Proverbs 27:9 (Dissected and Defined):
Ointment and perfume rejoice (make joyful) the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel (advice).
Daily Devo Paraphrase: A line of products that has made lots of money is the “ointments and perfumes” of our day.
Have you ever wondered why we spray ourselves with expensive colognes? Or, why we light high-priced candles in our homes and offices? Why do we buy little gadgets that plug into the wall? We do it to make the room smell good; for that will simply “rejoice the heart.”
The heart is our meditator; it’s where we think. Thus, it “rejoices our thinking.” That is to say, it creates an atmosphere that relaxes our senses, if just for a few moments.
What you smell affects what you think, and what you think is the key ingredient for how you feel. Thus, we can conclude that what we smell affects how we feel!
I absolutely love my wife, Lori! One of the millions of things I love is her perfumes. After a long day, just the scent of her presence brings a smile and a relaxed moment of thought into a previously harrowing day. Her smell regularly changes my thoughts, which changes the way I feel—bam! Just that quick!
Likewise, hearty counsel from a friend can be equally pleasant! This form of “advice” reminds me of my pastor. No matter how difficult my situation or how dire my circumstances, I leave his office with a smile, experiencing a relaxed moment of thought. How? And why? Because his advise is always biblical, and it comes with an air of hope.
Hearty counsel is one of the benefits afforded those who choose the right friends. I have more than one “advisor” friend who can change the way I feel because he is able to quickly change the way I am thinking. If I go to them it’s like—bam! Just that quick! My thoughts immediately become more positive as they enlighten me to the Truth of any situation I am facing.
You may ask, what should you do with your stinkin’ thinkin’? I say, plug it in, plug it in! A “GLAD” air freshener will work wonders.
The pattern of our relationship with God was set in the Garden of Eden before the fall of man. God would daily visit and talk to Adam. We were created to have that kind of close fellowship with Him. Nothing in life can substitute for it in the Christian life. You can no more have a vibrant spiritual life absent of a relationship with God than you can have a vibrant physical life absent of oxygen.
A relationship is “us getting to know God.” Knowing someone is far different from simply knowing about them. I have a friend who knows just about everything he could ever learn about D.L. Moody. But no matter how much he knows about Moody, he will never know D. L. Moody. Obviously, it is because Moody is dead and gone to glory.
However, Jesus is very much alive and He longs to be a very real and present Presence in your life. Yes, indeed, without a dynamic love relationship with Him, we will find the Christian life to be a series of ups and downs, periods of self-induced victory punctuated with bouts of self-indulged defeat. If we don’t walk in intimacy with the Spirit, we will eventually walk, once again, in the immaturity of the flesh.
[su_box title=”Other Post on Relationships and the Hidden Life” style=”soft” box_color=”#29313a”]
Last Weeks Post: Why Trying Harder Isn’t Enough
A personal relationship with Jesus Christ will meet your every need
Rules, Rules, Rules
Stages of Sanctification
Obstacles to Biblical Thinking
The Hid-N-Life™ is a term at RU that we use to define this intimacy in Christ. Simply put, when it comes to true Christian living, it is not about information; it is a personal relationship. That intimacy only comes as we experience God’s work of sanctification in our lives.
Have you struggled to experience that dynamic personal relation? Well, thanks to the prince of this world and his delegators (powers and authorities), the information needed to develop that personal relationship often remains hidden! Just like the devil hides justification from the unbeliever, he hides the benefits of sanctification from the believer.
The Hid-N-Life™ is best described as exercising a measure of confidence (that’s faith) in God’s ability to do the work (that’s grace) necessary in my life to conform me to the image of His Son (that’s fruit) through a daily walk with Him. I will not do the work (that’s performing); I will allow the work to be done in me (that’s transforming). I must realize that God did not come to change my life (that’s self-righteousness). He came to exchange it (that’s righteousness)!
As a result, I will die daily through confession and repentance of all sin that is obvious to me or brought to my conscience by the Holy Spirit during my daily time with God and throughout the day. As I do this, I will experience a greater enlightenment in my worship. My enlivened worship will then provide me with the most coveted act of the Spirit, and that is His intuition. With Holy Spirit intuition, I will remain the clean vessel required to qualify for God’s power on my walk and work.
As we walk in His Spirit and enjoy the enlightenment of real worship, we will begin to see great victories in our lives! However, often in the life of a Christian, we experience great victories, and then we fail to remember Who did the work! We take the compliments, the exhortations, the glory…and begin to let them make us look good, rather than making Him look good! Our relationship with Him takes “backstage” as we begin, once again, to perform in our own power. God may allow us “center stage”, but only for a short “act”. The curtain will come down and this will lead to the inevitable….defeat.
The only way to conquer this “actor” from taking the stage is to consistently acknowledge our helplessness. We must realize that we are NOTHING outside of Christ. It is only by remaining “IN CHRIST” that we will experience continual victory.
Realize our need and think not we are elite…or surely our victory will cause us to retreat in defeat!
