Looking Out

water falls in the middle of the forest

Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
Mat 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

I pledge to tell my story—to share my experiences—with authenticity and without apology. I know that in telling my story I can provide others with the gifts of hope, wisdom, and joy. 

At this moment I’m struggling to comprehend what part of my story would go here. The line from a Gospel song comes to my mind. …Sing it softly thru the gloom, when the heart for mercy craves; Sing in triumph o’er the tomb, Jesus saves! Jesus saves! (Jesus Saves by Priscilla J. Owens and music by Wm. J. Kirkpatrick)

Some people come to the Lord after a mountain top experience, yet others have to hit bottom to look for help.

The people in Matthew chapter 3 respond to John the Baptizer when he cries unto them Repent ye. Even some of the Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized. He chastises them and tells them true repentance calls for fruits that show their repentance. In other words, true repentance is more than saying the right thing.

We’ve seen revivals through the 1700s, 1800s, and into modern days. What puzzles me is how have we gotten to such a spot in time when morality has become blurred. No one, even amongst Christ’s believers seems to know what repentance is nor do they understand what Godly living is. They’ve adopted the Jeremiah syndrome:

Jeremiah 6:15  Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall:

A discussion several months ago still resonates in my mind. My Adorable Cousin and I were discussing finding a suitable wife for young men. I—foolishly—mentioned a young man’s interaction with some young girls from a fellow church and how the young girls had facebook pages showing their pool party. It was a girl’s only pool party to their credit. Of course Adorable found nothing amiss about girls in swimsuits, and I actually don’t care either, except…

I tried more than once to explain that what one does in the privacy of their own property isn’t any of my concern. Most people don’t wear anything when they take a bath, but they don’t take pictures of themselves taking the bath then publish it on Facebook for their friends and whatnot to view. This would not be considered a modest thing to do.

That was my complaint about the Facebook pool party photoshoot. I shouldn’t need to explain that adding a bit more sturdy cloth to something styled the same as a woman’s underwear doesn’t change the swimsuit into something modest and above a person’s underwear.

I agree with the idea that modest apparel on the outside can still hide an unclean spirit on the inside. A spirit that has evil intent with evil thoughts and whatnot. This is true, sometimes we can be blind to what lies in the heart.

That doesn’t excuse immodest attire and what you see on the outside is generally a clue to what is on the inside.

I can honestly say I’ve been on both sides of the issue. As a child, I wore what was put on me, or provided for me to wear. As a teenager, I didn’t have a whole lot of intelligence. I wore what was in style, and in some instances somewhat edgy styles.

Even after I became a Christian some of the styles were still unbecoming for a person professing Christ. I wasn’t invested in the church in a deep way. I did believe, but I didn’t have depth. So there was a combination of reasons for my immodest apparel. Two major reasons would be a lack of spiritual depth and a lack of self-value.

There were people who would have liked to have told me something. They were afraid because there wasn’t a depth in our relationship. In the last fifty years, I’ve seen numerous articles telling women to watch what they wear, to dress modestly, and be pleasing to God. I’ve even written several articles but…

What I’ve come to see is in most instances you might as well be spitting in the wind. In many cases the same problems I had are present. The length of time a person has been in Christ doesn’t tell us of their spiritual maturity, or their spiritual depth.

As in my case, I struggled with an inferiority complex and lack of spiritual depth during those days. Many women struggle with these problems as well as the lack of self-value.

These women will continue to seek self-valuation from the society they live in by what they wear and do. They will use their daughters by encouraging their young girls to dress and look like their peers in the world. In this way, they will gain approval on two levels.

Sing it softly thru the gloom, when the heart for mercy craves; I wonder if—or when people will lay aside themselves and truly turn to the Lord? When will they realize what they are doing?

I read an article about a woman around the age of forty to fifty years old. Her husband was situated in a good job, her children were out on their own and doing well. She had a very nice home and surroundings. She wanted for nothing. She told the interviewer, ‘This to me is heaven. What more could I want?’

I cringe at stories like that. I’ve been in this old world long enough to realize how quickly life can change. This world isn’t heaven and Satan is still the god of this world.

when the heart for mercy craves—Mark 9:24  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Matthew 3:1  In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

2  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

5  Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,

6  And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

7  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: