I’m a Little Teapot

Image result for i'm a little teapot

I’m a Little Teapot

Have you ever sung the song “I’m a Little Teapot” with your children?  It’s a fun one for young children because they enjoy doing the motions to them.  Besides that, they’re just downright cute when they do their little songs!

Many times, we are like the teapot.  We get all steamed up and we ‘tip’ over to the side of our flesh, quickly finding ourselves being ‘poured out’ in a very ungodly fashion.  Our mouths spew forth some damaging words to those around us.  Some of us may even fall into the habit of throwing things when we get all steamed up.

As I’ve watched America’s Funniest Home Videos, I’ve seen numerous clips of babies who have projectile vomiting.  While we laugh at those video clips, it’s no laughing matter when the ‘projectile vomiting’ comes in the form of nasty words from our lips.  Just as vomit has a very nasty stench to it, our words can be filled with just as much stench because they are filled with acid — words which ‘burn’ those who are around us.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 26:41 that we should watch and pray so that we won’t fall into temptation.  Sometimes the temptation we face may be keeping our tongue from sinning.  In I Timothy 4:16, we see that if we watch our life and doctrine closely, persevering in them, we will not only save ourselves, but also our hearers.  Could it be that we could save our hearers from hearing some ungodly words spewing forth, if we carefully watch our lives and how we conduct ourselves when we are under pressure?

We can’t neglect the impact of doing daily devotions with the Lord.  Psalm 119:11 tells us that we should hide God’s Word in our hearts so that we might not sin against Him.  I have found that the more I devour the Word, the more control I seem to have over my emotions.  I’m still not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but at least I seem to have a better grip on my emotions, my words, my thoughts, and my actions — or should I say my ‘reactions’?  God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Ps. 119:105) When we stay in that light, it’s harder to go down the darkened path because we see the light, and we follow it more closely.

Paul sheds some light for us in Romans 7:20 when he tells us that if we do what we don’t want to do, it is no longer us that is doing it, but SIN that is living IN us.  In verses 24-25, he realizes what a wretched man of sin he is, wondering who is going to deliver him from this body of death.  He quickly declares that it is Jesus Christ who delivers us!  In Galatians 5:24, he admonishes us to realize that if we belong to Christ, we must crucify that awful sin nature with all of its passions and desires.  The next verse admonishes us to keep in step with the Spirit.

It’s a good idea to let the Holy Spirit become a muzzle for our mouths.  Psalm 39:1-2 tells us that we should watch our ways and keep our tongue from sinning.  The key is letting the Holy Spirit be our helper in this area.  After all, James makes it very clear that no man can tame the tongue. (Jas. 3:8) If we look at Luke 1:37, we find that with God ALL things are possible.  You see, there IS hope for those of us who struggle in this area!
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Mental Health

Mental Health

We have had so many things happening in our world over the last few years that it would be easy to fall prey to a stronghold of fear if we let our minds think upon all of the troubling things which are taking place.  Almost daily, we hear of more suicide bombings in Israel.  We are still losing some of our precious troops each week in Iraq.  Even where I live, the police departments can’t keep up with all of the meth labs.  That doesn’t even include the daytime robberies where the perpetrators just barge into your home, beat you up, then take your goods.  It appears that our city is being taken over by evil.  Even sitting here, typing this, I find my eyes filling up with tears.  It seems like our world is a hopeless place.

Let’s bring it a step closer to home.  What about the things taking place in our own life?  What about the child who has chosen to rebel against God?  What about cancer or some other disease that is ravaging our body?  What about someone who is spreading lies about us?  What about those of us whose spouse may be out of work?  How do we keep our minds and our hearts from becoming overwhelmed with fear?

Prov. 12:25 tells us that an anxious heart can weigh us down.  In John 14:1, Jesus tells us not to LET our hearts be troubled.  This is a command to us, meaning that we have something to do.  It means that we must not let those troubling thoughts come into our minds and find a place to rest.  When they come to our minds, we must remember the command in Phil 4:6 not to be anxious about anything but to give our requests to God.  Verse 7 tells us that after we leave our requests with God, His peace will guard our hearts and minds.

