October 06, 2016

The Things of Men

When you feel like you’re starving to death it takes very little to turn something into a temptation. As I continue with my diet friends and loved ones will unconsciously offer me such delicacies as the day-old donuts at church, or a sample of the grandkids stash of sugar bombs in the pantry. I know it sounds harsh, but I’m strongly considering using a quote from the Lord’s playbook, “Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men”” (Matt 16:23 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Dieting drags the process of desire into sight. It’s a good thing that we do not feel our desires continually. That would be emotional chaos, because at any given moment we have multiple desires. Currently, I desire to earn what I need to house my bride. But also, I desire to finish a particular job to be faithful to that client. But I also desire to offer some thoughts for others to ponder. Desires can be pesky. Occasionally I desire to be wealthy. But I dismiss it. It comes back, so I dismiss it again. But I never have been able to desire to diet. I desire to loose another two gallons of volume (I don’t care what I weigh.) So I desire to change what it is that I find enjoyable about food. But I haven’t discovered to what that change should be, so I’m not going to choose just any old, hopeless change.
-----Desires are an inner world similar to streets and buildings and places of the outer world. Whichever building you are in does not make the rest non-existent. It just makes you not in them. But the reality that our one body limits us to one building, street, or place at a time differs from the reality that our consciousness can go to more than one desire at a time. And it is generally drug from one desire to another by physical situations bumping into attitudes and tendencies, like your friends and family offering you treats and goodies. Who does not have an attitude for a treat or a tendency towards a goody? Maybe there’s something important about attitudes and tendencies.
-----I am quite enamored with Psalms 1, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither…the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” We desire what we don’t have; we delight in what we do have. Often we desire what we should not have; it is important to not delight in such. We desire to be righteous, yet we can delight only in God’s law because we can only be considered righteous. It is that delight in God’s law which plants our roots into the water of His streams for the growing of the righteous fruit we desire.
-----Strong’s Hebrew dictionary offers an interesting insight in its definition of tsadaq, the Hebrew word for “righteous”: to be (causatively make) right (in a moral or forensic sense.) Forensic is from the Latin “forensis”: of a market or forum, public. Dictionaries treat “forensic” as pertaining to or as employment in debate, logical argument, or adjudication. Therefore, righteousness involves the proper treatment of information, which of course, is validated reason (“…come, let us reason together.” Is 1:18). It is far more than just a set of laws or some moral code. It is an intertwinement of everything supporting, upholding, and serving truth. To desire righteousness is to desire every aspect of your self be involved in what is true, and to delight in God’s law is to engage the principles He’s given as forensic tools for discovering, then doing, the right things for your situations -a process of self control. Self-control is fruit of the Spirit, that is, fruit grown from roots planted in His stream by delight in His law. Self-control is what limits desires to “one place at a time”, each place being purposefully, forensically chosen. Seeing from where self-control grows, and how important it is, maybe your proposed quotation is not so harsh.

Love you all,
Steve Corey