Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Do you ever sit down to watch a tv show or movie that you probably shouldn't be watching? Well believe it or not sometimes...I do. Tonight was one of those nights! I sat down to watch some stupid show on Netflix and thought, "when was the last time I read my bible?"

Presuming the Holy Spirit was probably sleeping at 11:30 at night, I safely assumed it was just a random thought and moved forward in picking the latest episode. Before I pressed play I suddenly had the incredible urge to pee. Having not pee'd my pants in well over 2 decades I decided without much consideration to use the bathroom. While peeing I thought again, "I should read my bible!"

Again, I insisted the Holy Spirit is on a scheduled vacation and I know this is just a random thought. Finally as I sat down and got comfortable in my sin nature I think once more, "I really should at least read a chapter."

This time it's clear, the Holy Spirit is an overachiever and is working nights while on vacation. So I reluctantly pick up the word and open randomly to Ezekiel 14. Now I am of the opinion that the Word is alive and God doesn't really need me to read anything specific to have me receive exactly what He has for me in my obedience, however reluctant. But tonight was something extra special not only did the Holy Spirit convict me to read my bible but my bible was also loud and clear. Six verses was all it took to make me turn off Netflix and sit down after 6 months and create this post. Those verses were Ezekiel 14:1-6 out the New Living Translation and read as follows:

14 Then some of the leaders of Israel visited me, and while they were sitting with me, this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, these leaders have set up idols[a] in their hearts. They have embraced things that will make them fall into sin. Why should I listen to their requests? Tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Israel have set up idols in their hearts and fallen into sin, and then they go to a prophet asking for a message. So I, theLord, will give them the kind of answer their great idolatry deserves. I will do this to capture the minds and hearts of all my people who have turned from me to worship their detestable idols.’

“Therefore, tell the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent and turn away from your idols, and stop all your detestable sins. I, the Lord, will answer all those, both Israelites and foreigners, who reject me and set up idols in their hearts and so fall into sin, and who then come to a prophet asking for my advice. I will turn against such people and make a terrible example of them, eliminating them from among my people. Then you will know that I am theLord.

Yep. That just happened. The show itself isn't the problem really. It's what I'm allowing into my heart. If I remember the simple fact that I'm either serving the Lord or not, NO middle ground, how could I ignore that by watching ungodly crap I am setting up an idol in my heart, embracing an ungodly life and therefore falling into sin. Luckily in verse 6 I am encouraged in how to move forward. It's pretty technical so I've decided to spell it out here...STOP! Repent, turn away and STOP!

I continue to amaze myself with utter ignorance. The very idea of someone experiencing what I have and meeting God in such unexpected and real places and then falling time and time again seems ridiculous, insulting and pathetic. In all honesty it is all those things and about 15 other really bad things that I will leave at your discretion to invent and label me with. 

The reality remains that I am human and by definition a dirty rag. So rather than dwell in the patheticness of my continual failure I have chosen to repent (again), share with the galaxy this underwhelming life development and then move forward in Christ with hope. 

My big take-away from this experience is how important it is to identify spiritual lows and triumph in them rather than fall victim to them. I will forever have a place in my conscience that is reserved for the guilt concerning the accident (well maybe not forever, but for the foreseeable future, at least for now). The lesson is to celebrate the fact that God triumphs over everything rather than let one moment be a stronghold that continually leads down a path of spiritual, physical and mental destruction.

Anything that takes the place even for moment of God in my life will now be labeled an idol and adequately described as such in reference to infiltrating my heart and leading into a hole of sin. I realize that is a big jump, from tragic life experience to sinful television, but that is the way it works. Baby steps in moments of weakness that make the next step not seem so bad until all the sudden my heart is full of crap. Really smelly stuff too not like infant poop that is relatively scentless. 

Here's to learning from the past and moving forward with greater clarity and wisdom that only God can provide.