One of the most challenging articles I have read on escaping anonymity was an article by Tim Challies, Behind Closed Doors.  Included in the article was the following:

“Admiral Lord Nelson once remarked that “every sailor is a bachelor when beyond Gibraltar.” This was a statement about anonymity, a rare concept even just a few short generations ago. Nelson knew that once his sailors moved beyond the bounds of the British Empire, beyond society’s systems of morality and accountability, they underwent a transformation. Every man became a bachelor and sought only and always his own pleasure. Those who have read biographies of John Newton will see there a vivid portrayal of a man who was a gentleman at home but who was vulgar and abusive while away. Given only a measure of anonymity he became a whole new man.”

I agree with John Newton that I know two things….I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.  As I am traveling this week…..out of town, around strangers, in a hotel room with cable television and the computer that I am writing this post, I am confronted with heart-revealing questions….

  • What is your treasure?
  • Are you going to settle for sinful, fleshly pleasures instead of the pleasures of God?
  • Are you going to find enjoyment in the very things that nailed Christ on the cross?
  • Are you going to dishonor your wife….an incredible gift from God?
  • Do you realize you are a debtor of mercy?

I thought of an article that John Piper wrote that I carry with me at all times….here is a portion of it…

Who Understands the Full Power of Sin?

“No, you don’t need to experiment with particular sins in order to know the power of sin in your life. Think of it this way. Someone says: How can you really know the power of the temptation to lust – say to look at Internet nudity – if you’ve never given in and experienced it? Let me give an answer in a parable. There are three men – women, you supply the necessary changes to make the parable fit your situation – and each of the three stands beside a pit of lewdness and sin. Three ropes extend out of the pit, one bound around each man’s waist. The strength of this narrow cord is one-hundred-pound test.

The first man begins to be pulled into the pit that looks exciting, but that he knows is deadly. Five pounds of pressure, ten pounds, fifteen pounds. He resists and fights back. Twenty pounds, twenty-five. He digs in his heels with all his might. Thirty pounds, thirty-five pounds, and the rope starts to squeeze and he stops resisting and jumps in. Click goes the mouse button.

The second man begins to be pulled into the pit. Five pounds of pressure, ten pounds, fifteen pounds. He resists and fights back. Twenty pounds, twenty-five pounds. He digs in his heels. Thirty pounds, thirty-five pounds, and the rope starts to squeeze. He says, No! and fights back. Forty pounds, forty-five pounds, fifty pounds, fifty-five pounds. It’s harder to breathe as the rope tightens around his stomach and it begins to hurt. Sixty pounds, and he stops resisting and jumps into the pit. Click.

The third man begins to be pulled into the pit. Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five pounds of pressure. He resists and fights back. Thirty, thirty-five, forty, and the rope starts to squeeze. He says, No! and fights back. Fifty pounds, sixty. It’s harder to breathe as the rope tightens around his stomach and begins to hurt. Seventy pounds and his feet start to slip toward the pit. He cries out for help, and reaches out to grab a branch – shaped like a cross. In the distance he sees his wife going about her business, trusting him; he sees his children playing, and in their hearts admiring him. And beyond them all, he sees Jesus Christ with a gash in his side standing, with both hands lifted and fists clenched and smiling. And filled with passion, the third man holds fast. Seventy-five, eighty, eighty-five pounds, and the rope cuts into his sides and the pain stabs. Ninety, ninety-five and the tears flow unbidden down his cheeks. One hundred and the rope snaps. No click.”

My prayer is that God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, will burn within my soul such a passion and satisfaction for Him that nothing can compete for the pleasure I find in Him.  I know that it is not only by draining (confessing & repenting) the cup of unholy passions that will cause me to honor God, my wife and family this week, but by filling the cup with the water that he gives so we will never thirst again.  May I drink deeply this week with a full understanding of my desperate need for God…

Enjoy this video concerning a wartime mentality…

Remaining desperate….

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