Tuesday, January 06, 2004

I was reading from Proverbs 6 tonight and was struck by Solomon's warning to his son in Proverbs 6:32-35. Now I am not a man who would ever consider adultery on my wife, so it would be strange that this verse would set with me. The verse however forced me to remember the lyrics by Derek Webb in his song Wedding Dress.

"I am so easily satisfied
by the call of lovers so less wild
That I would take a little cash
Over your very flesh and blood

Because money cannot buy
a husband's jealous eye
When you have knowingly deceived his wife "

I feel that I like the character in Derek's song I regularly commit "Spiritual Adultery" in my life with Christ. I feel that I let the things of the world entice me in a cheap way. Impurity, strife, jealousy, and selfishness are as much a part of my life as any "Fruit of the Spirit" I might work at mastering. These sin patterns are entrenched deeply into my life. I lust for them with the same intensity a fornicator lusts for his human prize. I let my decisions be marked by their influence in my life. I do not have the freedom to pursue a rich thriving fruit filled life because I am so easily wiling to be spiritually prostituted for a cheap appeasement of my senses.

On Sunday, in my communion message, I read Galatians 5:13-25 in which Paul notes that our salvation in Christ was a verdict of freedom. Paul shows that our lack of freedom is illustrated by the fact the we "bite and devour one another " in contrast to walking in the Spirit. I have so loved practicing this type of behavior because of my enslavement to strife, jealousy, and selfishness. I have gossiped about, slandered the name of, and struggled against my brothers in Christ. I have done this under the false banner of "freedom in Christ from legalism" while truly it was an enslavement to my own lusts. I have been one to "gratify the desires of the flesh" while lambasting my family in faith for not walking in the Spirit.

The answer Paul lays out in this passage is the greatest challenge ever set before me in my spiritual walk; demonstrate my commitment to these spirit character traits when I am most wanting to satisfy my flesh. Colossians 3:17 teaches me that when I understand that if my actions and words are not actions and words I can thank God for then they are actions and words that are in service to my flesh not to my spirit. Paul summarizes his thoughts on the "Fruits of Spirit" by concluding with " If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.." My actions and attitudes have been the exact CONTRAST Paul uses to illustrate what a life with freedom in Christ is.

I do not want to have a life of adultery. I do not want to face the Bridegroom knowing that I have adulterated myself, and many of my peers in the church. I need to live a life that is separated from these flesh natured wants, and pursue the communion with the spirit I need.

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