When the sinister things of this world enter your thoughts, make the choice not to sit and ponder on the seeming hopelessness of it all.  Don’t think upon the threats of more terrorist attacks.  Don’t think upon the unstable job market.  We are commanded to think upon those things which are true (certain, reliable, trustworthy), noble (excellent, supreme, lordly), right, pure (genuine, unmingled, uncontaminated), lovely (captivated, delightful, splendid), admirable (worthy, good), excellent, and praiseworthy.  Phil. 4:8

I have found that one way to speedily ruin my mental health is by thinking bad thoughts of others.  In Zech. 7:10, it tells us not to think evil of others in our hearts.  Often when we think the thoughts, we end up speaking those very thoughts because out of the abundance of our hearts, our mouths often speak.  Prov. 12:14 tells us that from the fruit of our lips, we are filled with good things.  The only way this can happen is by renewing our minds and causing our thought life to be renewed (remade, reawakened, reconditioned).  Rom. 12:2

Another way to bring mental health to our lives is by learning not to be quick-tempered.  Yes, I know this a very hard one to do.  I struggle with this on a daily basis.  Prov. 14:17 says that a quick-tempered person will do foolish things.  When we do those foolish things, then we have to deal with the consequences, not to mention the guilt.  That can promptly remove any sense of well being that we had been experiencing.  In Prov. 15:18, it says that a hot-tempered person will stir up dissension.  This can happen in our homes, which God designed to be a refuge for our families, not a place of conflict, clashing, and opposition.  Prov. 14:26 says that the Lord has a secure fortress for those who fear Him, and for their children, it is a refuge.

Another thing which can suddenly zap our sense of well-being is envy.  Prov. 14:30 tells us that a heart at peace will give life to us, but envy will rot our bones.  I Cor. 13 tells us that love doesn’t envy.  We are told to rejoice with those who rejoice.  When we find it hard to rejoice with others when they have been blessed with something that we would like to have, we need to ask God to help us to be able to honestly rejoice with them in the blessing of God on their lives.

There is another snare that we may not think of right away when we ponder on what can hinder our mental health.  It is that of gossip.  Prov. 10:19 tells us that where words are many, sin is not absent.  The more we say, the more we find ourselves getting into trouble.  Do you ever wonder what may come back on you because of what you have spoken?  Prov. 21:23 tells us that if we guard our mouth, we will keep ourselves from calamity, distress, or trials.  If we don’t quickly repent of speaking sinful words, there is that separation between us and God.  I know when I find myself separated from my Father because of my sin, my frame of mind is not a good one.  I miss the peace, tranquility, and calmness that I have when I know that my walk with Father is what it should be.  God wants us to be wise with what we say because then our words have the ability to bring healing and restoration to those around us.  (Prov. 12:18, 18:21,)  If we guard what we say, we guard our very life, meaning that we will be mentally healthy, not to mention many other physical ailments which we may avoid.  (Prov. 13:3)

I remember when I first got saved.  I had been with a crowd that was really rough and sinister.  I had to let my parents screen all of my phone calls because they wouldn’t leave me alone.  I was stalked by one of them for several weeks after pulling away from that way of life.  It was a very fearful time for me, never knowing when one of them was going to be right on my tail.  A dear man at church prayed over me regarding this.  From that very moment, it stopped!  I was amazed.  Several months later, I saw the verse in Prov. 16:7 that reveals to us that when our ways please the Lord, He makes even our ENEMIES to be at peace with us.  I have seen the person who was stalking me only one or two times in the twenty years since this took place, and both times, the FEAR was in THAT person’s eyes!  Light truly does chase away the darkness!  I mention this illustration because many of you may have some “enemies” who are causing your mental health to be disturbed.  I urge you to start praying the above scripture over your circumstances.  You may see God work speedily on your behalf, bringing that tranquility back into your life.

I want to close with some final scriptures that talk about health.  This can refer to mental health, as well as a vast array of physical health in our lives, if we choose to follow the decrees given to us.
Prov. 3:7-8  Don’t be wise in your own eyes, but fear God and turn from evil.  This brings health to your body and it nourishes your bones.
Prov. 3:21-22 Preserve sound judgment and discernment because they will be life for you.
Prov. 4:20-23 Pay attention to God’s word and keep His word in your heart.  His word is life to you and health to your whole body.  Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Prov. 17:22  If we have a cheerful heart, it works like a medicine.  (Not to mention that it’s much cheaper than visiting the doctor!)

Awesome God, You love us so much, and you desire for us to have life, and life abundantly.  Help us to make changes in our thoughts, where needed, so that Your life, love, joy, peace, and tranquility can be ours at all times, in all ways, in all circumstances, and in all conditions.  (I Th. 3:16)  Amen.

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

An Instructed Tongue

An Instructed Tongue

The tongue is a very hard thing to tame.  James calls it a fire, a world of evil that is set on fire by hell.  He calls it a restless evil that is filled with deadly poison.  (Jas. 3:6-8)

Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘restless’ as unable to relax, giving no rest, rarely quiet or still, or discontented.  I don’t know about you, but just seeing that definition in light of how I use my tongue, I’m getting convicted already!

