We've featured posts from Sam Dye's blog 'Dye2Live4Christ' before and would like to do so again. We love that Sam's posts are simply studies/commentary on passages of scripture. We need so desperately to simply wash ourselves in the word and not just "hit the hot spots" but so often forget to even open our Bibles. This is especially problematic in the blog world where people contend for readership with by focusing on the "interesting", the "intriguing" and the controversial.
It's refreshing to see and read blogs like Sam. In today's featured post, Sam offers challenging thoughts on being blinded by sin and allowing it to persist in our lives. This post caught my eye not only because it is challenging and rich in truth, but because my church (Mark here) just finished a teaching series on Nehemiah. In many ways, the theme of Nehemiah is rebuilding "walls" that have been torn down and casting the product of disobedience that was allowed to persist in Jerusalem. It (Nehemiah) is an extremely challenging book, so if after reading Sam's post you desire further challenging, go read Nehemiah. ;-)
"He did right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. The LORD struck the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death." (2 Kings 15:3-5)
As I read this it struck me that Azariah could be so blind to his sin. In chapter 12 and 14 we see two other Kings of Judah do the same thing. They lived right before God, only they did not remove the high places. And as I pondered how either blinded he must have been, or he didn't truly care. I was convicted, how many times has and does God show me my sin and yet I continue in it. It seems to very well coincide with what I was reading in Proverbs 29 today, it says: "A man who hardens his neck after much reproof Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy." God is so merciful, it honestly boggles my mind that time and time again I sin against Him, and I right now the wrath of God is not bearing down upon me. Even more than that, Christ took the wrath of God for me, I sinned I deserved God's wrath, Jesus died and took that wrath and punishment for me! But let me not "presume" upon grace, for Romans 6:2 says that we who are dead to sin are not to continue therein any longer.
I will be the first to admit, I've been deceived by sin, by my own lusts. In fact the natural man is nothing but deceived, because his mind is set on the flesh and not God. Satan is called the deceiver of the world in Revelation 12. We are not called to complacency or conformity with this world but rather to the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:2), that we might have that mind which was also in Christ Jesus (Phil 2:5). We are also called to encourage, exhort and even reprove other brothers (and sisters as the case may be) in Christ, that we would become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:13). However if we attempt to not be deceived in our own strength and have the mind of Christ by our own doing, it will fail. We see in Jude 1:24 that it is only Jesus who can keep us from stumbling and present us spotless and without blame before the Father. And ultimately it will be worth it all because one day we "we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is." (1 John 3:2)
Many thanks to Sam for his challenge!