“Vain Pomp and Glory”

The waves toss in and pull out with vigor. The breeze blows down air from the mountains. But the cold is worth the wonder of creation, I enjoy it through the shivers and cuddle up on the beach with The Word and a pen in hand.

I’m cross referencing a scripture I quoted earlier in the day and I find myself in Ecclesiastes.

Chapter 11, verse 9; “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.”

Ouch…

Sometimes the word just hits a sore spot right in the middle of your struggling soul. And I gotta be honest with you, this scripture caused a little convictional pain.

The last couple of weeks I have been undergoing an internal struggle against the lust of the flesh.

In one of my favorite childhood books, there is a scene when the main character decides to become baptized into the Episcopal Church. Betsy Ray is only fifteen so when the Reverend asks her “Dost thou renounce the devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world . . . ?” the words cause her to falter a moment. She isn’t sure that she truly renounces them; “she hasn’t even seen them yet.”

I must admit, I sometimes have moments like this. I sometimes can relate to Miss Betsy. I get a little curious about the world and wonder about the “vain pomp and glory” of it. Sometimes I’d even say I lust over it.

Sin is appealing. It always has been. From the garden in that single piece of ghastly fruit, to the day Christ returns to destroy it, sin is captivating and tempting.

Sure, I would love to say that I hate sin, but I can’t fully say that. My flesh loves to indulge in it. That is why I keep going back to it, and not only going back to it but making excuses for it.

Like Eve in Eden, “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…” (Genesis 3:6)

I can see it in bullet points. A list of excuses ready for the accusation moment;

   – good
   – delightful
   – desirable

Are these not the definition of lust?  

Yes, sin is all these things. Lust worthy… utterly tempting.

And sadly, I do go back to it and even crave it as Eve craved the fruit from the tree.

But in an honest heart wrenching sense, I do hate sin. I hate the very real effects of sin and what it does to us. Sin destroys us and it destroys our relationship with God.

And here is the end result of sin…

“But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.”

Simply put, God’s judgment.

Yes, Jesus paid the penalty for us and graciously took God’s full wrath upon Himself.

But, we still have to deal with the consequences of our sin. And the worst of these lies in utter separation from God.

So yeah, go ahead and walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes, but realize it’s ultimate destination. There is consequence and there is judgment.

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves 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 boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:15)

A heartcheck is in place for me. I want that promise of eternity with God, so I strive to exercise more self-control within my heart and thoughts. I need to keep a tight reign on my rambling curiosity and imagination. Keep them in check. Keep them in right standing before God.

Because even though the world can be appealing… It is void of love. It is lacking in everything good and holy. Though for a while, in your youth, you may enjoy it in the end it leads to a pit of destruction and death. There is restlessness instead of peace. Despair in place of hope. And fear in the absence of love. Basically… Hell within yourself. And I’ve seen people eaten alive because of sin and the lust of flesh. I’ve seen souls die because they chose the world.

I guess that’s why Paul used the illustration of a war. Because, honestly… Every day is a battle. Sometimes, every thought is a battle. And we can’t be lax about this one, folks. It’s “up in arms” with this one, brothers! It’s “charge” against this thing. This enemy needs to die. This sin needs to be murdered within us.

Piece by piece.

Thought by thought.

Act by act.

And tomorrow maybe we’ll be a little closer to holiness. A tiny step closer to Christ-likeness.

By the grace of God, we can be transformed. We can pick up our weapons and fight this and defeat this. We are conquerors in Christ, and conquerors win their battles.

But it takes effort, and it takes time.

Piece by piece

Thought by thought

Act by act.

 

 

In Christ Alone~EleyanaFaith

 

“Come, everyone who thirsts,

come to the waters;

and he who has no money,

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without price.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,

and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,

and delight yourselves in rich food.

Incline your ear, and come to me;

hear, that your soul may live;

and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,

my steadfast, sure love for David.

– Isaiah 55:1-3

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Anything

What if… “Anything”

 

Anything that

Our Lord requires

Asks of us

Requests from us

 

What if

Our Answer

Our reply to Him

What if it was

“Anything”

 

What if… “Anything”

 

What mountains would move?

What Jericho-high walls would crumble?

What sin would become untangled?

 

What if… “Anything”

 

What would happen?

If we took Him at His word

Became obedient as slaves

Bowed to His will

And simply said

“Anything”

 

What if we truly said with conviction…

“Anything,

 

“I will do anything.”

 

Anything for You, Lord

Anything for Truth

Anything to free the captives

Anything to defeat the darkness

Anything to walk in obedience

Anything to cast off sinfulness

Anything to live holy

Anything to live purely

Anything to fall more deeply in love with You

Anything to please You

Anything for You, Lord

 

“I will do anything.”

 

Well… What if?

 

 

In Christ Alone~EleyanaFaith

Remember Me

Do You, oh Lord, remember me?

The one who gave my heart to You

Who swore my allegiance to You,

Who pledged my life to You?

 

Remember me?

The one who promised all,

All of me, all my life,

An offering for Your use.

 

Do You remember how I claimed to be Yours?

How I testified to be in You alone,

How I proclaimed You as Lord of my life,

And how I preached about Your name?

 

Yes, You remember.

You remember me.

Remember all these things,

But You also remember more.

 

You remember how I fell,

You remember how I turned away,

How I got bored,

And decided I had had enough.

 

You remember how I made an idol,

You remember how I exalted it above You,

How I broke Your commandments,

And esteemed my wants above Your glory.

 

You remember how Your voice called out,

You remember how You bid me come home,

How I scoffed at the words,

And how I said no.

 

I said no,

No to You, No to truth.

Deceiving myself into thinking,

My lie would profit me most.

 

You, oh Lord of all!

You see everything,

So see me now,

In this moment, do not forget me.

 

Look upon my broken heart!

Hear my pleas for mercy!

Return me to Your fold!

Remember me!

 

 

In Christ Alone~EleyanaFaith

Dawn’s Approach

Thousands of trees silhouetted against a darkening sky

Stars begin to illuminate the erry night

Billowing clouds heave by

My heart sighs as I watch the fading light

 

Take comfort my soul in love hidden inside

Arm yourself with courage as you face the dark

All is not lost, though the day has died

Be strong as on this journey you embark

 

The land is veiled in black

Across it weary feet guide me

Upon the circumstances of the past I will not glance back

Though hard this present road may be

 

Demons prancing in the shadows

Occupying places where moonbeams do not fall

They hiss from their dark infernos

Blasphemous curses to me they do call

 

Yet my God is with me

He is at my right hand

And though I stumble on debris

Upon His mighty name I will stand

 

Perhaps my joy will falter along the way

For a moment my faith commence caving in

But where truth is seeded deep it will stay

Protecting me from the destruction of sin

 

Until that wondrous hour, then I shall see dawn’s approach

The sky will exceed with brilliant color

As the day brings night’s reproach

From now until then shall I bathe in Your goodness evermore

 

 

In Christ Alone~EleyanaFaith

When I Reach Heaven

When I reach Heaven

Death having opened up the door

Will I enter the throne room

And looking upon the Savior’s face

Will His words to me be

“Well done faithful servant. Enter the gates”

 

Have I lived a life worthy of that reward?

Have I thrown off the hindrances of this world

To run the race full speed ahead?

Have I surrendered everything to the One who made me

Did I give Him my heart, my strength, my all?

Has my life been stained with the blood of Christ?

 

Or have I lived a worldly life

With Christ tacked on the end of my busy-ness?

Did my works come from the necessity to be praised by men

Rather than from an overflow of love with the Father

Did I neglect the calling God gave me?

Did I ignore His voice, to pursue the things of the flesh?

 

When I reach Heaven

Death having opened up the door

Will I enter the throne room

And looking upon the Savior’s face

Will His words to me be,

“Depart, worker of iniquity”

 

 

In Christ Alone~EleyanaFaith

Head-Over-Heals Lovers

I am so discouraged and disheartened by the spiritual state of young believers around me. My brothers and sisters in Christ are so easily led astray by the things of this world and I find it so depressing.

I sit in a coffee shop now, half listening to the conversations that ensue around me. I am focusing on the Word, though, reading Psalm 19. As I read, certain verses pop out to me and become the subject of my pen.

“Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I will keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.” ~ Psalm 119:33-35

David was such a God-fearing man. He was someone who truly pursued God. He loved His Lord deeply and that is revealed through this writing.

I cannot help but long for similar people today. Young men and woman who, like me, are searching after God and longing for His ultimate presence in their lives. But they seem to be absent, or altogether non-existent… I can tell by those conversations my ears are half attending to. There are believers here, but not head-over-heals lovers of God.

Where are people like Timothy of whom Paul wrote, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” ~ 1 Timothy 4:12

Christianity today means that you go to church and talk about Jesus, but what about heart change? What about fearless following of Christ? What about “Pick up your cross and follow me”? What about “Go forth into all the world and make disciples”? What about “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength”?

Please do not mistake me, I am not being judgmental, just honest.

And honestly… I am heart-shattered about this. 

