Pride

Proverbs 8:13

To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
    I hate pride and arrogance,
    evil behavior and perverse speech.

A while back I started doing blog posts inspired from the book of proverbs. Verse by verse I was going. Eventually all the verses just started to become the same thing over and over again. I lost a lot of inspiration. In fact, it’s been since March 14th of last year since I last posted about Proverbs (view here). I have kept checking back on this next verse, reading it across almost every translation just to find some inspiration. I just honestly haven’t wanted to write about this verse, or any of the rest in the chapter. It’s all just become the same thing over and over again.

But alas, today I am pushing myself through it because sometimes with your relationship with God, and with others, you just have to keep pushing through despite how you feel.

To fear the Lord is to hate evil. Looks like we can categorize pride, arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech under evil. How many of you hate evil? How many of you hate talking to someone and they start to get prideful, nothing they say is wrong, they have all the best stories, their way is always right, etc? Or how about arrogant people? Like trying to talk with Tony Stark, or Steve Jobs for example? Talking to people who are full of themselves is the worst. I think it’s clear to say we all hate this kind of evil.

But what about when it is in yourself? It’s easy to recognize it is within others, but what about yourself? Are you/can you be prideful or arrogant? Do you find yourself to be more right than wrong? Looking honestly at past situations, why do you think that is? Where you truly right, or was pride getting in the way from you admitting your wrong?

Maybe pride is stopping you from opening up to others. You like to control how others see you, you show others an edited version of you, but not the raw footage.

But to fear the Lord is to hate evil and pride and arrogance and evil behavior and perverse speech.

What is it in your own life that you are failing to recognize, but you can so easily recognize in others?

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Wile E. Coyote’s Lack of Guidance Is You

Proverbs 8:12 (NLT)
“I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment.
I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
Proverbs 8:12 (ESV)
“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
and I find knowledge and discretion.
I have sat here for the past few  hours just staring at this verse, just wondering, what kind of depth can I explore from this verse? I understand from it that wisdom brings you good judgement, character, and that wisdom can find you knowledge and a plan, direction. I keep wondering how I can better understand this to be able to apply this in my life and more so, I keep looking for a deeper hidden meaning.
In my mind, I keep going back to Wile E. Coyote and Team Rocket from Pokemon. I picture Wile. E. Coyote as he is always chasing The Road Runner. Wile E., as far as we know, has spent his whole life chasing The Road Runner but he never seems to capture The Road Runner. Time after time again, he fails. His plans never work, in fact they always seem to backfire on him to bring us comic relief.  As a spectator looking in, we know that Wile E. Coyote will never actually catch The Road Runner, but Wile E. doesn’t know that and so he will continue to spend the rest of his life chasing something he will never achieve.  
I can’t help but imagine that how we see Wile E. Coyote always chasing The Road Runner, is the same way God sees us when we start pursuing desires without God’s wisdom and direction. In Proverbs 8:12 we see that wisdom dwells with good judgement and common sense, they live together! And like any good roommate, you tend to know much more about your roommate than you care to know. Wisdom knows good judgement and finds knowledge and direction. If Wale E. Coyote were to catch The Road Runner he should seek wisdom first, and wisdom can teach him the direction he needs to finally catch The Road Runner.
If there is something you desire, give it to God. Seek Him and His wisdom. Pray about it, never stop praying for it.
Luke 11:11-13 (NIV)
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Think about that for a minute. Do you believe this is true, why or why not? In your own life, have you seen this to be true or has it been more of something to make you feel good? Why? Last question, before asking God for whatever you desire, have you seeked His wisdom first in pursuing your desire? Have you asked God if maybe He has something better for you in store? Have you asked for His advice?
I often think we give up on prayer because we ask for things from God before seeking His wisdom. And so, we result in asking for things that really aren’t beneficial for us. Maybe that fish you are asking for is really a snake, but because of our blindness we can’t recognize it. Maybe that egg is a scorpion? Maybe that job will take away time from your family and from God? Maybe that boy/girl will result in you being distracted from God? Maybe that raise will cause you to put your trust in money? You get the picture? We often don’t realize what we are asking for.
Seek God first, for God will give you wisdom and wisdom dwells with good judgement and wisdom will teach you the path to take. We can’t always see the right path because we are blinded by our own temporary satisfactions, but God sees the bigger picture.
God Bless.

