Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Purity Part 2 (Sledge Hammer)

Dear Father,
To describe specific examples so that we can understand how to be pure women of God, I feel like I am going to get my hands dirty.
In Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen

Dear Child,
 Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? 
   Who may stand in His holy place? 
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, 
   who does not lift up his soul to an idol 
   or swear by what is false.
5 He will receive blessing from the LORD 
   and vindication from God his Savior. 
6 Such is the generation of those who seek Him, 
   who seek Your face, O God of Jacob.

               I know that I should have been in hell the moment I was conceived. Not only have my hands been dirty, but my entire soul was consumed in wickedness. But our vindication has come from Him. Christ’s sacrifice does not fall short of satisfying the Father’s justice. As we learn of His purity and holiness, He will give us clean hands. Surely we will find Him in His deliverance provided to us to rescue us from our impurity.

XIII. The Female Equivalent of Lust: Responsiveness

XIV. The Weapon of Powerlessness

XV. Expectations that Cause Despair

XVI. The Sisterly Obligation

XVII. The Calamity that Overrides Fleshly Pleasure (My Story)

XVIII. Agape’s Facilitation of Respect

XIX. A Few Words on Modesty

XX. The Resurrection Victory Over All Impurity

XIII. The Female Equivalent of Lust: Responsiveness

               As we consider the “lusts of the flesh”, we are reminded of the carnal desires in males for women. What I am going to explain in this chapter is what a man would tell you if he could jump into your mind and heart. I feel as though my mind is a cross of a 60-yr old man (in terms of reason and logic, not other things) and a 12-yr old girl and God has revealed to me that the following observations are true. This chapter will perhaps expose the worst of women.

And before I go on, I would like you to watch this clip by C.J. Mahaney on a man’s opinion of modesty
If you watch this, you may not think that I am out of my mind (what I will describe next) and I will be less embarrassed because I have someone else “on my side” (but ultimately God will shield me from embarrassment).

What is our response as women to be to this verse?:

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matt 5:28

               We discuss that it is our duty to dress and act in a modest way so as not to provoke the lust of men…as if that were the entire role we played in men’s war with lust. Lust is a topic that is discussed at most men’s conferences and men’s Bible studies because it is a longing that is far too close to home for most of them.

As I have heard numerous women speak on our response to man’s lust, they will always refer to modesty. And they leave the discussion at that. Yes, God does call us to be modest, but there is something far more dangerous in us regarding the lust of men than our immodesty. This dangerous act in us women is RESPONSIVENESS. Our immodesty is simply a result of our responsiveness. Responsiveness refers to the immoral response of a woman’s flesh to a man’s portrayed immoral desire for her.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 2 Tim 3:6-7

It is of great importance that we take the meaning of these words to heart. This verse is speaking about ungodly men who take advantage of “weak willed women”, or “gynaikarion”(Grk) which is a contemptuous term for a little woman. The “evil desires”, or “epithymia”(Grk), refer to a desire or craving for all kinds of forbidden LUSTS. Here we find a dispelling of the notion that women do not lust or are not given to sexual desires.

Do not lust in your heart after her beauty 
   or let her captivate you with her eyes, Prov 6:25

Why would a woman captivate a man with her eyes? There is a very deep evil is women. There is a type of lust in her just as raging as the man’s sexual desire, but it often quiet. It is not necessarily ambitious and roving, but it is responsive. Her flesh responds to the lust of men for her…FORBIDDEN LUST. Her response is aroused by any amount of a man’s portrayed lust for her. She glories in a man’s lust for her because the response that it evokes in her gives her deep pleasure…deep forbidden pleasure.

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. Phil 3:19

She regards not the dignity of herself or the men around her, but rather has worshipped the pleasures of sensuality. Her heart is captivated by “epithymia”: evil desires. She lives, acts, moves, and dresses to arouse lust. His lust feeds her responsiveness. It is a cycle, dear sisters. It is the very cycle that results in divorce, affairs…destruction of the mind and heart. “The mind controlled by the sinful nature is death” but the “mind controlled by the Spirit is Life and Peace”. The cycle is equally propelled by man and woman.

               There is ONE way in which responsiveness, the arousal of the woman’s flesh from the desire of a man, is a God-given longing. And you have guessed it right, in marriage alone is this response sanctified when she satisfies her husband with faith, love, and thankfulness to God. All other forms of responsiveness are evil and worthy of condemnation.

