Monday, May 10, 2010

Deny or Indulge?

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Do we forget?

Dear Self, how often do I indulge you?

I was convicted that indulgence in clothing purchases was a problem last year. The Lord challenged me this year with the tragedy in Haiti to die to that indulgence. I failed once. Fortunately I have a friend who loves me enough to hold me accountable and ask me, "how is your commitment going?" ~gulp!~

Why why do I freely indulge in things that have no eternal value? I have been seeing things in a different light recently. The Light. Of Eternity. It's where I am instructed to fix my eyes, but I forget. So I am asking myself this question with daily things, "What will this gain for heaven?"

Freedom has been a common buzz word in Christianity in the last decade. Unfortunately so has calling each other names like "legalistic" and "judgemental". But I have to ask, "have we undone ourselves?" Have we successfully snuffed out the light in our "freedom"? Have we used our freedom to indulge the sinful nature instead of to serve one another as God intended?...

Do we live our lives in self-protection instead of honoring one another?

I have been reading the Chronological One Year Bible this year, and frankly the Old Testament leaves me with a lot of questions. As a result, I have been enjoying rich commentary on 2 Samuel this week. I have been challenged deeply in this area (indulgence) as I learn of how King David indulged himself and then his sons, which resulted in depravity when they were left undisciplined. It is a sad story. If you are curious, you can read here. The king who has a heart after God lost so much when he indulged himself and his children...God is always merciful when we are repentant (and even when we are not!) but often the consequences of our choices are not removed.

.to yield to, satisfy, or gratify (desires, feelings, etc.): to indulge one's appetite for sweets.
.to yield to the wishes or whims of; be lenient or permissive with: to indulge a child.
.to allow (oneself) to follow one's will (usually fol. by in): to indulge oneself in reckless spending.

deny oneself, to refrain from satisfying one's desires or needs; practice self-denial.

Daily I have a choice. One way is easy, the other is hard.

Lord, help me to live in obedience. Thank you that you died to cover my sins and then you sent your Spirit to live in me and enable me to deny myself. I cannot do it without you. Help me be considerate of others in my choices, and to honor you. Amen.


Heather said...

I love this. What a great reminder. I too have been convicted of indulgence in other ways and I also have wondered about David. It's usually when I compare myself to him that I begin to understand how his choices were no more sinful than my own. God's mercy is powerful.
Thanks, Kathy.

Valerie@IntelligentExpressions said...


i have to thank you for your note on my blog regarding my comments about "Glee."

I appreciate so very much, your encouragement to choose right and not feel guilty about it.

The world truly has a pull on us - and our desires, and these little things that so easily draw us in and at times seems so innocent (it's only a tv show) - and yet those tiny baby steps grow into bigger steps as we walk further and further away from the truth and are deceived so slowly and innocently.

I am a music teacher - of course I want to see kids enjoying music and participating in it and hear those wonderful performance numbers, but when it drags me down into the mire of acceptance and enjoyment of professed homosexuality and sin - I can't abide it.

I guess even in the blogging world, their are wolves in sheep clothing, whether they understand they are being used in that way or not.

And so we continue to pray for one another and those in our circles of influence.

Thank you again - God has blessed me thru your words!


Angie said...

Wow. This really spoke to me...

God has really been dealing with my "indulgence of time". I waste much. He's pulling...tugging...reminding me where my time should be spent.


Thank you for sharing such an amazing thought provoking devotion. I needed it!