My Chronic Anger

January 3, 2013 — 2 Comments

I realized today that I’m still angry at God for how my life is going. I have repented of this anger many times before. But I am realizing that this is something I need to daily surrender to God.

It seems ironic to me but I am angry that he hasn’t yet provided a way for me to be in full time vocational ministry. Others around me keep getting amazing opportunities and I’m stuck fixing air conditioners.

I believe that God is sovereign and good and thus is working everything for my greatest joy, but I’m having a hard time enjoying where I am now.  So again today I had to repent for holding that against him and not trusting his eternal wisdom.

Are you chronically angry at God for anything?

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Did you know that our resurrected bodies will not only be perfected but also drastically improved? This is not a theory or guess but a revealed, rock-solid, biblical truth.

[This post is part of a series about 6 aspects of the Gospel that overpower our desire to lust]

In fact, it is a truth Paul thought should motivate the sex-crazed Corinthians to keep themselves pure. In our passage in 1 Corinthians, he only briefly alludes to the truth, but later in the same book he goes into great detail:

“What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So it is with the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:36-42).

How does this passage motivate anyone to stay sexually pure? In the previous post we saw that Paul is pleading with us like sons who will miss out on great things if we continue to disobey. What is it about resurrected bodies that we will miss out on?

Here are three things sexual idolaters will miss out on:

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For years I read 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 as a long guilt trip from Paul as to why it is bad to sleep with prostitutes (or look at pornography). He says things like “Do you not know?” And “Never!” as if he is really saying, “You idiots!”

Not too long ago I realized that his tone is actually quite different. While it is true that he thinks the Corinthians are being foolish, his tone is that of a pleading father who sees such good things his son is missing out on because of foolish disobedience. It is as if he is saying, “Come on! Can’t you see what you are missing?”

For this series we will look at the six things in this passage that Paul says are incredible blessings of the Gospel. These are things we have in Christ or we are in Him or we will have in Him. But we could miss out on them if we indulge in the idolatry of sexual pleasure.

Here they are, followed by the section of the passage where you can find them:
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Merry Christmas! I will be taking a break from the blog possibly until the new year. Unless I get otherwise inspired.

Be sure to return the first week of 2013! I will be starting a new series about the specific aspects of the Gospel that kill lust.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Grace and peace,
Peter

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

David wrote Psalm 13 above in the midst of a spiritually dry time. When God seems far away or against us, we tend to try harder with our spiritual disciplines in order to climb our way out of the pit. But God often sends the pit not so that we try harder but as a way to increase our hunger for him. It takes a desert to really appreciate an oasis. It takes thirst to love a drink of water.

We tend to think that a dry time in our faith means that we have failed in some area of our walk. But these times are actually given to build character. Many times they have nothing to do with consequences for disobedience.

Below is an outline of what we can learn from David’s prayer in the midst of the spiritual desert.
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Fasting is a reminder of the eternal hunger we deserve

If all food is a picture of how Jesus provided our eternal life through death and resurrection, then taking time to abstain from food for prayer can be a powerful way to feel the eternal spiritual hunger we were saved from.

Every time you feel hungry when you fast it is a reminder to be thankful. For me, it reminds me to pray at all. I am a thinker. So it is easy for me to go a whole day thinking a lot about God without praying to him at all. Fasting helps keep me on my toes (or knees) throughout the day as far as prayer goes.

There’s two aspects of spiritual hunger that I am reminded of when I fast:
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Food symbolizes Jesus’ death and resurrection

All meals and their ingredients come to us through some sort of picture of the death and resurrection of Christ.
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This morning temptation was really strong to find comfort in lusting online. I have to confess that I started to wander. But God reminded my of my own post yesterday.

It was difficult to thank him when I just wanted to let go and indulge in lust, but I just started praying, “Thank you, God… Thank you, God… for calling me to an eternal life of eternal pleasures. For treasuring me because through Christ you see me as I was meant to be all along. For giving me the power that raised Jesus from the dead. For beautiful music and delicious food…. etc.”

It made all the difference. It does work.

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Yesterday I talked about how Ephesians 5 says that thankfulness will keep you from coveting immoral sexual pleasure thus saving yourself from being denied entrance to the Kingdom of God.

But I also pointed out that there are many times where I cannot come up with anything powerful to be thankful for when the temptation to lust is strong.

Today I want to help us work toward an understanding of what we have in Christ that will equip us to be thankful.

If you look at the first three chapters of Ephesians you’ll see that Paul is actually building a very strong case for what we can be thankful for. In the first chapter alone I count at least 20 things God has done for us that we can be thankful for.

In this post I want to focus on three of those:
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I know… It’s a little after the fact to do a post on giving thanks when Thanksgiving was a few weeks ago. But just like a student often forgets everything they learn after the exam, we also tend to say, “I gave thanks already this year. What’s next?”

So here is my post-thanksgiving plea to be thankful all year. And I get my inspiration for it from this passage about sex:

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