When we find that we are unable to relax our tongue, we will find ourselves being quick to speak.  Yet, James tells us that we should be slow to speak. (Jas. 1:19)

When we have a discontented tongue, it’s hard to follow the admonition in Philippians to think upon the things which are lovely, true, just, pure, and excellent.  We don’t allow ourselves time to shut up long enough to count our blessings.  That discontented tongue just has so much to say!

Another thing that a discontented tongue can do is make us like the quarrelsome wife, who is like a constant dripping. (Pr. 19:13) We fall into the habit of nagging, whining, complaining, and/or disrespecting our husband because we have become discontent with our lot in life.  No wonder Proverbs 21:19 tells us that a man is better off in the desert than living with a quarrelsome woman!  At least in the desert, he might find some peace and quiet.

When our tongue gives us no rest, we miss out on intimate moments with the Lord.  He may be calling us to find rest for our weary souls. (Mt. 11:28-30) In John 10, Jesus tells us that His sheep listen to His voice.  If our tongue gives us no rest, how can we hear His still, small voice?

In Pr. 31:26-27 we see that ‘when’ the virtuous woman speaks, her words are kind, giving wise counsel and instruction.  The word ‘when’ implies that she isn’t talking all of the time.  She has learned to be silent at times.  She also doesn’t eat the bread of idleness.  Idleness is a dangerous trap because when we become idle in our bodies, our tongue usually doesn’t follow.  Instead, it finds reason to  gossip or even to wallow in self-pity because we are discontented.  Those ultimately lead us to that place of having a restless tongue.

How do we stop this vicious cycle?  It is certainly a hard one to break once we fall prey to it.

Is. 50:4 says that God has given me an instructed tongue so that I will know what to speak to the weary.  He awakens me morning by morning, wakening my ear to listen to Him, like one who is being taught.

When we begin to honestly pray for God to give us an instructed tongue, we may find the resulting fruit:
1.  Our kind words may cheer up someone.  (Pr. 12:25)
2.  Our lips will nourish many. (Pr. 10:21)
3.  Our wise words will bring healing to others.  (Pr. 12:18) In fact, our wise words may even bring healing to ourselves because we begin to speak the Word over our situation instead of speaking out of our fickle emotions.
4.  Our words can become a fountain of life.  (Pr. 10:11)
5.  Wisdom will flow from us.  (Pr. 10:13)
6.  We will learn how to weigh our answers before we speak. (Pr. 15:28)

An instructed tongue…..I want it!  How about you?  Do you want it?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

Children seem to revel in playing hide and seek.  They find such pleasure in this game.  We, as adults, often play hide and seek, but we don’t do it because it’s fun.  In fact, it is an often painful “game” which we play.   We do it because we are trying to hide our hurt feelings, our anger, our fears, our failing marriage, physical or emotional abuse, our sin, and the list could go on and on.  What do you hide behind?  Many times it can be the big things, but sometimes it’s the “little” things that can cause us to hide.  You know, those nagging little things like envy of a friend’s nicer, bigger home, or anger at being treated unfairly, or the jealousy of a friend who has a prestigious job and gets to wear nice clothes all the time……

You may think that you are hiding things very well, but God says:

“For the ways of man are directly before the eyes of the Lord, and He carefully weighs all man’s goings.”  Prov. 5:21 Amp. Bible
Ps. 139:2-3 says that God knows when we sit or stand.  God understands our thoughts from afar.  He sifts and searches out our paths and our lying down, and He’s acquainted with all of our ways.
Ps. 139:7 “Where could I go from Your Spirit?  Or where could I flee from Your presence?”  Amp. Bible
Luke 12:2 says that nothing is so closely hidden that it won’t be revealed.
Jer. 23:24 “Can anyone hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him?”  Amp. Bible

Let’s look at some people in scripture who played “Hide and Seek.”  The first game of hide and seek was in Genesis with Adam and Eve. (Gen. 3:10)   The sin which they tried to hide ended up getting them kicked out of the garden of Eden.

Jonah also felt the need to play this game.  (Jonah 1:3-4)  Where did it get him?  He was in the belly of a fish for 3 days and nights.  I was pondering on this the other day, after my husband and daughter went through a bout with the stomach flu.  When you have the flu, you get to the point where you are just vomiting bile, and not only does it taste bad, but it SMELLS AWFUL!!!  That sick smell just seems to linger if you don’t work hard to clean everything.  Imagine what Jonah went through, living amongst the bile of a fish, and for 3 days!!  YUCK!!!!  Sin will surely take you places where you DON’T want to go!