The Magic of God.

Proverbs 8:1-11

Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
At the highest point along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud:
“To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[a]
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true,
for my lips detest wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are just;
none of them is crooked or perverse.
To the discerning all of them are right;
they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Something I have been very fascinated with is magic. Not the hocus pocus magic, not real wizardry magic, not even the magic with cheap tricks and illusions. The kind of magic I speak of us, is the the magic in the belief of a greater good beyond ones self. The magic that happens when a child says their first words, or when a man asks a woman to marry her and she says yes. The kind of magic that I am fascinated with is the magic that brings happiness to others.

I believe I am not alone. The laughter of a baby brings great joy to anyone that hears it. This laughter not only pleases the baby, but it fills the heart of the one who made the baby laugh, and all those that can hear the happy giggle.

It’s priceless.

Cheap tricks and illusions can only fill our hearts for so long, but this magic I speak of, I believe is in the core of everyone. We all desire for something that is greater than ourselves.

But in life we become temporary satisfied by other things. As students, we find peace when we have no homework or tests. As workers, we find peace when our bosses aren’t demanding of us or maybe when we get that promotion. As athletes, we find peace when we win our games. But is this peace going to last with us for a life time? Is real peace found in having nothing to do, or winning games? If not, why do we let ourselves think that?

Deep down inside we crave for something big, but we have become illusional in thinking our peace comes from clearing our schedules, winning trophies, and gaining more money. In the end where does this stuff leave us?

To me, it gives me emptiness. Why do we feel emptiness when we start chasing the things the world has us do? All we are trying to do is to get that education, to get that job to pay for college, and then to get the family, then to get that promotion to be able to support our family, and it’s just one thing after another. But in the end, what does that even matter? When we are on our deathbeds, what does it matter how far up we made it in life, because in just a few moments, when we take that last breath, all of it goes away, and for what?

This is why I have to believe in magic. I believe in the magic of God. He renews my soul. He forgives me of my sin. For what? Just to be with me. To give me new life beyond earth, beyond what we can imagine. It is all a very magical experience. He gives me purpose. He gives me life that is never ending.

God is the magic I believe in. If you don’t believe in God, fine. But I promise you, His experience is like nothing else. His experience not only finds your heart and soul, but He discovers it and makes it new. He fills that deep hole inside of it. When you become filled with God, your learn to be content with everything else. You learn that God is the only thing that can provide you true peace. Just let it all go. Clear your heart and mind and give it to Him.

Why? Because He loves you beyond your imagination.

Now that’s magic.

It’s greater than all the gold, rubies, silver and knowledge in the world.

That is something bigger than myself.

And that is something I can believe in.

Watch Out For the Bleach!

Proverbs 7:6-27 NIV

At the window of my house
I looked down through the lattice.
7 I saw among the simple,
I noticed among the young men,
a youth who had no sense.
8 He was going down the street near her corner,
walking along in the direction of her house
9 at twilight, as the day was fading,
as the dark of night set in.

10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
11 (She is unruly and defiant,
her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
at every corner she lurks.)
13 She took hold of him and kissed him
and with a brazen face she said:

14 “Today I fulfilled my vows,
and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
15 So I came out to meet you;
I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed
with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
19 My husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money
and will not be home till full moon.”

21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
she seduced him with her smooth talk.
22 All at once he followed her
like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer[a] stepping into a noose[b]
23     till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
little knowing it will cost him his life.

24 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
pay attention to what I say.
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
leading down to the chambers of death.

Bleach. Bleach. Bleach. Bleach. Anybody ever work with bleach? I am sure you all have. You know all it takes is that one little splash of bleach and it will ruin your clothes.

