Thursday, November 10, 2005

Blue Print: reflection of Titus 2:12

-And we are instructed to turn from godless living, and sinful pleasures and we should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God.- Titus 2:12

This week a group of men and I that I meet with weekly have committed to tattooing this scripture to our hearts. It is a powerful verse that is really a blue print for how we should respond to life.
I am forced to respond to life, through my behavior. If your attitude is the only thing you can change, the only tool of change is your behavior.
Tuesday night Danielle and I and a bunch of friends went to “THE RAVE” and awesome club here in Milwaukee that features all kinds of concerts through out the year. On Tuesday when we were there, and the only reason we were there was to see RELIANT K and MXPX. This was an awesome concert!! But one thing almost ruined it….

THE RAVE has a main floor and balcony that wraps around the entire perimeter of the room. You can literally look over the shoulder of the artist as they rock out. Not wanting to get caught in the mosh-pit with sweaty teenagers, Danielle and I sat in the upper right side of the room, just behind the shoulder of the bass player. We had a birds eye view of everything!! We could even hear the small talk of the band to each other in between songs. It was as if we were on stage with them. But from the stage…something disturbing was sitting in the front row. That if you were in the crowd or mosh-pit you would have totally missed it, but from Danielle and my seat…we heard every word.

The enemy sat in the front row of this concert. When Reliant K took the stage the 500+ people in the room erupted in praise, except for the 5 people in the front row. They hurled insults, swear words and number of hand gestures that you would not be able to find in a sign language dictionary. For the next hour between songs, this small group of people screamed at the lead singer of RK[reliant K]. At one point, the screaming was so intrusive to the band, the band members actually paused before starting a song…just to grasp their bearings. The enemy was in the front row.

The concert ended, the crowd was pleased, Reliant K had hit a home run for Jesus in their final song, that sang about forgiveness, and grace. But the enemy sat in the front row. No one probably heard them, except for the band, and no one cared, except maybe the band. But I watched in anger, in frustration, in deep hurt, because I could not do anything to protect the band. I could not yell enough praise to them or cheer them on enough to dismantle the enemy in the front row.

Here is wisdom I walked away from this life experience with…….

1. The enemy is always in the front row of our lives. He is Screaming out discouragement, and tearing us down, declaring that we, -F-in suck-, and we will never amount to anything.
2. Though the crowds cheer us on, it only takes a few voices to really change the direction of our hearts. How many times have I listened more to the enemy in the front row, then the crowds the sing a different tune.
3. The enemy is not looking to defeat you, just take your focus off what is important. When our focus is off what is meaningful and lasting, we will destroy ourselves.
4. The only way you can respond is in your behavior, behavior is chosen through your attitude. When the enemy seeks to destroy, and sits in the front row of your life, you have to make a decision. How will you respond?

The ability to Choose is the most beautiful, and most ugly thing God created. Daily I am faced with choices, to honor God in my behavior, or fall prey to the enemy. There is a beautiful spiritual reaction that our lives go through when we choose to live a life of self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God. There is also a very ugly bitter reaction that happens to us spiritually when we live godless lives, and live by our sinful pleasures.

Choice is what makes us human it’s what makes us able to love. Love is more of a choice then a feeling, or emotion. Maybe, when we reach back into our lives, and pull out these elements of self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God that make up a Christ driven life. We really are swimming against the current of the world around us, we are making a choice that goes against the grain of our fall nature. So maybe being a follower of Jesus Christ is more about Holiness then happiness? Hmm…..this is another topic….for another blog…

Ok, now I am ready to tattoo this scripture to my life.

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