David committed adultery with Bathsheba and went so far as to have her husband killed on the front lines.  He thought that he had done a good job of covering up for his wrong doing, that is, until Nathan the prophet approached him.   Num. 32:23 says to be sure that your sin will find you out.

Hagar ended up running away from Sarah after Sarah “dealt severely with her, humbling and afflicting her.”  Gen. 16:6 (Amp. Bible)  In verse 8, God said to Hagar, “Where did you come from, and where are you intending to go?”  It ended up that Hagar called God El Roi – “the One who sees.”  Gen. 16:13  Even when she tried to hide, God still saw her.

If you trying to play your own game of “Hide and Seek,” I promise you that you won’t win.  Sometimes it is so hard to admit those things which we hide behind.  I know, I’ve been there, and unfortunately, I’ve played this game more than once or twice.  I remember a time when someone at church kept showing me their baby and telling me that I needed one of my own.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I let a stronghold of anger and bitterness develop over it.  I had some serious back trouble at the time which made pregnancy seem like an impossibility for me, not to mention that I had chronic colitis, and was on 6-8 pills a day.  That sure wasn’t a conducive environment to a pregnancy.  (God has since delivered me of the chronic colitis, and maybe one of these times I will share that AWESOME experience.)  It was so bad that God had to remove me from that particular church for a while so that he could get me away from the situation.  For the longest time, I blamed it on the pastor.  “I wasn’t getting fed.”  Ever hear those famous words?  Eventually, I was to the place where God uncovered that “hidden place” in my heart, and I dealt with it, and was very quickly back into my original church.  I have no anger or resentment toward the person who originally offended me.  I can now see her as a very dear sister in the Lord.

If you are playing the “game,” please pray for God to reveal to you what is in your heart, mind, soul, and spirit that isn’t pleasing to Him.  Allow Him to show you where you aren’t clearly seeing things which need to be corrected.  Pray for Him to strip down the walls of arrogance and  fear, and to expose you to yourself.  (That can be scary, but well worth it!)  Pray for Him to give you the desire and strength to correct the error of your ways.  Pray for Him to help you to replace any lies of the enemy with the truth of His Word.

Psalm 32:3-4 “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night your hand was heavy upon me, my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.”  (NIV)
Ps. 38:3-5 “Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; my bones have no soundness because of my sin.  My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.  My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly.  (NIV)  Life is hard enough without adding to the burden by trying to play “Hide and Seek” when there is no way that we will ever win.

When you confess your sin, it’s not like you are telling God something that is going to shock Him, or make Him turn away from you.  He all ready knows about it.  Confession is just admitting to God what He all ready knows, and agreeing with Him that what you did is wrong.  Then comes repentance – truly being sorry to the point of grief, and turning away from it.  I know in my own walk, I can repent, but then I find myself doing the same thing, even though my intention was to truly turn away from it.  When we repent of something it doesn’t mean that we won’t ever commit that sin again.  It simply means that we don’t INTEND to ever commit that sin again.  Anytime we sin, we need to quickly repent so that the death process which has been set into motion will be stopped; for we know that the “wages of sin is death.”  Rom. 6:23.

Prov. 28:13 I am paraphrasing here:  She who continues to play “Hide and Seek” will not prosper, but she who confesses and renounces the game will find mercy from her Lord.

Acts 3:19 paraphrasing again:  Quit playing “Hide and Seek” so that your sins may be blotted out, then will come times of refreshing in the presence of the Lord.

My sisters, time is too short to be playing games in any way with our spiritual walk.  Let’s be diligent in making sure that we are keeping our garments spotless so that we can be unashamed when Jesus comes to take us to that glorious marriage supper of the Lamb.

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Do Not Disturb

o Not Disturb

 

How many times do we put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on our hearts?  For some reason, it seems that we are afraid to let Father into certain places in our hearts.  Is it because we are wanting to cherish a certain sin, hold onto a bad attitude, or refusing to forgive someone from a past hurt that wounded us so deeply?  Do we somehow think that if we don’t allow God to visit those places that He can’t see them?  Whatever the reason, we may feel like we can’t let God go into those dark places, but what does it cause when we refuse to allow Him access to those places?

 

Prov. 15:13 says that heartache crushes the spirit.  When we close off certain parts of our heart, no matter the reason, it will cause our spirit to be crushed.

Ps. 38:18  says that I confess my sin, and I am troubled by it.  Many times we may use an excuse, saying, “I’m not angry, I’m just hurt.”  We try to convince ourselves that we haven’t sinned, but if we are harboring something inside us, many times, it does lead us into sin.  It may be the sin of unforgiveness or even the sin of gossip.  How many times does someone really hurt us, and instead of turning to God (the true heart healer), we call all of our girlfriends and begin telling them how awful this person was to us?  What does that do to the other person’s reputation?  What does it do to us?

