Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Seduced and Captured

Wow. Oh. Wow.

People, let me tell you that I have been taken prisoner. I was lured in. I thought I was in control, that I was making a new friend.

But my new imaginary BFF, Beth Moore, taught me last night that there is nothing more dangerous than friendly captivity.
Last night I began Beth's study on the book of Daniel. It was amazing the things I learned. We talked about Daniel's refusal to eat the choice things of the king's table; things that would defile him. He chose to deny himself of the luxuries in order to stay true to his God.
This is in contrast to the attitude of the Babylonians, where Daniel and his friends were led away into captivity. What was it, you ask? Well, in Isaiah 47:8, God tells us their attitudes - "I am and there is nothing beside me."
In other words, it's all about me. Hasn't that become the motto of our society? Do what feels good. Have it your way. It's my right to do what I want.
It's heresy. And yet...we all fall for it in one way or another.
It's easy really. After all, the devil doesn't come up to us and say, "C'mon, I want to lead you to the pit of hell" and offer us his hand. No. He disguises himself as the thing you most want. Or as something harmless. The original wolf in sheep's clothing.
That huge beautiful house? It can be yours (although you'll be forever struggling financially). You deserve it.
That extra serving of food? What can a little bit more hurt? You can start your diet tomorrow (and so add another link to your chains of bondage). After all, you've had a hard day and deserve to be treated .
Looking younger? Plastic surgery is so reasonable now, and why shouldn't I feel better about myself (although you'll never be happy with the outside if your spirit isn't right with God).
Society glorifies the opposite of what God promotes. What will we choose to seek after? I know that for too long now, I have lived a life of overindulgence. In food, yes. That is a big, big struggle for me spiritually. But it's spread into other areas of my life as well - my care for my house and family, how I spend my free time, my devotional life.

My whole life has become one great big altar to...ME.

But I'm taking a stand. Throughout this study I am going to begin to exercise the muscle that says NO to myself.

Yes, maybe I want that 20 oz. bottle of Pepsi. But I'm going to say no to myself. (Actually I've made a commitment to myself that I will not drink any soda during the duration of this study. This is a huge thing for me, but it will be a huge step in denying myself.)

Sure, I don't feel like cleaning my bathroom. But I'm going to do it anyway.

The point is not that Pepsi is bad (although one could make strong case for that) or that my bathroom is dirty (you could probably make a case for that too!!). The point is that I have to learn to say enough is enough. I was not put in this world just to meet my own needs.

I was put here to serve God. And His desire for me is to be healthy, to serve my family and others and to be a witness to the world of His love.

But I can't do that from a Babylonian prison cell. Even one of my own making.

8 comments:

Charity said...

I am loving my Beth Moore study too (A Women's Heart, God's Dwelling Place). I am learning so much.

We have been looking at houses lately, although I was completely content with ours before we started this process. Fortunately we are also extremely picky and have a great house now, so maybe we will never find one. However, I have become obsessed with looking throught the MLS listings at houses. This month, I have added a habit of "No houses" to break this habit. I'll still look on Sunday which is open house day. It's just been 3 days without browsing, and I already feel better.

Good luck on the soda! Breaking the habit is the hardest thing, you'll get used to not having it very soon. And there is a case to be made that soda is bad for you. I can't even remember the last time I had one and I don't even miss it now.

Anonymous said...

Lori, I did this same Beth Moore Bible study last year. She is wonderful and has such great perspective.

Dawn

jess said...

lori,
i bought the daniel member book and it's been on my nightstand for about five weeks. sounds like i need to pick it up NOW and go to i-tunes and buy the teaching sessions. thanks for sharing this..
love,
jess

ValleyGirl said...

Powerful words. Definitely an eye-opening lesson.

stacey said...

i have really enjoyed your thoughts lately. come get your friday fuzzy-you deserve it!

~Java Mama~ said...

Amen! Awesome post... really enoyed it. I will pray for you in your attempts to deny yourself... I really need to do the same and practice some selfcontrol.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

What a lovely and very true post. This is something I often struggle with. I usually don't even realize I'm doing it until I start to feel ugly and awful inside. Thank you for sharing, I'm glad I found your blog.

~*~Tamy & the SGT~*~ said...

I found your site through Favorite Ingredient Friday and am so glad I did. What a beautiful insight you gave.

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