Monday, August 28, 2006

I'm A Total Studmuffin And Chicks Dig Me!

Ecclesiastes chapter 3 tells us that there is a time for every purpose under the heavens. One thing that is doesn’t mention is the fact that there is a time for us to start thinking with the right head. Because of our God given libidos, men are the most self deceived beings on the planet. We all want to appear sexy and attractive to the opposite sex. That is the reason we suck in our guts on the beach as a hot woman walks by. (admit it, you’ve done it at least once in your life)

But there is a reason why the “gentlemen’s club” business is booming in America. We love to deceive ourselves. “There are more than 2,400 strip clubs in the United States; annual revenue at some clubs is as high as $8 million.” Stop Pretending, Candi Dushman. World Magazine, 5 August, 2000.

Is it actually possible that a smoking hot sex kitten half our age would ACTUALLY be turned on by our fat, balding bodies? Are we so irresistible to young beautiful ladies that they want to get their clothes off as quickly as possible and grind against us for hours on end? The answer should be popping into your head right now. But if it didn’t…it’s “NO”!

There is a spiritual reason for that phenomenon, and Solomon nailed it almost three thousand years ago.

For on account of a harlot a man is brought to a piece of bread, and the adulteress stalks and snares as with a hook the precious life of a man. Proverbs 6:26 (Amplified Bible)

The adulteress will actually hunt for men’s lives that are precious to God. They may be thinking that they are just out for the money. But they are unwittingly being used by our enemy to bring the Christian warriors into bondage. We’ve all seen it. The fastest way for a Godly man to be instantly neutralized and see his ministry totally vanish is for him to be caught with a naked bimbo. And that is exactly why we are hunted. Satan knows exactly what kind of bait to use. He is the master fisherman. And believe me; every piece of bait contains a deadly hook inside. It’s just not worth it!

And lastly, I want to relate a story to those who think that hanging out in strip clubs or “titty bars” is a victimless thing to do. This is for all those who have deceived themselves into thinking that those beautiful young ladies are “really into you” and want to be with you.

I was the manager of a furniture rental store in Arlington, Texas back in the 80’s. People would come in to rent furniture to furnish apartments because they didn’t own any, or were transient at the time. We had many strippers as customers. One in particular was named Lisa. She was in her early twenties and was drop dead gorgeous. She was smart, eloquent, funny, and always came in to make her payment with a big stack of one dollar bills which were still wet with baby oil. She would say it was just a part of her act, and the bank never had any problems accepting them. She was right. One day she came in to the store and had a huge scab on the inside of her right calf. It looked horrible and seemed very painful. I asked her what had happened. She let me know that she had gotten on the back of the motorcycle of a customer who was leaving the club because she needed a ride home. Her calf was against his hot exhaust pipe and literally cooked like hamburger meat. When I asked her why she didn’t feel anything, she let me know that she had been extremely drunk at the time. I asked her why she got so drunk at work. She replied with words that haunt my soul to this day: “Do you think I could do that if I wasn’t drunk?”

May we always be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem!

"Abstain from all appearance of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:22

Monday, August 21, 2006

Start Punching Back!

We have all heard the story about Paul and his "thorn in the flesh". You should be familiar with the amazing passage of scripture in 2 Corinthians 12. He has just been talking about the great revelations he has received from the Lord. Having been taken up into the third heaven fourteen years before, he heard things that he wasn’t allowed to talk about to anyone else. The same thing actually happened to John in his journey through the heavens when he was about to write down something he heard and was stopped by his prophet guide. (Rev 10:4) It makes one wonder what is going on up there that we aren’t supposed to know about yet. But let’s get back to Paul.

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.” 2 Corinthians 12:7 (New King James Version)

There has been a lot of speculation as to what Paul’s thorn in the flesh actually was. I heard a preacher say it was bad eyesight because of Galatians 6:11. I even heard another say it was an addiction. But one thing is for sure, his thorn was a spirit sent from the evil kingdom. He says what the thorn was: a messenger of Satan. The Greek word for “messenger” is the same word translated “angel” in other New Testament places. And this is not the first time a fallen spirit has done the will of God. If you haven’t read my post on trash talking, do so after you finish this. The book of Job is a prime example. God sent a lying spirit to the mouths of his prophets in 1 Kings 22 to make Ahab fall. In Judges 9, God sent another evil spirit to buffet Abimelech. And of course, who sent the evil spirit to torment God’s own chosen king Saul? That’s right: The Lord. Yes, God is mercy. But God is also judgment. And many people don’t like to believe this scripture:

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

Who sends the delusion? God!

So if Paul’s thorn was an evil spirit, why didn’t he just cast it? He knew about casting devils. It makes sense to believe that he tried, and failed many times. This isn’t a new thing. There was a devil that the disciples of Jesus couldn’t cast in Mark 9:28. The fact that it didn’t move shows that his “thorn” was no rookie in Satan’s kingdom, and his ability to beat Paul like a piñata was the reason Paul went to God three times. Every time he seriously asked God to move this mountain, the answer came back “No”. I hear so many preachers say that God never says “No”; He only says “Yes” or “Not Yet”. The Bible is full of times when God said “No”. Moses brought down some “No’s” carved in stone from the mountain. God said “No” to things like other gods and adultery.

The last thing we should think about is the word translated “buffet” in this passage. The Greek word literally means “to rap with the fist”, and it is the same word used in Mark 14:65 to describe the way Jesus was punched in the face during his pre-crucifixion ordeal. The messenger of Satan is punching Paul in the face. It was an enemy he couldn’t defeat, so he took his cause to God and pleaded for some divine intervention. God said “No”.

What is your thorn? Who is your foe? Are you even fighting back? Are you doing the “rope a dope” and letting him beat the crap out of you? Remember you are a soldier of Christ, and a warrior in this plan. You are destined for ultimate victory because Jesus has made us more than conquerors.

“Fight the good fight of the faith.” 1 Timothy 6:12 (KJV)

“You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your [own] blood.” Hebrews 12:4 (Amplified Bible)

Start punching back! There is a reason we have been given the weapons of our warfare.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Life Lessons From Terrorists

Every time there is a television special about 9/11 I get really angry. Still after all these years, I can vividly recall the feelings I had on that day that changed the entire world. But it occurs to me that there are some lessons from that day that I need to apply to my life.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds), casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (American Standard Version)

Those men who I still feel hatred towards to this very day; have taught me a lesson that we as Christian men are supposed to heed. We are called to destroy the strongholds of the enemy. The followers of Bin Laden saw the World Trade Center as a stronghold of their enemy: America. They believed it represented everything that was evil. To them it loomed tall and shiny, larger than life, and was a symbol of everything they stood against and had committed their lives to fight. The thing that I now have come to admire about those men is the fact that they did something about it. They were so willing to destroy that stronghold that they put their very lives on the line. They were willing to die to themselves in order to see that fortress lie in ruins. There are millions of Islamic fundamentalists around the world who piss and moan about evil America every day. But how many of them are willing to put their money where their burning flag is? How many of them are willing to do something about it? Not many! And the same thing is true of the Christian church today. Do we hate sin? Absolutely! And we’ll pontificate all day long about how evil our enemy Satan is and how he is building strongholds in this world on a daily basis. We’ll quote scriptures and shake our fist at the air, but do we have what it takes to start bringing some of those buildings down to the ground? Remember, our weapons are not of the flesh, so our strongholds look different then theirs.
"When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21 (New Living Translation)

Lying lips and envy stand taller than those two buildings ever did. Lust, porn, and secret lives are shinier and prettier that those two majestic feats of architecture ever were. And we all see them on a daily basis. But are we willing to give our lives away so that those strongholds will “come a tumbling down”?

So what is your stronghold? Only you and God know that. Me, I’m an addict. And daily I stand at the base of my addiction and stare up the massive size of my foe. I feel so insignificant against the might of my own personal World Trade Center. But I still pick up five smooth stones, take my slingshot in hand, and run towards it in the name of our God with whom all things are possible.