Monday, December 23, 2013

forget helping yourself

really! there's no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. 
the cost of rescue is beyond our means…
psalm 49:7-8 (msg)

according to a report from clinical professor of psychology at the university of denver dr. jim taylor, the self help industry is a $10 billion a year industry. this means that at this very moment, around the world, people are spending hard earned money on everything from self-esteem issues to becoming a better leader. this is an alarming message that is consistent with the testimony of the millennia of mankind's existence…our heart is not healthy.

a texas proverb from an unknown author once said, "if all you ever do is all you've ever done, then all you'll ever get is all you ever got." that is wisdom. now for those who aren't able to understand "texas" wisdom it can be said another way, "you can't get different results by doing the same thing."

this is the ironic observation one can make of the whole entire self help industry. it is the same thing that has been said the same way, just packaged differently, hoping that it would produce different results. the message is simple, yet very VERY old…"you can heal your own heart."

this was the lie that the enemy told eve and adam in the garden. essentially, you are not in need of a savior; you can get along fine without someone guiding you.

if you'll notice how satan uses his approach, it is all centered around a sensual game within the mind. he loves battling us in the mind in order to gain control of the heart. the heart is a sacred place that was designed to be the habitation of the lord. and consequently, this is why jesus is still relevant to our day…because he always addresses the heart and is never about a simple, surface-level, behavior modification.

consider the command from the lord through the wisdom of solomon in proverbs 4:23-27 (nasb):
watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you. let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. do not turn to the right nor the left; turn your foot from evil.

the heart can be protected and guarded from the attack of the enemy. protection occurs when one intentionally observes the mouth, eyes, and the path of the feet.

consider what the bible says about the mouth/tongue
-proverbs 6:12
-proverbs 18:21
-james 1:26
-1 peter 3:10
you may be unable to control your thoughts, but your mouth is something you can vigilantly watch. may you use your tongue to proclaim, and declare the great things of the lord.

consider what the bible says about the eyes
-proverbs 28:22
-matthew 6:22-23
we are creatures of distraction, especially my american brethren. we are easily moved by gadgets and gizmos. our fancy turns quickly toward that which entertains our mind. keep the eye fixed and avoid "all sideshow distractions."

consider what the bible says about the foot/path
-psalm 121:3
-matthew 18:8
the literal meaning of the word "established" is the word for an incapability to contradict. keep moving your feet towards jesus and the path becomes established, or incapable of contradicting. you will be firmly sure of your path. we need that conviction more than anything these days…a confirmed course.

all of this is worked and perfected in christ, as you observe his life in the gospels you will notice that not once did he move from his mission. not for personal gain, not for the sake of anyone's feelings, and not for proving to anyone the reality of god did he shift focus. all the way to the cross, so that you might partake in his suffering with him AND the life and freedom he purchased for you to have.

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