THE SECRET PLACE
Abiding under the shadow of the Almighty
A WORLD WITHIN A WORLD I
“Having therefore these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (II Corinthians 7:1) Lord, convict us to be holy – from the inside out. Amen.
Is God saying to sell everything we have and go sit on a mountain top and wait for His return? Is He saying to become an isolationist and close all communication between us and the world? Well, of course I believe every child of God needs to know exactly what God is telling them to do, but the point is that we must live at the feet of Jesus while functioning in the natural realm. As we abide in this world within a world, we can remain pure and allow holiness to influence our thinking as the discernment of our convictions, but we must not allow our heart to become calloused and numb to the sights and sounds of compassion. The world of today is becoming the introductory class for tomorrow’s eternity of darkness, but we are not of this world – we are citizens of heaven. We were born of flesh but have now become reborn in the Spirit of God. The shelter of His presence is our home and author of our salvation. “The Name of the Lord is a strong and mighty tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10) He is refuge for our soul and the “green pastures” of our thoughts. If we are restless in our mind, discouraged and heavy in our conscience – He is not the one that has moved away. Somewhere in the everyday distractions of life we have drifted away and sin has brought its deception and depression into our life. When we become lukewarm, our new spirit cries out to restore fellowship with Father but in our rebellion and pride we fight against it and will continue falling away until we make the decision to stop. Selah.
Everyone sins and there has never been a human who has never sinned, with the exception of Jesus Christ. All sins are an offense to God Almighty Who is Holy, but some sins are specifically mentioned as an abomination to God. Allow me to say here that the key to being filled with joy is staying on our knees in repentance. The cleaner we are the happier we are! When we are dirty, we are miserable and difficult to be around. Our mind tells our heart that we can “carry” our load of sins and that we really do not actually have that many. The truth is that sin piles up and becomes heavy if not dealt with. One way to know we have fallen away is to measure how passionate we are to pray and worship God! If we go to church and stand there and look out the window – something is wrong. Either God is not there or we have turned our attention away from Him. Many times we create a distance between us and Jesus and this “barrier” prevents us from being like a little innocent child that wants to run into their Fathers arms. Another indicator is how diligent our prayer life is. If we do not have a burning passion for the lost or for the needs of others – something is wrong. There is a strong chance that focusing on our own problems and needs has become a higher priority than anything or anyone else. With selfishness taking charge of our energy and “king carnality” sitting on the throne of our heart, our flesh has now become the master and lord of our life.
I want us to agree on something and like I was saying a few weeks ago, I realize that most people do not want to face the reality of who they really are or what they do. The truth is that humans are depraved. If we were not so bad – Jesus would not have needed to be tortured and killed for us to be redeemed. All people are born in sin and most live their entire lives filled with darkness. Jesus is the only deliverer that can rescue someone from sin and forgive them, however, that does not necessarily mean they will not have a problem with sin or temptation. Christians can not only be sinners but can be alarmingly “infected” with “problems”. How long can they continue in this state? Only God knows, but I want us to look closely at the seven deadly sins of Proverbs to see if we are guilty of committing these crimes against the Lord and to know we can lay them on the alter to be consumed with God’s forgiveness. We can be set free from the agony of a double life.
“There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.“ Proverbs 6:16-19)
The number seven is special to God. It took seven days to create the world. A week has seven days in it and God rested on the seventh day. In ancient Israel, they were to rest on the Sabbath and the seventh day was a commanded day of reflection and assembly to worship God and was the fourth commandment given. The root word for the number seven in Hebrew means “to be full” or “to be complete.” Being full and complete, means that nothing could be added to it or taken away from it. It is a number of completion and perfection. So if anyone has these particular seven sins, they are in a sense, in a complete state of sin as far as God is concerned. To not have an interest in this topic, or to be ready to close this page, is a sure sign that we are avoiding the truth and actually do have a problem with these trespasses. What are these seven deadly sins that Solomon warned us about in the Book of Proverbs? Let us look closer with the honest eyes of our heart.
Haughty Eyes (Pride) People who have haughty eyes look down on others and they are full of the first sin ever recorded. Before mankind was even created, pride was the cause of Lucifer’s fall whose name was later changed to Satan or the Devil as recorded in Ezekiel 28:17: “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth.” Lucifer meant “light-bearer” because he was the most beautiful of all the angels God created, but in deception he became prideful and believed he was worthy to overtake the throne of God. He was cast down and became known as Satan, which in Hebrew means adversary and the accuser. The Devil’s name literally means “slanderer” in Greek. Today, Satan in Revelation 12:10, is said to accuse the brethren (the church) before the throne of God day and night.
Haughty eyes are filled with arrogance and are actually at the root of all sin. That is why it is listed first because pride is first and foremost inherent in all sin. Haughty eyes look condescendingly on people. They perceive others as inferior in a pompous way and see themselves as superior to everyone else. This is why God hates it. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall”. This is exactly what happened to Satan and what still happens to humans who boast, brag, and are arrogant. Pride and evil are tied together in God’s mind as it is written, “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate” (Proverbs 8:13). The Lord actually considers the proud as the enemy and is absolutely against them. It is very difficult to minister or reach out to the arrogant because they are so strongly deceived. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
A Lying Tongue – God detests a lying tongue and in fact, all liars are destined to be cast into the lake of fire in the Second Death (Rev. 21:8). This is the final place for the Devil and all his fallen angels (demons). This place is an eternal torment filled with regret and the agony of hopelessness. Again, we go back to the first and foremost detestable thing that God hates as pride is the root cause of all sin, and when we lie, we want to make ourselves look good, and everyone else lower than us. It is deceiving to make excuses for our not doing the right thing and we often accuse others of something that they did not do – all in order to make us look better. We believe we are deceiving others but we do NOT deceive God who searches the heart and knows our evil intent (1 Kings 8:39, 1 Chronicles 28:9).
We think that little “white lies” are harmless, but a lie is a lie! It’s like someone saying that they are a little pregnant or a little dead. They are either lying or not. Lying hurts the person who is telling the lie but it also hurts others as Proverbs 25:18 says, “Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.” That doesn’t sound harmless at all. James recognizes the destructive force of the tongue, “The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” He continues, “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be”. (James 3:5-10)
Hands that Shed Innocent Blood – One great example was the blood that was shed of Jesus Christ. The spotless, sinless, perfect Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, was slain by guilty hands. He was completely innocent but those who shed His blood were completely guilty and sinful. To me, abortion is the shedding of innocent blood. A child is inside the womb of a woman and defenseless – completely innocent, yet 42 million abortions are performed every year in this world and 1.37 million per year in the U.S. This is nothing short of genocide since God knew us before we were born and knew us by name in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5-10). Today shedding innocent blood can involve burglaries gone bad, murders, inducing others to buy and get hooked on drugs, influencing others to drink (and then to drive), drunk drivers killing innocent victims, spousal and child abuse, and the list goes on. Jesus said that we even commit murder in our heart even if we hate someone (Mathew 5:21-26). No human is innocent before God but by Him saying that He abhors those who shed innocent blood, He means that criminals and everyday people have killed those who did not deserve to die. God alone is the author and giver of life and only He has the right to take a life. Here again, pride is a root cause of murder. Anger and rage involve someone else doing something we don’t like or to steal from others who have something we want. James equates murder’s motives quite well in saying, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3). We may say that we are not guilty of shedding innocent blood, but we must realize that if we support the legal system to enforce laws that enables others to sin, are we not participating? How can we approve the freedom and rights of others to sin and yet preach against the horrors of offending God? Let us not be double-minded concerning the will of God. Selah.