               The best thing for us to do is to acknowledge that we have all been tempted in this way to some degree. There are obvious responses in women as well as more covert responses. Here are examples of a woman’s responsiveness:

1.                Thinking upon an action, word, or look from a man
2.                Immoral dreaming
3.                Planning your dress to provoke men
4.                Speaking with a certain voice that you hope will provoke a man
5.                Acting or moving in a way that you hope will provoke a man
6.                Being exceedingly conscious of your physical femininity in the presence of men

These responses are what we show in response to our acknowledgement of a man’s lust. And I need not list examples of man’s lust because most of us know them:

1.                His “top to bottom look”
2.                His trying to be near you
3.                His attempt to flaunt his physical masculinity in front of you
…and worser things

Satan is using us to work with each other to DESTROY ONE ANOTHER. Someone has got to break the cycle. Mom told me yesterday that there are demons leading people astray in all sorts of facets of life. We have to stay with our True Lover and the husband that He has given us.

Surely His salvation is near those who fear Him, 
   that His glory may dwell in our land. Ps 85:9

In the following chapter we will learn about a weapon against our responsiveness.

XIV. The Weapon of Powerlessness

               This is a weapon given to us by the Father that will rescue us from our responsiveness (and I know that it would rescue men from their lust). This weapon is to approach temptation with trembling fear and helplessness: POWERLESSNESS! How many times we have tried (with all of our sinful habits) to stand strong and resist the temptations that comes as fiery darts towards us. Trying to stand strong on our own is a sure way to FAIL.

True success in the battle against the flesh comes from a contrition and brokenness. We must go to the Father and say “We do not know what to do but our eyes are on you” as Jehoshaphat prayed and “Lord, can we defeat them?” as David inquired of God before fighting his battles. WE CAN DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WITHOUT HIM!

               We cannot even understand that our responsiveness and sensuality is wrong apart from Him. We must come to Him as babes that cannot walk, or do any work. He has to feed us, clean us, carry us, protect us…what can we do without Him? As the temptations come to you, cry out to God with complete reliance on Him. Were not the Israelite kings victorious when they “completely relied on God.

               but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1

What do you truly desire in the new heart and spirit that He has given you? Do you even desire God over “forbidden pleasure”? Our weakness is not simply that we are willing to obey but are unable to do so (though that is often the case), but also that in our hearts WE DESIRE SINFUL PLEASURE. And so we need His deliverance in two ways:

1.                We need Him to open our eyes to see the end result of sensuality: sin and death. We need for Him to “turn our lovers against us” that we would no longer find pleasure in them. Do you not see God’s grace in allowing His daughter’s godless boyfriend to dessert her? We need Him to open our eyes to see His glory and the joy of the Lord as being exalted and supreme over all else that the devil has to offer us. It is a pity that we find pleasure in the devil’s trap.
2.                We need His deliverance and power to obey Him and resist the devil. He will flee. We need His help to draw near to Him.

XV. Expectations that Cause Despair

               When we continue in our immorality and evil desires, we have expectations for these desires and cravings to be met. The devil will satisfy our evil desires on some days and we may pursue them further. But on other days, our longings and expectations will not be met. And we will be broken. The consequences for our impurity will rise up against us and we will find no pleasure in what used to give us a thrill.

 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. Rom 6

               One thing every woman must know is that no matter how “high” your heart feels in the midst of sinful pleasure, you are going to come down. You are going to come down. And when you come down you will have nothing. You will have become worthless. Your God-given femininity will be reversibly destroyed (reversibly in the sense that God can restore you; see chapter XII). You will be worth as much as the man whose affections and desires you craved.

 32 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
   “You will drink your sister’s cup, 
   a cup large and deep; 
it will bring scorn and derision, 
   for it holds so much. 
33 You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, 
   the cup of ruin and desolation, 
   the cup of your sister Samaria. 
34 You will drink it and drain it dry; 
   you will dash it to pieces 
   and tear your breasts.
   I have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD.
 35 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Since you have forgotten Me and thrust me behind your back, you must bear the consequences of your lewdness and prostitution.”Ez 23

               If you are truly a child of God, if you continue in sensuality, God will bring calamity upon you in order to restore you to Himself.

14 I will be his father, and he will be My son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. 15 But My love will never be taken away from him. 2 Sam 7

Your expectations will never be fulfilled, dear sisters. Devote these evil expectations to destruction. Put your hope in Him. He will never fail you.

4 “Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. 
   Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. 
You will forget the shame of your youth 
   and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. 
5 For your Maker is your husband— 
   the LORD Almighty is His name— 
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; 
   He is called the God of all the earth. 
6 The LORD will call you back 
   as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit— 
a wife who married young, 
   only to be rejected,” says your God. 
7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, 
   but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 
8 In a surge of anger 
   I hid my face from you for a moment, 
but with everlasting kindness 
   I will have compassion on you,” 
   says the LORD your Redeemer.Is 54

XVI. The Sisterly Obligation

               As the increase of wickedness has come upon our society, the love of most has grown cold. There is a horrifying effect that this can have on women. God has given women a sisterly love for one another. For young, single, widowed, divorced, and unloved women, the Godly sisterly love of other women could be one of the greatest blessings in their lives. Indeed the life of an unloved woman is deathly and many women have been blinded to God’s love for them.