Taking one aspect of this: missions… Let’s just take a moment to really think about this…

We nonchalantly throw around the phrase. You know which one I’m talking about, “Wherever you are is your mission-field.”

But is it really?

Please be honest for just a moment. If you really live on your mission field then you will answer this question with confidence and shamelessness…

Have you ever led anyone to Christ?

I can’t say yes to that. I can’t say I’ve been a tool used by God to lead someone to Christ. And yet that’s part of the great commission, “Make disciples of all nations…”

I have seventeen years of life that my soul has lived, more than half of which I’ve claimed to be a Christ lover, and yet… never once have I ever made a disciple of Jesus. Never once have I taught someone about Him. Never once have I lead someone into full time submission to the Almighty.

Christ Lover?

Not completely. Not fully. Not heart, soul, mind, strength, and all of me.

What about the others?

I can’t contradict myself in this, I just don’t see it. 

Where is the fire that can’t be quenched? Where is the hungering and thirsting after righteousness? Where is the striving to be perfect like Jesus is?

People are so quick to say that God is love. Oh, yes, He is!! My heart rejoices in it, but…

In our eagerness to proclaim God’s goodness, His kindness, His grace, His forgiveness, His love… We neglect His holiness, His perfection, His hatred of sin.

God will not be mocked!

He calls us to live holy, but are we?

Are we fighting against unrighteousness? Are we struggling against the sin that entangles us?

Do we think that just because we are not in the Old Testament, that if we don’t, God will just blindly forgive and not count it against us?

I assure you, that is not true.

Again, God will NOT be mocked. 

Yes He forgives, but He also is holy and He will punish sin.

We are so darn flippant with God. We throw His name around as a curse word. We do not speak of Him with reverence.

If God turns a deaf ear to this, maybe its because He’s not listening to us at all. Maybe it’s because He has brought Himself out of it. Separated Himself from the obscenity of it all.

Have you ever wondered why God’s blessing doesn’t seem to be on the church?

Maybe this is why?

I’m just wondering… maybe? It’s a possibility. And if it’s true, we need to rise up and fix this.

We need to fight to be like Jesus! We need to speak out against unrighteousness! We need to strive to bring perfection!

This is not a walk in the park, it’s a battle. 

There is an enemy, and right now… He seems to be winning.

 

In Christ Alone~EleyanaFaith

 

Oh dear Warrior God!! We need Your leadership so desperately! Make Yourself known through the lives of believers! I pray and beg You upon my knees, my soul lays prostrate before You, bring transformation! Hear Your people! Bring fearless, head-over-heals lovers of righteousness together! Bring them together in spirit and in truth! Open the mouths of prophets, stretch out the hands of healers, bring out the words of those with wisdom and knowledge, grow up the faith-fulls, show the workings of the miraculous, speak through those with various kinds of tongues and the ones who interpret them, show us the battlefield through those who distinguish the spirits! Gather your people as a body, functioning together in love and brotherhood.

Forgive us Lord for our flippancy and apathy! Forgive us for un-action!

Bring us to the battlefield and help us to fight fearlessly and gracefully! Build us in Yourself. Make us strong and courageous! Let us not shy away from the sanctification that sets us apart and names us “Jesus Freaks”. Help us, Lord, to hold that as a worthy title, as a beautiful image, as the highest compliment possible.

May we simply follow the greatest commandment and love You with all we’ve got inside of us… So simple, yet so difficult. Help us, Savior, in this application.  

In Your holy, powerful, perfect name I pray… Let it be!

 

 

 

 

Lead Me

 

“See that road?” The Father questions,

His will points out a path.

I look upon it in expectation,

My gaze fixed on the goal.

 

“Yes, Father, I see it. Barely, but I see it.”

“Follow it my child,” He whispers.

He has called me by name,

“Follow Me.”

 

“Father, it looks risky. Are you sure tis the right way?”

His gaze falls upon me,

Compassion with the power of conviction,

Both in perfect harmony upon His blood streaked brow.

 

“It is my Child, but I have already conquered it.

No power of hell, no scheme of man,

Can ever separate you,

From my almighty plan.”

 

Without hesitation the Creator reaches forth His hand,

The hand that made the universe, crafted every star,

Brought every breath to being, created my heart.

He places His hand in mine whispering, “Trust Me.”

 

The fear inside me melts as He firmly takes me hold,

And wraps me in His goodness and calls me to His throne.

I hold a hand scarred at the wrist,

Saying with confidence, “I will.”

 

Lead me Father, towards eternity.

Lead me to self surrender, towards the glory or Your name.

Lead me to the cross, though I be unworthy.

Lead me, Father lead me, till to home you call me.

 

 

In Christ Alone~EleyanaFaith