The Other Virus

I think this pandemic is the most insidious thing anyone alive today has experienced.

Almost 200 countries have been invaded by an unknown and deadly enemy whose only objective seems to be to infect as many people as possible. It propels itself through the airwaves, where it can be inhaled by any unsuspecting passerby. The remaining droplets fall and settle, unseen and undying, lingering for many hours or several days—surface matters.

Then, once landed or inhaled, it is secretly transported from one victim to another. And, another. And, another.

On, and on, and on it travels, disguising itself as a common cold, or it simply remains hidden. Out of site. Undetectable.  An otherwise perfectly healthy person has no idea they are carrying a time bomb, until it pulls its trigger. Within hours, its victim might be near death.

And, after a death as agonizing as one dares to imagine, it continues to multiply, feeding off its dead host.

If there has ever been any illness or disease with a character more like Satan, I haven’t heard of it. All disease is evil, and a result of evil, but no other disease is as insidious as this virus.

IS ANYTHING WORSE?

There is something worse. It is a sin that works in the heart, mind, and spirit, bringing nothing but death, if allowed to go unchecked.

It is like a spiritual virus, a sin far more dangerous than lust, greed, or hate.

It is spiritually insidious.

It invades our spirit, soul, and body, a deadly enemy whose only objective is our death.

It propels itself through the airwaves, Satan’s domain. It travels on the heels of the unknowing, through innocent words or deeds. The unsuspecting and unperceptive are easily caught in its trap, and quickly absorb its poison. It can affect anyone, of any demographic, potentially lingering forever in the willing.

On, and on, and on it travels, disguising itself as a knowledge or maturity, or it simply remains hidden. Out of site. Undetectable. Indiscernible. An otherwise spiritually sound person has no idea they are carrying a time bomb, until it pulls its trigger. Within hours, its victim might be near spiritual death.

And, after a spiritual death as agonizing as one dares to imagine, it continues to multiply, feeding off its dead host.

THERE IS NO CURE

It’s hard to accept, but there is no cure for this sin-virus. It’s hapless victims can only prepare for death.

A daily death.

Daily denying the flesh; dying to self; and finding new life in Christ. That is, life everlasting.

That is the only treatment. The only hope for Pride’s victim. Not a cure, but a daily application of the identity of Christ: a daily choice to live in Him. 

3/22/20

Living This Out

I know there are a lot of men and women struggling with sin in their lives right now. You are doing everything you know to do, being as faithful to God as you can be, yet there is a struggle inside you for freedom. Something keeps pulling you back into bondage.

Well, if you are willing to give some time to listen—and, you really do need to stop and pay attention, because he packs a lot into every minute—I want to encourage you to check out The Saxophone Player’s video series called Living This Out. He is posting videos about once a week, but you should probably subscribe and turn on the little bell, so you get notifications of his updates. You really don’t want to miss these teachings.

This is his most recent video:

Here is a link to the whole series. Be sure to subscribe and click the bell icon by the subscribe button, if you don’t want to miss a teaching.  LIVING THIS OUT!

Friend, you really can walk in freedom and peace.
God bless you today. ❤

My Filthy Rags

I had three major confrontations with the Lord in 2001. They began at the women’s Bible study (testimony here) and continued through the summer, when I finally dipped into a pile of articles Doug had given me to read.

Those articles would eventually be life changing, but I didn’t want anything to do with them at first. Oh, I was very happy for him, because he’d finally found a ministry that actually addressed his spiritual need. It was the first time we’d heard anyone use the term sexual addiction, and these men* had testimonies to back up their articles. He felt so much hope, and I was hopeful, too. Maybe, this was the answer we’d been waiting for, and all my suffering would finally be over. 

You see, while I recognized there was a spiritual war going on, I didn’t realize Doug and I each had battles to fight. I thought this war was his war, because it was his fault. If he would just do the right thing, we’d win the war and live happily ever after. Wasn’t I doing my part?  Keep the home fires burning, Caroline! Despite the fact God had been dealing with me all year long, calling me to yield to His will for my life, I just didn’t understand that there was something for me to do. I was sure our problems started with him, and would only end when he stopped living a chronic cycle of Sin-Repent-Repeat. In the meanwhile, I would be the good Christian wife I thought I was and endure this suffering. Isn’t that what longsuffering means?

Wives, God doesn’t call us to endure our husband’s sin. If we’re just holding our own, trying to get better at enduring, we’re wasting our time. That’s as far away from being a help meet as we can get. Yet, I know that’s what most wives think they’re supposed to do: don’t quit on him. Without meaning to, they become his enabler.  

You see there is a difference between godly endurance and human endurance, and too often we confuse them. Godly endurance stands out, because it bears spiritual fruit in both you and him. It doesn’t enable him to stay unchanged and in sin, but instead reminds him that his race isn’t over. We don’t ignore his fall and fail to hold him to account, but urge him to get up (repent) and keep going.  

I’m not sure when I gave in and picked-up an article, but I do remember the words took me by surprise. Like a tsunami. The first article was called, “Why People Remain in Sin and Bondage,” by David Kyle Foster. I remember thinking that maybe this article would help me understand Doug better, but instead it helped me understand myself better. It was an incredible experience. Yes, it was life changing.  I very clearly recall sitting in bed and sensing the presence of Christ beside me. I could see myself next to Him, my head down, looking at the pure white drapes of His robe. It was then I finally saw my filthy rags. I wept, I repented. My eyes were opened. For so long I had seen myself somehow ahead of Doug on this course, but suddenly I realized we were in the same place. I had no advantage over him, because I didn’t struggle with his brand of sin. I was not further ahead, because I had grown-up in Sunday school classes. We were equally wretched sinners, both in need of a Savior. 

Looking back now, I realize that God was preparing me for what was soon to come. If our family was going to survive the onslaught Satan had prepared for us, I was going to have to rise up out of my selfish version of Christianity and become a woman God could actually use. I was going to have to put my flesh in its place, just as much as Doug would—though in very different ways. I was now in the war.

*David Kyle Foster (Pure Passion) and Steve Gallagher (Pure Life Miniseries)