10/21/13

Going up - III

I called this series going up because I wanted to create an image for everyone. “Going up?” refers to a question you might hear when you hop onto an elevator in your pursuit to get to where you’re going in a building quickly.

Most elevators come equipped with a door close button that has a unique feature most people don’t know about. To assist with police and medic transportation this button can be held down to make an elevator skip all other floors and take you to the one you pushed. It’s the fastest and most enjoyable way to get from A to B.

We can compare our lives to an elevator ride. Some of our friends are blindly headed down with the hopes that there is nothing at the bottom. Some of us are going straight up and we’re holding down the door closed button. Unfortunately there are some people who think they are headed up, but they keep stopping at different floors and getting off. They like to pretend that they have enough time to finally make it to the top, but in reality some people get stuck on these lower floors.

As people we will struggle with sin because we are still in contact with our flesh. Just like when we go to the mall and get off on floors to buy things we don’t need, we sometimes find ourselves sinning rather than climbing to the top floor with God.

We try and justify getting off on these floors by saying things like, “I’m trying,” “this or that is more comfortable” “You don’t know what’s in my heart,” or even “Only God can judge me.” Each level that we stop at, each sin that we slow down and admire, we keep ourselves further from God.
There are many floors that I see college kids stop at unnecessarily.

First Floor: Lust

Guys, this is that time of year where the weather changes so rapidly that one day girls will be wearing short running shorts, and the next day they will be wearing skin tight yoga pants. Everywhere you go the temptation to glance is literally starring you in the face. Then when you get to your room the internet is an open battle ground. It is said that 86% of college age men view porn, and that 66.5% of them find it morally okay. More startling is that 50% of the men in your church are statistically likely to be regular viewers of porn. Men like to cast the burden of lust onto the females that show plenty of skin. We like to tell them to cover up and to respect their own bodies. Although I do believe female modesty is glorifying God’s creation, it is the man’s obligation to abstain from looking. Even if every woman was covered up the sin of lust would be a struggle for men. In Texas we don’t tell people to get rid of their guns, we tell the gun owners to be responsible. Likewise, we should not depend on the women to cover themselves, but we should be responsible for our own eyes.

1 Corinthians 6:18 – But I say, walk by the spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Rather than look for a cold shower you should look towards the spirit. We cannot control the way some of the females dress, but we can control the way we perceive them. If a bird lands on your head it is not your fault. However, if you let that bird make a nest the burden has fallen on you. Likewise, if you see barely dressed women you can acknowledge and move past that, but as soon as you begin to over-examine and look at the details you have started to lust.

Lust isn’t just for men though. Although a woman can lust over a man physically, she is more likely to lust over the idea of a relationship. Movies like the notebook and books like 50 shades of grey have become commonly popular in our church. Girls commonly lust over the idea of having someone to make them feel secure. Many girls come to college aching to have a “ring by spring.” A lust for emotional intimacy is just as poisonous as a lust for physical intimacy. Although society may frown on men for chasing women with their eyes I take a stand to frown upon women who chase men with their hearts.  

Matthew 18:9 – “And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.”

Men, you need to get away from what leads you to lust. If you lust at women in yoga pants then don’t hang out with them. If you struggle with porn at night then give your laptop to your friend. Ladies, stop allowing your hearts to be captivated by the idea that a relationship is satisfactory. God is where we need to find our satisfaction.

Second Floor – Comfort

Research shows that roughly 90 % of Americans own a computer, 91 % own a mobile phone over half of which are smart phones. Research also shows that over 15 % of people are on some sort of food stamp. Statistically one third of the people that are on food stamps also have a mobile phone and/or a computer. That is the epitome of our culture. As a country we value comfort over necessity.

When I talk with someone about modesty and dress the most common response is that, “I wear what I do for comfort not for attention.”

1 Corinthians 6:12 – “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient. All things are lawful for me but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

Some things may be okay, but that doesn’t make it profitable for Christ. It may be okay for me to skip class every day, but it is not profitable for me to think that this will improve my grades. Likewise, it may be lawful to dress or act a certain way, but that doesn’t mean that it is profitable for God. If we let comfort become an excuse then we effectively stop being profitable for God.

Imagine a girl who lives in a building with an atheist. She spends many days trying to get this girl to come to church with her, but this girl is bitter towards Christians. Nonetheless, she continues to show the girl love and she gets comfortable with her. Then one day the Christian’s friends want to go to the club with her, dress up, and just dance. There is fundamentally nothing wrong with those three things, so she goes on her night out. While she is out a guy spills his beer all over her and now she reeks of alcohol. She comes back to her building at 2 in the morning. She’s tired and giggling - she hops in the ELEVATOR and guess who’s there? - The atheist sees her acting silly and smelling like alcohol. She gets upset and never talks to the Christian girl again. Although it was lawful for the Christian to go out, it was not profitable for her to do exactly what she did.

Third Floor – Sobriety

1 Peter 5:8 – “Be alert and of sober mind, for your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Satan takes advantage of people who have a non sober mind. 84 % of college students are reported to drink, while 82% of underage college students are reported to drink. Drinking may not be a stumbling stone for you, but it may be dragging your friends down.

Proverbs 20:1 – “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”

I hear a lot of people say that they drink because Jesus drank. This is true. In fact, one of Jesus’ first miracles was when he turned water into wine. Have you ever wondered why the bible would say wine is an enemy and then have Christ drink?

In biblical times, when cities would grow, they would quickly run into water and sanitation problems. To avoid this many people would have grapes mashed and fermented to drink. There were multiple levels of fermentation ranging from sparkling grape juice to strong wine. What Christ drank was a slightly bitter grape juice. The wine we drink today, even if it is box wine, is multiple times more potent than what any of the early Christians could afford. To be a drunk in biblical times was very expensive and would normally cost a person their entire estate. In our current times it is much easier to be an alcoholic, just like it is much easier to get drunk and be “not wise.”

Fourth Floor- Pride

In New York City there was a semi-successful lawyer who had gotten laid off. Rather than save his money and spend all of his time looking for a new job he did something peculiar. Every day he would get up early, put on his Sunday best, and then he would drive into the city to have coffee at his regular starbucks. He said that he “gets dressed up, meets with colleagues, and networks. He calls it his western white house.” Rather than let anyone be the wiser he kept his pride and put on a charade for his image.

Psalm 10:4 – “In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.”

When pride becomes a priority there is no room for God. We fill our own heads with self empowerment and by doing so we push God out. It is not a sin to be confident, but it is a sin to think that you have earned your confidence.

Proverbs 11:2 – “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”


The only way to get off of the floor of pride and back into the elevator is by humility. Many times in my life I have needed God to knock me on my butt. However, God will give you a chance to find humility. I promise that you’re not as hot as you think you are, and if you’re a child of God he will admonish you and let you know. 

2 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this message last week. This is a great series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Encouragement is always appreciated.

      Delete

About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.