This weekend I was working with some bleach. I had bought a shirt from the thrift shop and I wanted to bleach it to whiten it up. So I filled a tub up with bleach and water then proceded to put the shirt in the bleach. As I am doing this, my mom yells to me “You better go change your clothes so you don’t get bleach on your good clothes.” I replied, “It’s okay mom, I am just going to bring this outside and let it sit for a while. It will be fine.” And so I brought the tub of bleach outside and set it down on the steps. Everything was fine. After I set the tub down I went to the bottom of the steps to pick something up off the ground. I turned around and tripped. As I tripped I grabbed onto the bucket of bleach that I had set on the stairs and attempted to use it to catch myself from falling. As I grabbed it, the disaster happen. I managed to spill the entire gallon and a half worths of bleach down my best pair of sweat pants! All it was, was a simple task. A task I thought I was perfectly capable of. But unexpectedly I tripped and attempted to use the tub of bleach to catch myself, only resulting in dumping it all over me. By God’s good grace somehow my sweatpants didn’t get destroyed, but the shirt I was wearing, well I can’t say the same thing.

Isn’t this just how we often life our life? We put ourselves close to the things that can tempt us convincing ourselves, “Oh, it will be fine. I got this.” But then we trip! It was never planned to trip. How could we know we were going to trip? But because we did trip, we grabbed onto the closest thing to us. In my case it was the bleach that I ended up spilling all over me. None of this was planned, but it happened anyways. We allow ourselves to get close to the things that cause us to fall because we have this illusion in our head that we can trust ourselves.

You know anytime you deal with bleach, it’s not a matter of if you get it on you, but a matter of how much you get on you. The same is true with those things that tempt us, our weaknesses. So why do we insist on trusting ourselves? Paul says to “Flee from sexual immorality” but I want to take that one more step and ask you to flee from all immorality! If you stick close to the things that tempt you, you will trip! You are human, you make mistakes, so flee from your temptations!

“Don’t Touch the Stove!” “But Why mom?”

Proverbs 7:1-5 NLT

Follow my advice, my son;
always treasure my commands.
Obey my commands and live!
Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
Tie them on your fingers as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.

Love wisdom like a sister;
make insight a beloved member of your family.
Let them protect you from an affair with an immoral woman,
from listening to the flattery of a promiscuous woman.

Proverbs 7:1-5 ESV

My son, keep my words
and treasure up my commandments with you;
keep my commandments and live;
keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and call insight your intimate friend,
to keep you from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words.

To sum it up. Obey God’s commandments and keep reminding yourself of God’s law so that you do not disobey it!

Some of us fall into the routine of sin because we know Christ will forgive us of our sins and we see no point in following the Law. If Christ will forgive us, why can’t we just live life our way? What’s the big deal?

Let’s look at the Sabbath day for just a second. It was created not so that we have another law to follow, but for our own good. It is there to keep us from overworking ourselves. We all know when we begin to work hard, giving ourselves no break, we wear out physically, and quickly after that, mentally. It quickly tears us down. So God gave us the Sabbath day so that we can rest from the world and give ourselves a break. It was a commandment given for our own benefit.

I believe the same is true for all of the commandments. We may not always understand why, but we have to remember not to lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). It is like when a parent tells their child, “Don’t touch the stove!” Parents aren’t telling their children not to touch the stove because they want to abuse their power, they tell their children that because they know if the child touches the stove, their hand is going to burn. The parents are protecting the child from danger the child is not aware of.  As children grow older, parents enforce the “Be back before curfew” rule. Parents don’t tell their children that because they just want to make their kids miss out on “all the fun” it’s because parents are aware of the danger of being out at night. Teenagers aren’t always going to understand that a parents rule is only there for their own protection.

The same is with the commandments, it is all there for our own protection. Take some time for yourself and go through each of the commandments and think about the possible things God is protecting you from with each of them. Challenge yourself.

Constantly remind yourself of all of God’s Laws. They are there for your purpose. To fall in one area of the Law, is to fall in all areas.

Lastly, don’t forget God’s greatest Law for you.

Matthew 22:36-40 NLT

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”


To anyone that noticed. I changed the bible translations from NIV and KJV to NLT and ESV. I did so to give an easier to read translation as well as a more literal translation to make studying the verses easier for everyone.

Prisonment of Your Desires

Proverbs 6:30 – 33 (NIV)

People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,
though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
But a man who commits adultery has no sense;
whoever does so destroys himself.
Blows and disgrace are his lot,
and his shame will never be wiped away.

Proverbs 6:30-33 (KJV)

Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.

I want to jump straight to the second half of these verses from Proverbs.

