New Age

All posts tagged New Age

The Boyfriend Bonfire

Published June 3, 2017 by Dawn

I’ve only been in one serious relationship in my life, but it was enough. Enough to experience one of the greatest acts of liberation to womankind: the boyfriend bonfire.

No, I did not roast him. Not in the 20th century or 21st century use of the word … I did, however, burn every last vestige of our relationship outside on my lawn one night in my last-ditch effort to get him out of my mind and out of my heart.

Everything good about our relationship sleeps around the corner while I write this. For a long time, though, I kept mementos of things we did together that I wanted to remember forever in a little brown lock box. Movie tickets from our first “official” date (you know, the one someone else drove us to because we were fifteen), the promise ring he bought me (which was thrown in a fit of madness and recovered a few months later having been worked over by some car tires), pictures of us, letters between us. All the things that would have been a cute story to tell our kids if things would have worked out between us.

I did hang on to them for a really long time, hoping to share this part of my life with my kids when they grew up, but just looking at the box became unbearably painful as I tried to eradicate him from my heart so I could stop crying and move on. Opening it was a day-trip to hell.

I saw the bonfire idea on an episode of Friends years before, and seeing it work for Rachel (kind of) sold the idea to me. So, one day, I took my box outside, opened it and burned each piece of it individually on the sidewalk. When everything that could burn was burned, including the box, I threw everything else in the trash and sat down and cried my last cry over all those memories, the loss of love, and the brokenness in my heart. Then I prayed to God this one prayer that I will never regret praying and which, mercifully, He granted. “Please, God, replace every thought of him with a thought of you.” I thought about this man every second of every day. It was a self-inflicted torment that I couldn’t seem to stop on my own. But those thoughts had to be replaced by something and I wanted it to be my Savior.

I’m telling you all of this because it occurred to me yesterday that separation from sin requires this same kind of desperate act. A bonfire, if you will, of everything that draws you to that sin. When the Holy Spirit begins to deal with you about sin in your life, your responsibility is to do whatever is necessary to end your relationship with that sin so you can be in a right relationship with God. God does not appreciate a half-hearted devotion. He doesn’t want a lover who is often in the arms of the world. You cannot love both. You will hate the one and love the other (Matthew 6:24), and God says if you love the world, you don’t love Him (James 4:4). You might be able to convince yourself that you do, but it’s not an acceptable relationship in His eyes. Who appreciates being cheated on?!

There’s no doubt we love sin.  We were born into sin, and from our earliest recollection, it was wooing us. We find out at our first lie how well sin works in our favor. It guards us from discomfort, protects the ones we love from heartache, and keeps our pride intact. Don’t believe it’s true? Try admitting you lied to someone who holds the key to your job … I’ve done it and it’s awful. Ever cheated and then admitted it? Then you’ve seen the devastation on your lover’s face and hated yourself for inflicting it. Let’s face it: sin has a beautiful side and it’s easy to love. It’s easy to embrace and easy to give yourself over to it.

If we consider ourselves Christians – the bride of Christ making herself ready for her wedding – we cannot love sin on the side. Grace came to save us and purify us from sin, but God will not abide this continuing love affair with the world. We have to separate ourselves, and if it’s hard to move on because of the memories and the feelings, then we have to do something drastic … like a boyfriend bonfire.

How do we properly break up with sin? We take all the things that drum up memories or feelings for it, all the things that increase our desire toward it and we torch it on the front lawn! We turn away from those things that feed our visual sickness. We turn the knob on the radio, switch the channel, avoid the road that goes past the bars. We pause before the word comes out. We take the high road instead of the low road. You see, the Bible says that when we are tempted, God provides a way out so we can stand up under it (1 Corinthians 10:13). We will not be tempted beyond what we can bear. We just so often choose the comfort of sin than the discomfort of taking authority in our lives.

I’ve no doubt that as you read this, the Lord is reminding you of sin He’s been trying to deal with in your habits. He’s asking you to be His, wholly. You are being wooed by the lover of your soul, but it’s time to break up with the world. It’s time to break up with your proclivity for things that displease God. And as you step away from them, as your purposefully avoid them and say no to all the things that would lead you back to sin, you should pray, “God, please make every thought that would be about this sin about you instead.” God is faithful, friend. You can be free from the grip of sin.  That’s what Jesus died for. This New Age message that tells you that you are hopeless in your sin, so thank God Jesus died, is keeping you a captive to something Jesus died to break you free from. If without holiness, none shall see God (Hebrew 12:14), then holiness is a good and proper pursuit for the Christian in love with Christ. But you can’t chase holiness while chained to sin.

If the Holy Spirit is convicting you right now, it’s time to have a bonfire. Let the holy fire of the Spirit of God burn up all the things that need to go in order for you to accept Christ as your One and Only. Do it now, friend, while the fire is hot and the Spirit is ready. You will not regret this break-up. You won’t even shed a tear.

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Warming the World

Published November 8, 2012 by Dawn

With so much coverage of atheist movements in the news lately, and the ever-increasing push to rid the U.S. of morals and biblical foundation, I find myself wondering what Jesus would do if he lived in the world today? Would he rant and rave that He was the sole possessor of truth, and that those who disagreed were the worst of sinners and destined for eternal damnation? Would he strongly oppose the people who mocked and ridiculed Christianity, pointing fingers and accusing them of barbaric sinfulness? Would he praise those who stood up and vehemently condemned those who stood against God? I want to say yes, but somehow, I don’t think so.

Jesus also lived in a time of moral decline and zealous haters. He walked and talked daily with people who didn’t understand the beauty of the gospel. He was ultimately murdered by those who jealously scorned him. They didn’t understand that He was their savior, and they furiously persecuted, condemned and killed him because their minds could not grasp the truth. Did Jesus hate them? Did he yell at them, call them all sinners, and condemn them to hell for their ignorance? No. He loved them. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 8:1, “We know that we all possess knowledge. But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” The crux of the matter is this: we may know what scriptures says, and of course we know that it is true. But the Word of the Lord is ineffective if not delivered in love. Because God is Love. Who are we to think that we in ourselves can impart some lasting wisdom to the world that will change their lives?

From what I have seen, when Christians debate the validity of the gospel, they often allow their feelings to cause heat in the conversation, which in turn puts the non-believer on the defensive. If only we could see that this is not about us, or an attack on us. It’s an attack on God, on the salvation Christ died to give. It’s not about us. It’s about Him. We need to see non-believers as wanna-believers who have received something besides Truth.

Not only do we need to look at people who reject the gospel through the eyes of love, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to lead in our interactions with them. Self gets in the way at a crucial time when God needs to be the one in control. How else can we lovingly lead people to the truth? Because the truth is, people don’t need another list of things to do or not do. Conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit, not us. If Jesus was our example, we know that instead of throwing stones with the religious leaders, he chose to lovingly forgive. Who set the captive free?

I am not advocating for complacency. I think we need to forcefully advance the kingdom, but with an attitude of love and grace. Not superiority and hate. After all, people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Once they know how much you care, they will be more open to caring about what you know. I heard this morning a quote by Ruth Graham, Billy Graham’s daughter, that really speaks to this. She said, “I was much more warmed by your embers than your flame.” Of course we have the flame inside us! I feel as Jeremiah, that there is “ a fire shut up in my bones.” But fire becomes a very unpleasant thing if it becomes too hot or we get too close. Lets attract people with the warmth of our light and trust God to set them free from the darkness of New Age “Reason.”