Saturday, April 12, 2008

the enemy within

20 Do you see a man hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

22 An angry man stirs up strife,
And a furious man abounds in transgression.

23 A man’s pride will bring him low,
But the humble in spirit will retain honor.

25 The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

26 Many seek the ruler’s favor,
But justice for man comes from the LORD.

Proverbs 29

Who is the enemy within? How can I know her? How can I combat her, avoid her, flee from her?

She is Haste. I rush to do things, say things, fix things. Haste is my enemy within. The hero is Patience, Restraint, Thoughtful Prayer and Study, reflecting on the ways and power of Christ who can work through me as I seek Him. He can even work without my actions, and only my prayers.

She is Anger. Righteous anger, selfish anger, it does not matter! When I feed it, it moves from mild to furious and shows no mercy. It trips up humility. Anger is a powerful feeling. It gives the owner of it power to control by force. Christ, in contrast, was angry but did not sin. He did get angry at sin, but never tried to control by His anger. Instead, He sought to woo by His love. God's Love ultimately has more power. There are those who refuse His love, and go their own way, but even then, they are let go.

She is Pride. Pride always trips up he individual who grasps with it. We know our power and position in Christ, and are confident in Him, yet we are mindful of our own state as weak frail dust. That is humility. In humility, there is honor, in pride, dishonor. Pride is a cheater. As we grasp at what we "deserve" Christ can not give us the gift, which must be presented to us for free.

She is Fear of man. She seeks approval from man, and favor from man, thinking the man can help her, but he cannot. He is powerless; he is unstable; he is untrustworthy. Christ alone is worthy of our trust. In Christ alone, we seek justice and approval. He is able and He loves us. He will not forget to answer our messages, forget to pick up the thing we need on the way. He will come through for us in better ways we can ever imagine. He will block our ways with hedges of love when we seek in others what we can only find in Him.

Take off the dirty rags of sin. Put on instead the fruit of the Spirit of Christ, that is patience, kindness, mercy, love, self control, humility and faith.

Even this, I cannot do alone Beloved. Thank You for helping me see. Please sit beside me, my Lover of my soul, and help me remove these dirty rags. Wash me with the water of Your word. Clothe me in Your righteousness alone. I long to be beautiful for You.

Beautiful for You alone.

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