Adultery, adultery, adultery…  Even though this isn’t the context of the verses, lets go a little bit broader cause it still works, any kind of sexual relations that are outside of God’s marriage bed.

In some way we all are hungry for some kind of sexual desire, big or small. It’s part of the way God created us, but how we deal with our desires can make or break our lives.

When a thief steals food to satisfy his hungry, it is understandable. We need food to survive, if he is caught he should definitely have to pay it back and more. But our sexual desires are not the same. It doesn’t matter if we get caught or not, we will be punished for our actions. We may not have to pay a fine, or jail time or anything like that, but what we do face is a prisonment of our own desire. It’s not a one time deal, once you start you keep wanting more and more, there is no end to your desire. With food you are satisfied as soon as you fead. Your stomach will tell you you’re full, and that’s the end of it. Our sexual desire is not the same, we keep craving more and more, there is no limit to our end.

It will cost you all that you have, it is your destruction.  It may even get to a point where you do it not because you want to, but because your body demands it of you. It will get to control you, it’s chains will bear you down. It will be a stumbling block with your relationship with God, each day wedging you further and further from Him.

Tame your desires before they destroy you. Don’t be come a prisoner to your own desire. God made you not to be a slave to sin, but a slave to grace.

Addictions and “Did God Really Say?”

Proverbs 6: 25-29 (NIV)

Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyes.
For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
Can a man scoop fire into his lap
without his clothes being burned?
Can a man walk on hot coals
without his feet being scorched?
So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.

Proverbs 6:25-29 (KJV)

Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.

Despite that these verses focus heavily on lusting after another mans wife, I really want to focus these verses to a much more broader context, and that is sin in general or rather even more broadly  just separation from God. Sin can take many different shapes and forms. Separation from God can happen even in the most innocent and harmless ways. The devil has been doing this for years, he knows all the tricks and all the answers.

One of the ways I have noticed how the devil separates me from God is through the smallest of things. Take for instance a TV show, a show that in no way comprises my relationship with the Lord, nothing in it that goes against what the bible says, and in fact may even enforce some of what the bible teaches. This may seem harmless. If you are anything like me, it is easy to form addictions. Before I know it, I may spend all my time watching this show (for others it maybe a book, it maybe Twitter, Facebook, music, shopping .. anything.. even volunteering) and it ends up taking place over my time with God. Soon all the ‘small’ things like praying throughout the day, maybe catching up on blogging or reading your blogs, journaling, devotions, and all the things you do to give your time to God and to strengthen your relationship with Him become replaced with our ‘innocent’ addictions. Next thing you know, you’ve put God second to your life and you start to notice everything fallen a part.

The devil definitely knows how to use the little things, but he is equally as good at the bigger things.

 

 

The devil loves to play this game with me, “If you just do this, it will be okay,” “As long as you don’t do that, it will be okay,” “It’s not like this is where your heart is, it’s just one time,” and don’t forget the “Is it really a sin?/Does the bible really say..” How many times have you heard those phrases, and more, going across your brain as you are contemplating one of many different sins. You know what the worse part is, the very first time the devil manipulated one of us he said “Did God really say…” and yes that line today is still his most powerful tool. We all know of his famous line, and may even have an answer to it, but yet when we get to that place, where/whatever it maybe, the devil will still ask us “Did God really say…” and we tend to fall weak to his words. At least I know I do. I am 100% guilty.

Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?

Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?

I love these two verses. It really answers the whole “Did God really say” question for me. You know, maybe God didn’t say anything about whatever the situation maybe. But why play with fire, especially when I am already soaked in gasoline. Maybe it isn’t a sin, but you know what, I love the Lord so much I don’t want to put the false desires of my heart over my relationship with the Lord. I’m not going to let the devil get a foothold in the door to my heart, because as soon as I let him, he takes up shop and quickly gets to work on it. The second you hear yourself saying “Did God really say,” you can know that you are playing with fire, thats the devils knock at your door. Don’t answer it. Instead, stop for a second, breath, literally say to yourself “I give this to you Lord.” You’d be amazed at the power of His Spirit and the transformation He does over you. It no longer becomes a “Did God really say” issue but rather not an issue at all.

Admit defeat.

Admit you’re not good enough on your own.

Admit your weaknesses.

Give them all to Christ.

Watch Him work miracles.