Dying to Self and Creating Safety Margins

25 05 2007

Scripture:
1 Kings 11:2-4 NLT  The LORD had clearly instructed his people not to intermarry with those nations, because the women they married would lead them to worship their gods. Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway.  ..3..  He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. And sure enough, they led his heart away from the LORD.  ..4..  In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship their gods instead of trusting only in the LORD his God, as his father, David, had done.

Romans 6:1-8 NLT  Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness?  ..2..  Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?  ..3..  Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him?  ..4..  For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.  ..5..  Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised as he was.  ..6..  Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.  ..7..  For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.  ..8..  And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share his new life.

Observations:
I continue to be amazed at the lax vigilance of these great men of God.  Here they start out well, but they don’t finish well.  Solomon, controlled by his lust, changes into a man who is not just adulterous sexually, but spiritually as well.  He changes his theology (to worship false Gods) in order to match his practices with his 700 wives and to keep them happy and content.  What an idiot!

But I am no different.  I am easily led into false teaching and practices.  This is why it is so important to guard the edges and to have moral fences and boundaries that I will not cross.  It isn’t the edge that should scare me, it is the desire to be close to the edge — or the drift toward the edge that should scare me.

When we took Scarlett to Bodega Head, along the Sonoma State Beach, we didn’t wait for her to approach the cliff’s edge before we took her hand, we took her hand long before she was in danger.  This has to be my practice too.  I have to take God’s hand long before I approach the edge and boundaries of danger.  In fact, I have to trust Him to pull me back long before I want to be pulled back.

The fascination of the edge is sometimes so great that I want to shake free of God’s grip in order to better see what is over the edge.  I want to run up for a closer look, even as God pulls me back and tells me I am too close.

*********
I continue to be fascinated by this idea of dying to self.  I now see what this great cliche’ means and I realize that I have much to learn about this.  But for the first time, because I am actually understanding, I am excited and ready to have this old man inside me killed.  I want to be that new man in Christ!

Application:
Stay away from the edge.  Don’t be tempted by the enticements of this world, the people of the world, or the amusements of the world.  This includes:

  1. Busyness
  2. Lust (food, visual, relationships, TV, music, etc…)
  3. Sacrificing the great for the merely good.

Continue to seek God as my Old man is crucified and He gives me a new heart.

Prayer: 
Father God, please accomplish the things above in my life!

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