Cyanide, Part 3

WARNING!

Reading this devotion may be painful to your flesh!

Cyanide, Part 3

 

I ended my last devotion by telling you about a special speaker whose message greatly challenged me in my thinking.  He was talking about the music we listen to.  Since I had burned my KISS albums years before then, I had a very defiant attitude at first, but as the evening progressed, he had my full attention.

 

As I walked to the car, I remember praying for the strength to change the radio to a different station.  The station I had been listening to was hard core, rock music.  After choosing to obey the conviction I had felt in church that evening, I noticed something amazing later in the week.  I had not cussed in several days.  This was HUGE because every other word from my mouth was normally something very foul.  I hadn’t thought of suicide for days, and I no longer wanted to drink or smoke.  I even stopped battling sexual thoughts.  It was INCREDIBLE!  This took place almost thirty years ago, and I have never gone back to listening to rock music or any other kind of music besides Christian.  I can truly testify to the fact that listening to rock music (or any other kind of music that is not Christian), is like spiritual cyanide.

 

If we think about the content in the lyrics to rock music, we find that they are filled with deceit, lying, violence, carousing, adultery, illicit sex, hell, Satan, death, anger, and occultic themes.  There are even songs that talk about selling your soul to the devil.  Many songs teach disrespect for authority, as well as disrespect for women.  Clearly, rock music is filled with much darkness.
Let’s take a look and see what the Word has to say to us on this issue.

Galatians 5:16 tells us that through living by the Spirit, it will keep us from gratifying our sinful desires.  The sinful desire craves what is contrary to the Spirit. – The inference here is that if I listen to rock music, which is so filled with darkness, I will have a hard time living by the Spirit.

Galatians 5:24 tells us that those who belong to Jesus have crucified their sinful nature with its passions and desires.  – If we continue to listen to rock music, which is so full of sinful lyrics, have we really crucified our sinful nature?

Romans 6:1 says that we have died to sin.  How can we live in it any longer? – If we make a habit of listening to ungodly music, aren’t we still living in sin, being that the lyrics are full of it?

Romans 6:4 tells us that we were buried with Christ so that we may live a new life.  – This means that we should no longer be holding to old, sinful things.

Romans 6:12 commands us not to let sin reign in our bodies so that we obey its evil desires.

A thought often becomes an action, so if we fill our minds with ungodly music, chances are high that we will end up acting out some of the very lyrics which fill our mind.

Colossians 3:1-3 tells us that we are to think on things above, letting heaven fill our thoughts.  — I think it would be very hard to let heaven fill my thoughts if I saturate my mind with ungodly words.

Colossians 3:5-8 commands us to do away with sinful, earthly things.  We are to deaden those desires that lurk within us.  We are not to have anything to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, or shameful desires.  God’s anger is on those who do such things.  It is time to cast off those garments.  – This scripture makes it clear that by continuing to soak our minds with music that is filled with sexual sin, lust, and impurity, we stir up God’s anger.

Colossians 3:10 tells us that we should be trying continually to become more and more like Christ.  – In my own struggle, I shared how I continued to struggle with old, sinful habits, rather than becoming more and more Christ-like in my behavior.

 

Some of you may say that the issue of rock music is a matter of personal choice, but God Word tells us differently.  In Ephesians 5:19, it commands us to let the Words of Jesus enrich our lives, making us wise.  We are to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, making melody in our heart to the Lord. This same command is seen again in Colossians 3:16-17.  Obviously, God is stressing the importance of listening to and singing music that is uplifting to our spirits.  – This is a clear commandment regarding the type of music Christians should be listening to, and rock music does NOT meet the criteria!

 

Proverbs 13:20 tells us that a companion of fools will suffer harm.  The musicians we listen to will become our companions.  Even though it has been over twenty years since I have listened to rock music, if I am in a store that happens to playing some of the music I used to listen to, I can still remember most of the lyrics, word for word.  Obviously, there is a great amount of power in music.  Even King Saul saw this when he called for David to play the harp so that he wouldn’t be tormented by the evil spirits. (I Samuel 16:14-23)

 

By giving us a clear command in Ephesians 5:19 to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, the implication is that if we choose to disobey, we are sinning.  In First John 1:5-6, we see that God is light.  There is no darkness in Him.  If we claim to have fellowship with Him, yet choose to walk in the darkness of rock music, we are liars who do not live by the truth.  In verse 10, it tells us that if we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and His Word has no place in us.

 

If you are annoyed by the hard truths shared here, you may very well have a love problem. For when you truly love God, you will obey Him. (John 14:15)  If you listen to rock music, and you don’t think it affects you, I would suggest that you go back and read the questions I asked in the last devotion, and answer them honestly.

 

God wants His people to wake up and put on beautiful clothes.  He wants us to take off the slave bands from our necks, leaving our bonds and slavery, for we are to be His holy people.

(Isaiah 52:1-2)

 

While I have focused mainly on rock music in this devotion, due to my own personal struggles with it, the truths shared here are applicable to what we watch on TV, where we go on the Internet, and even what books we read.

 

Next time I will wrap up this series with some final thoughts.

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

Cyanide, Part 2

Cyanide, Part 2

 

Do you struggle with depression?

Do you ever battle thoughts of suicide?

Do you grapple with fear?

Do you have a day-to-day struggle with cussing?

Do you have frequently fantasize or have lustful thoughts?