Avis, the car rental company, has a motto, “We Try Harder”. In the natural world in which we live, “trying harder” is commendable, as well as effective. However, in the spiritual realm, “trying harder” is actually lamentable.
Trying harder will defeat the Christian every time – in due time. I vividly remember talking to a person who disagreed with me on the above point. The pastor later told me this individual seemed to disagree quite often. In fact, he would use such an opportunity to vent his anger. This obviously was a Christian using “flesh techniques” when trying to convince others of his beliefs. Next, there was a lady who seemed to be devout, active in church, followed the rules, even a leader in that church, yet she too was questioning the activity I referred to as the “flesh”. The man with the negative patterns is obvious, but we are prone to assume that the woman with the positive patterns has actions that are derived from the Spirit. Yet the Bible reminds us people can do “marvelous works” apart from vital union with Christ (Matthew 7:22).
There are three enemies identified in the Bible that we need to recognize and battle if we are to live the Hidden Life – Christ living IN us. These three enemies are the world, Satan, and the flesh. No doubt, most Christians realize the need to be armed against Satan and the sin of this world. They understand who and what they are. However, most Christians do not understand nor how to identify “flesh.” Many times, they think of “flesh” as skin or their body. This obviously is a stumbling block to really get a grasp on one of the top three enemies to the Christ – life. Flesh is also very different from the “old man”. The old man is the unregenerate human spirit. “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him. . .” Romans 6:6. (Therefore, it is out of the picture.) Yet Paul said the flesh remains as an enemy: “For I know that in me (that is, IN MY FLESH) dwelleth no good thing . . .” (Romans 7:18).
Your “flesh” can be defined as your “body, mind, will, and emotions under the influence of anything other than Christ.” The flesh can also be defined as “personal techniques for meeting your own perceived needs, apart from Christ.” This does not mean the action has to be defiant toward God. Walking after the flesh is simply relying on your own abilities instead of the resources of God. Do not think of the flesh as something that you naturally find repulsive. It may be very attractive and even look spiritual. I think a good synonym of the word flesh is “self-sufficiency”. We somehow think that we must have abilities so that God can use them to bless others and glorify Himself. This is not true! The flesh will often connect itself to our talents, appearances, education, wealth, upbringing, and countless other things. This is how we begin to depend on ourselves rather that depend on God. We learn to rely on “flesh” to get us through or ahead in life.
Therefore, my abilities often become liabilities. I have personally run bus routes, preached persuasive sermons, provided for my family, pacified bad behavior, patriotically participated as a citizen, and many other countless things “in the flesh.” Though I have a long way to go, I am learning God’s purpose in my life is to bring me to the place where I totally rest in Him and His sufficiency. Understanding the flesh and what it looks like has brought me closer to this goal that God has for me. I now know that “we try harder” should be replaced with “He never fails.”
Learn to identify, recognize, and fight these three enemies. Nothing will rob you more in this life than self-sufficiency. It is deceptive and wrong. The Christian life is not about “me becoming a better me.” Anytime I place myself in the equation as part of the solution, I am displacing Christ. This is the battle that the “flesh” often wins, and we as Christians, don’t even recognize it! Remember…it’s not me, it’s He!
“We should never partner with anyone who has not partnered with Christ! Okay, Partner?”
Howdy, Partner! Just this morning I was praising the Lord for God’s grace in my father’s life in his latter years. At my ordination service, God saw fit to save him, allowing my parents to become “equally yoked” together—again (my mother was unsaved when they married, so they would have been equally yoked—yet lost). I also praise God daily for the partnership or “yoke” in Christ that I enjoy with my wife, Lori. There is no measure of treasure like the fellowship of a relationship that is an equally yoked partnership!
You might ask, “What is a yoke?” It is a joining of two individuals together or a binding agreement. To be joined in this manner would have to denote that these two individuals are going in the same direction and have the same goals.
Let me share a couple of verses with you relating to this matter. Second Corinthians 6:14-15 says, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”
Much the same as having a yoke in marriage, we can have a yoke in friendships or business relationships. I’m here to tell ya, Partner, that God knew the danger of darkness that would be introduced when mixing the righteous with the unrighteous. When we step outside God’s clearly defined boundaries, disappointment and grief are sure to be brought to the front and center of these relationships.
I have observed over the past several years of ministry that one of Satan’s masterpiece devices for the crippling of young believers has been the “Unequal Yoke.” I have seen many bright and happy saints caught in this subtle snare and practically ruin their life and testimony for God in the world. The unequal yoke has killed many a fruitful tree in the garden of the Lord and paralyzed many an arm once strong and active in His service. As a watchman for souls, I am to sound the alarm in warning for those prone to being bound unequally. I have seen the following four ways in which an unequal yoke is presented in Scripture:
There is an RU Recovery Program principle that states, “Those who do not love the Lord will not help you serve the Lord.” If you are saved, your direction and goals should be entirely different than of those who are not…are they?
[Tweet “My friend, don’t be a bloke who thinks it a joke to have an unequal yoke!” – Steve Curington]
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