 

As I was looking up scriptures to use in this message, I came across a rather interesting verse in I Sam. 10:22.  It says that He has hidden himself among the baggage.  How often do we find ourselves hidden among our own baggage from the past?  We don’t feel like we can truly be the real “us” because we are so burdened with things from the past.

 

Sometimes it is very painful to let God come into those hidden places.  I remember a time when I let God into one of my “hidden places.” It was incredibly painful because I had to revisit some things from my past that I didn’t want to think about ever again.  In the process of letting that two-edged sword of the Word penetrate my heart and my spirit, God brought awesome cleansing and healing to me in that area.  Yes, it hurt, and it hurt really bad.  Was it worth it?  YOU BET IT WAS!

 

Prov. 4:23 tells us to guard our hearts above all else because the heart is the wellspring of life.  We tend to get so busy with daily cares that it is very easy for something that isn’t good and holy to take root in our hearts.  Jer. 17:9 says that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked.  If I don’t take the time to get before the Lord and allow Him to show me anything bad that has taken root in my heart, it’s no time at all before I feel like all of my spiritual strength has been zapped from me.

 

Heb. 3:13 tells us to encourage one another daily so that we won’t be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.  Not that we need to unload all of our cares on people every time we see them, but most of us probably have a good friend who can just look at our countenance and tell that something is going on.  We may not even see it when we look in the mirror, but those dear friends have a way of bringing it to the surface for us.  Thank God for friends who love us enough to confront us on issues where we would rather not go!

 

Here’s what can happen when we let God remove the “Do Not Disturb” sign.  Ps. 51:10 He can create a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit in us.

Ps. 66:18-19 When we confess our sin to Him, He listens to us.  – He’s not out to condemn us, but to renew that intimate fellowship once again.  The accuser of the brethren is the only one who seeks to bring condemnation to us.

As we learn that we can easily bring ANYTHING to Father, we will become much more intimate in our fellowship with Him.  Ps. 73:26 says that my heart and flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  This scripture became very real to me as I recently went through a long, hard struggle – one that started about nine months ago.  I faced some major battles while going through the trial because there were many times when I didn’t feel that certain people wanted to be bothered with it, or to address the issue.  Like the persistent widow, who continued to go before the judge, I wouldn’t let up in this fight.  I learned to lean on Father in a way that I never have before.  The fellowship we shared was so sweet and so intimate.  I remember one day, while I was doing an in-depth Bible study on the tabernacle, I was learning some awesome things, and it was like Father was sitting right there at the table with me.  He stopped me from going any further and began clearly telling me how that particular lesson fit right in with what I was experiencing.  I had been in tears of hopelessness and fatigue earlier that morning, but His words were life to my wounded spirit.

 

There was another day when I just felt that I couldn’t go on in the battle.  I was facing some persecution for my stand on a very important issue, and the persecution was coming from some of my own church family.  Now THAT was REALLY hard to bear.  While I was cleaning the house one day, Father was right there with me, and we had a very long two-way conversation about the situation.  Before the end of the day, I was filled with joy and my strength was incredibly renewed.

 

Now, you may wonder what this has to do with a “Do Not Disturb” sign.  Well, in the process of going through this trial, let me tell you – I wasn’t always so holy in my words or actions!  I had my moments when I was raging mad, and times when I talked about the situation in a not-so-nice-way.  While there were times that I did need to talk about it, looking for some direction, there were times that the talking turned to gossip and angry, bitter words.  Instead of putting the “sign” up over my heart, I noticed that the close fellowship with Father was waning.  Ps. 26:2 says to test me and try me, Lord.  Examine my heart and my mind.  I did just that, and Father was faithful to show me where I had gone wrong.  I quickly got back on track.  After having had those awesome intimate moments with Him, I was hooked!  I didn’t want ANYTHING stopping me from having those times with my Father!

 

If you have put up the “sign” on your heart, and want Father to take it down,  I pray that the God of hope would fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  (Rom. 15:13)  May your love abound more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight so that you may surely learn to sense what is vital and prize what is excellent and of real value, recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences.  I pray that you would be untainted and pure, unerring and blameless as you approach the day of Christ.  (Phil. 1:9-10)

 

Remember that we are being transformed into HIS likeness with ever increasing glory which comes from the Lord.  II Cor 3:18

 

I guess what we really need to do is give up putting up a “Do Not Disturb” sign for the Lord, and instead, put up a “Do Not Enter” sign for Satan.

 

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

 

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

 

Previous Older Entries