Do you struggle with bitterness and anger?

Do you have some addictive behaviors?

Do you constantly battle the temptation to drink?

Have you become addicted to food?

Are you caught in a web of sexual sin?

Do you look at others who worship with such freedom and wonder why you can’t seem to do that?

 

Perhaps you have been drinking spiritual cyanide.  There was a time in my own life when I could answer yes to several of the above questions.  I want to share some of my own struggle with drinking spiritual cyanide in hopes that those of you who may be struggling in this area will find hope, as well as victory.

 

When I first got saved, it seemed like I would go to church, only to find myself drinking Jack Daniels a short while later.  I could go to the altar, asking God to help me stop cussing, only to find myself cussing like a sailor before the day’s end.

 

I could attend services, promising myself that I’d quit looking for love in the wrong places, only to find myself in a compromising position later that week.

 

Even as I was faithful to read my Bible and attend church services, I constantly battled thoughts of suicide.  I just felt hopeless.  Was this really all there was to the Christian life?

Where was the victory?  Where was the deliverance for which I longed to see?

 

One night we had a special speaker at our church.  I was deeply challenged and convicted in an area where I thought I had ‘cleaned up’ enough.  Obviously, I was wrong.

 

Next time, I will share a very deep devotion about that challenge, and why my obedience to what I heard was crucial to my deliverance from sexual temptation, a desire to drink, anger, and even suicide.  This is something that has been burning in my spirit for over two months, and I have spent a great deal of time in prayer over it.  Please be in prayer, asking the Lord to help you have an opened heart to what He may desire to speak to you through the next devotion.

 

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

 

Cyanide

Cyanide

If I were to place before you a glass of ice water and told you that I tainted it with one tiny drop of cyanide, would you drink it?  Since that tiny drop of cyanide has polluted the whole vessel, you would be foolish to drink it.  Yet, I see many people in the church today who are drinking cyanide in a spiritual sense.  Just as cyanide is colorless and you cannot tell it is there, Christians today are drinking it, completely unaware of its deadly effects.

We are called to a life of holiness, which means that we are to be spiritually pure.  To be pure is to be free from that which adulterates, makes impure, or taints.  It only takes a trace of contamination to taint something.

God does not want us to be impure, but to live holy and godly lives. (I Thessalonians 4:7-8) In Ephesians 5:3-4, it tells us that there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among us.  Nor should we be partaking in any obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking.  These kinds of things are improper for God’s holy people.

To live out these scriptures, we must bring God’s standards into every aspect of our lives:

  • What we read – Is there a hint of immorality in it?
  • What music we listen to – Is there a hint of impurity in the lyrics?
  • What we watch – Is there a hint of sexual impurity? What about foolish talk?
  • Where we surf on the web – Is there immorality or coarse joking there?
  • Where we go – Is there any immorality or foolish talk taking place?
  • Where we go in our thoughts – Is it immoral or indecent?
  • What we wear – Is it immoral, drawing attention to our body, rather than God’s Spirit in us?

If you have answered yes to any of the above, you have opened yourself up to spiritual cyanide because we are not to let even a hint of immorality or impurity enter our lives. (I Thessalonians 4:7-8)

God’s Word makes it clear that participating in such activities is sinful and improper for Christians.  The result of being tainted with spiritual cyanide is that we end up living impure lives.  The cost of opening ourselves up to that poison is that we will lose sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, giving ourselves to sensuality, indulging in every kind of impurity with a continual lust for more.

Since the Word tells us that without holiness, no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14), we must be very careful not to allow any spiritual cyanide into our lives.

(I will be continuing along this topic for the next few devotions.)

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat

The Bible teaches us that Satan is a master schemer. II Cor. 2:11 His goal is to trick us into bondage. That bondage can come in many forms. Unforgiveness can leave us chained to the one we refuse to forgive. Food addictions lead us to being overweight, not to mention the guilt and low self-esteem that is caused by our lack of control in that area. Sexual bondages seem to be rampant in our society. We can be compulsive shoppers, always looking for a fix, only to find that the thrill of it passes so quickly. Being overly concerned about how we look may cause us to look good on the outside, but leave us with unseen chains wrapped around us. Greed has led many people astray and into shackles which seem impossible to loosen. As we fall prey to Satan, I can almost hear him, deviously laughing, shouting, “Trick or treat! I got you!”

The Bible is clear that we are slaves to whatever masters us. II Pet. 2:19. Paul said in I Cor. 6:12 that he would not be mastered by anything. The way that he kept from being mastered was by knowing the truth. It’s in that “knowing” that we can be set free. John 8:32

I find it comforting to know that even in bondage, God hasn’t deserted us. Ez. 9:9 While we were still sinners (and in bondage), God still loved us enough to send His Son to die for us. Rom. 5:8 That is the best treat we could ever have!

Jesus said in Luke 4:18 that He came to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and to release the oppressed. When He arose from the dead, can’t you just hear Him declaring to Satan, “Trick or Treat! I won! I have the final victory!”

My dear sister, Jesus won that victory for YOU! Whatever bondages you may be struggling with, He is still with you in the midst of it, and He has promised to never leave you, nor forsake you. Don’t be ashamed to bring your shackles to Him. He would love nothing more than to set you free. After all, He’s already paid the ultimate price for your freedom. Let Him unshackle you today!

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller