Holy Passion

Posted: October 5, 2020 in Uncategorized

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives” Jeremiah 17:5,6

“A mind not to be changed by place or time. The mind is its own place, and itself can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.” John Milton

My capacity for evil lurks, never far, always near. I have walked with God imperfectly for half a century. Sin obliterates with the cunning of a snake. It crushed dear friends, destroyed marriages, shattered families, killed faith. I know sin. My own anger burned with murder, my eyes burned with lust, my words spoke death. I am no better than the feral pig that grows tusks and a bristled hide. Apart from God, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

“He that has light within his own clear breast may sit in the centre, and enjoy bright day: but he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts benighted walks under the mid-day sun; himself his own dungeon.” John Milton

A hero fell, I cannot adequately communicate the grief, the confusion, the horror I felt yesterday when I read my email. A Pastor betrayed his God, his calling, his church, his community; a betrayal I still cannot grasp. Perhaps I assume dynamic men and women are impervious to the frailties I confront everyday. I never saw his demise coming. The last time I heard this brother preach he brought me to tears, the altars filled with the penitent, elders prayed, the music played. Now I stare at a wasteland of devastated victims and broken saints. I grieve the wickedness of secret sin exposed.

“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in the secret place.” Psalm 51:5,6

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God.” Psalm 42:1,2

Don’t resort to haughty spiritual pride. Resist self-serving anger at someone else’s sin. Run from a shallow pious nod to the aggrieved. Sin harbors no respect for man’s goodness. What to do? Where to go? Run hard to the Savior. Recognize the weakness of the flesh. Exchange unruly passions for holy passion. St. Augustine said, ” I plunged into the lovely things you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me: I drew breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me and now I burned for your peace.” A candle of righteousness has been temporarily snuffed. You and I must shine brighter for all to see. God remains faithful and true and we are his instruments of healing and hope.

‘Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:4,5

Pray for my fallen brother, his family, his siblings, his parents. Pray for the victims of his sin and their families. Pray for the young pastors in the ungodly firestorm of this affront, for the elders, for the congregation. Revive us, Lord. Heal us. Make us holy even as you are holy. Holy Spirit, fall upon every one of us to the everlasting glory of our Great God. In Jesus name, amen.

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