, but they fled before the men of Ai. Amp

What has happened between these two battles, God fought the battle of Jericho for them now they are running from a small town, what on earth has happened?

Joshua 7:1 But the Israelites committed a trespass in regard to the devoted things; for Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the things devoted [for destruction]. And the anger of the Lord burned against Israel. Amp

We find the answer in Joshua 6:

18 But you, keep yourselves from the accursed and devoted things, lest when you have devoted it [to destruction], you take of the accursed thing, and so make the camp of Israel accursed and trouble it. 19 But all the silver and gold and vessels of bronze and iron are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord. 11 Israel has sinned; they have transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. They have taken some of the things devoted [for destruction]; they have stolen, and lied, and put them among their own baggage.12 That is why the Israelites could not stand before their enemies, but fled before them; they are accursed and have become devoted [for destruction]. I will cease to be with you unless you destroy the accursed [devoted] things among you. Amp

They had been instructed to not to take things from the city as all the silver and gold was to be go to the Lord’s treasury, lest it brings a curse on the children of Israel, but one man, Achan’s coveting that which had been set aside for the Lord…  now let us see what happens.

7:19 And Joshua said to Achan, My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and make confession to Him. And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.20 And Achan answered Joshua, In truth, I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel, and this have I done:21When I saw among the spoils an attractive mantle from Shinar and two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. Behold, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath. 22 So Joshua sent messengers, who ran to the tent, and behold, the spoil was hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath .23And they took them from the tent and brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and laid them out before the Lord.24 And Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan son of Zerah, and the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had; and they brought them to the Valley of Achor.25 And Joshua said, Why have you brought trouble on us? The Lord will trouble you this day. And all Israel stoned him and those with him with stones, and afterward burned their bodies with fire. Amp

Here we see what happened when one man in the camp disobeyed the instruction given to the people, there is also another lesson as well if we go back and read the beginning of the chapter we find also that the leadership forgot a very important step, they sent out spies to scout out Ai, but because it was so small and they had become cocky from the defeat of Jericho they forgot to seek God before they set out to take the town, for some reason they forgot that God was the one who fought for them in Jericho.  

If the leaders had sought God before the battle they would have found out about the sin in the camp and also would have had proper instruction on how to take Ai.

The more I have studied the journey of the Israelites through scripture do I see examples of the consequences we all suffer when we choose to do it our way and not to listen to the Holy Spirit and search the Scripture daily to see what God would have us do.

The things that sets the followers of Jesus apart from other religions are, God redeems us by the blood of his Son Jesus from the Law of Sin and Death, then he write his law in our heart, and gave us the scripture as an example and instruction from which if we study, pray and listen to the Holy Spirit and those that God gifts to oversee us, we can live successful victorious lives in Him.

Other religions (gods) require their followers work and make sacrifices to pay for their own sin, they can never come to place of redemption, they can only hope that somehow the can do enough good to balance out the evil in their lives.

Matt.36 Teacher, which [e]kind of commandment is great and important (the principal kind) in the Law? [Some commandments are light—which are heavy?]37 And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).38 This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment.39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.40 These two commandments [f]sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets. Amp

Amazing the Law that is written on our heart is love, we are to love God with all our heart and our neighbour as ourselves; is it any wonder this very word has been distorted in our culture to the point we no longer know how to love anyone.

In their prosperity the children of Israel have become arrogant and self-serving; we see this in what Amos continues to say…

7 You who turn justice into [the bitterness of] wormwood and cast righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God) down to the ground,8 Seek Him Who made the [cluster of stars called] Pleiades and [the constellation] Orion, Who turns the shadow of death or deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night, Who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the face of the earth—the Lord is His name—9 Who causes sudden destruction to flash forth upon the strong so that destruction comes upon the fortress.10 They hate him who reproves in the [city] gate [holding him as an abomination and rejecting his rebuke], and they abhor him who speaks uprightly.11 Therefore because you tread upon the poor and take from him exactions of wheat, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine.12 For I know how manifold are your transgressions and how mighty are your sins—you who afflict the [uncompromisingly] righteous, who take a bribe, and who turn aside the needy in the [court of the city] gate from their right.13 Therefore he who is prudent will keep silence in such a time, for it is an evil time.

What is God’s response to this behavior?  Let us read on…

14 Seek (inquire for and require) good and not evil that you may live, and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said.15 Hate the evil and love the good and establish justice in the [court of the city’s] gate. It may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph [the northern kingdom].16 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord: There shall be wailing in all the broad ways, and in all the streets they shall say, Alas! Alas! And they shall call the farmers to mourning and such as are skilled in lamentation to wailing.17 And in all vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through the midst of you, says the Lord.18 Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you want the day of the Lord? It is darkness and not light;19 It is as if a man fled from a lion and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned with his hand against the wall and a serpent bit him.

20 Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light? Even very dark with no brightness in it?

21 I hate, I despise your feasts, and I will not smell a savor or take delight in your solemn assemblies.22 Though you offer Me your burnt offerings and your cereal offerings, I will not accept them, neither will I look upon the peace or thank offerings of your fatted beasts.23 Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not listen to the melody of your harps.24 But let justice run down like waters and righteousness as a mighty and ever-flowing stream.25 Did you bring to Me sacrifices and cereal offerings during those forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?26 [No] but [instead of bringing Me the appointed sacrifices] you carried about the tent of your king Sakkuth and Kaiwan [names for the gods of the planet Saturn], your images of your star-god which you made for yourselves [and you will do so again].27 Therefore I will cause you to go into exile beyond Damascus, says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts. Amp

I wonder how many of us have become just like these Israelites, so comfortable and smug with our abundance and comfort? 

Have we allowed the secular values of our Western culture to cloud the Gospel message and Jesus’ instruction on what a real life in Him is all about? 

Have we become arrogant, self-serving and judgmental?

We all are now suffering a downturn in our economies and many are fearful because they have put their trust in money and their own abilities.   It really makes one wonder how our forefathers with so much less lived so well.  Maybe their faith in God and community had something to do with it.  Maybe they didn’t need so much stuff, they truly had God and each other.

Has much of this come upon us, because we have forgotten the source of everything, and that as members of Christ’s family we are to serve and care for each other and our neighbours, not just our safe little social circle, that agrees with every word we spout.  I wonder?

In verses 26 and 27 God tell Israel that because you have raise up your own idols which you made for yourselves, he tells them he will cause, (it may be better said he would allow them, because he has lifted their protection) to into exile.  I am addressing this article to those who profess to be part of the body of Christ, let us consider have we made idols for ourselves of our pride and selfishness, of our great knowledge and skills, of our own abilities, has the self and all its lust become an idol?  Do we even see the need next door anymore?

Do we walk by the homeless on the street and thank God we are not like them. The fact is many of us could join them if just a member in the family gets sick or loses a job and we no longer have the means to supply our needs anymore. Where is our smug self-sufficiency now. We need Jesus and each other that is why we are called a body.

 

 

Seek Me and Live…Part B

Part B, A Testimony

Dear Reader, this has to be one of the most difficult tasks I have ever been given and like many I have run from it, when God called me back from my wandering and told me it was time to get back to work and I repented and began to study his word again, sometime into that study he quickened these verses to me and my response has been this is Old Covenant what has it to do with me?  Let us say he hasn’t been too happy with me, as I have run, hid you name it every excuse in the book but face it head on.

Eze.33:1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people [who are exiled in Babylon] and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword on a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming on the land, and he blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his [own] head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood shall be on himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, he is taken away because of his corruption and sin; but I will require his blood from the watchman’s hand.’ AMP

Now some 40 years later I can no longer run, through those years God has been faithful even when I haven’t been.  He has proved his word to me over and over again, but there came a time in my life where I stopped hearing the sweet voice of my Lord in my heart on a daily basis, yes he still talked to me when there was some thing for me to do, but no more of the everyday sweet communion I had become accustom to.

I shared this with my Pastor and with my advisor at Bible school and both more or less said the same thing; consider it a blessing that God trusts you with silence. (I’m not so sure it was blessing) Also, the divine health I and my daughter had walked in for so long began to weaken, for years we were never sick not even a cold, the Bi-polar depression I had suffered for years vanished, and often when people visited my home while they were there their symptoms would leave and if they accepted prayer they were healed, all this began to vanish, till we were no different than everyone else.

Yes, God still provided for us in many ways but the supernatural had been lifted.  I am still free from the Bi-polar depression, but not from all depression, and for a person of senior years who hasn’t been particularly good to her body I am amazingly healthy.  God has been very good to me.   About 20 years ago he taught me..

Hebrews 2:8- YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET [confirming his supremacy].”Now in putting all things in subjection to man, He left nothing outside his control. But at present we do not yet see all things subjected to him.9 But we do see Jesus,… AMP

And I have rested, the fact that though all my circumstances are not under my feet I can look up and know that all things are under Jesus feet and I can move from a place of rest in God as I go about my life.  I can no longer run and make excuses for myself it is time I come to repentance, stop my disobedience and proclaim what God has shown me over these years.   In spite of my trying to avoid sharing this message he gave me so many years ago, it has not changed and it has grown louder.

It is past time to call the body of Christ to repentance!

We have all allowed World’s culture to influence us and modify how we listen and obey God, we seek pleasure and feel good experiences, we have allowed ourselves to become greedy, and selfish, we have allowed fear to rule our lives and have been judgemental of those around us. Some more than others that is true, but I doubt that any of us is completely free of the worlds influence in these areas of our lives, can any of us say that we have kept our minds…stayed on Him…at all times I know I haven’t.

Most who will read this live in the most prosperous well educated countries of the world but our nations are full of hurting and hungry people and it isn’t getting any better, do you think our God is happy with this.  Their hunger transcends just the hunger for food for the body, though there are too many for whom this will have to be addressed before we can hope to address the soul.

However, before we the body of Jesus in the earth can hope to see the wonders our God would have us do and see, we must come to repentance, return to the words of Jesus, become doers of his word not hearers only…as always Jesus has a remnant that is already walking this out but God has called an army to come forth and spread this message of redemption and love.

(However before we can do this me need to learn Jesus word to us has said, not just what our current favorite teacher or prophet.)

The promises of the Word are Yea and Amen!  In Joel it tells us that if we return God will restore that which has been lost.. (Read Joel 2:12-27)

25 “And I will compensate you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust, and the gnawing locust—My great army which I sent among you. 26 “You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied and praise the name of the LORD your God who has dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be put to shame.

So many of us have been living defeated unhappy lives because we have gone our own way seeking our own comfort and avoiding so many much of what we know from scripture to be true, others have avoided studying the Word for themselves thinking that they would not be held responsible and because of that lack of knowledge are perishing.   Is it not time to return to our first love…?  He promises to receive us, and restore us if we will seek Him. He has done it time and again for his Israelite children will he not do it for His blood bought ones too.

(We will continue the study of Amos 5 tomorrow.)