21 “Under three things the earth trembles, 
   under four it cannot bear up: 
22 a servant who becomes king, 
   a fool who is full of food, 
23 an unloved woman who is married, 
   and a maidservant who displaces her mistress. Prov 30

               It is true that for many women, the most affection that they receive is from a man who lusts for her. Her sisters in Christ have ignored God’s calling to come alongside this woman and love her with the powerful love of Christ. It is a pity that we have not laid down our lives for our sisters. Think of the women whom you know (perhaps yourself) who are no longer virgins because sought the affection of a man and sold her body in the process. What if we had come around her and loved her to death. What if we prayed with her, listened to her, visited her in her home, called her to study the Bible with us, hugged her, lived life with her…all the while showing her the love of the Father. She could have been rescued. WE HAVE DESPISED HER BY IGNORING HER.

17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. James 4:17

22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.Jude
Remember what David said after Jonathan’s death?

I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; 
   you were very dear to me. 
Your love for me was wonderful, 
   more wonderful than that of women. 2 Sam 1:26

XVII. The Calamity that Overrides Fleshly Pleasure

               There is a certain level of calamity or earthly “trouble” that in a sense relieves us of our sensuality. Many of us Christian women are afflicted with physical pain, financial worries, sickness in those dear to us, earthly jobs, tasks, errands to do… and in a sense we are temporarily relieved of our sensuality because of our preoccupation with these things.

However busyness is not a shield from impurity but rather a weapon against us. In our business, we neglect the strengthening of the soul. And when temptation comes we would have no strength to resist…

My brother has proposed that I share my story with you:

When I was younger (13-17 yrs) I struggled with some internal sensuality. I subtly craved man’s attention and dressed accordingly. By God’s grace both of my parents have largely protected me from coarse sensuality and deeds which portray the like: dating, having a “crush”, having a boy who was just a “friend”…I was not allowed to do any of these things and I am very grateful because I think that I could have gone quite astray. In spring of 2007 I was in my second year at the UMN, and that was perhaps the worst semester for me in terms of inward sensuality and for some reason, I did not have calamities at that time to quench the wicked fire. At the same time, I was holding onto God, I could not deny Him completely. Just earlier in fall 2006, I had been changed by reading “Reese Howell’s Intercessor” and learned to pray and experience the presence of God. Satan’s attack was to shower man’s attention on me thereafter so that I would forget God.

That summer we went to India on a mission trip because Anand had vowed to preach the Gospel to 1003 people (long story, you can ask me). This was a blessed trip, and I came to know God much more in our preaching journeys. But I became very ill in India and my stomach turned quite sensitive. I hardly ate anything at all in India. When we returned to the USA, I continued not eating many calories out of some kind of irrational fear of stomach ailments. Every food that made my stomach hurt in the least sense was eliminated from my diet. The only thing remaining for me to eat was vegetables. I knew all about nutrition, but I neglected eating adequate calories. I found out later on in my nutrition studies that I was essentially on the “Keyes Study Diet” given to Jewish people in concentration camps in terms of the duration and caloric deprivation of my starvation period. Most of these Jewish people ended up in asylums or became addicted to eating after being released. The fall semester after returning I dropped 30 lbs (from 93 lb to 63 lb; I had originally been over 100 lb before the India trip). I was so busy with my course work that I hardly realized I was losing so much weight. After much pleading, yelling, crying, and forcing on the part of my parents, I tried to eat more, but I could not gain any weight back. Every day, I would read a verse that my mom had written for me:

24 “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws. Ez 36. 

I knew that if this verse did not come true in my life, I was going to die. A few of the women in our church told me that God’s will for me was not to be a lifeless weak dead-looking girl. I lost all motivation to live. I did not want to go anywhere and would cry when dad and mom tried to take me anywhere (even the grocery store). Most of my hair fell out. I lost all beauty and fertility. IT VANISHED. CALAMITY HAD FALLEN ON ME.

 24 Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; 
   instead of a sash, a rope; 
instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; 
   instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; 
   instead of beauty, branding. 
25 Your men will fall by the sword, 
   your warriors in battle. 
26 The gates of Zion will lament and mourn; 
   destitute, she will sit on the ground. Is 3

These verses were literally fulfilled in my life. One day, mom had prayed with her Bible study for me that God would “move the mountains”. That day dad and mom were really grieved and I could not bear it any longer. I repented with a fear of backsliding, and God completely delivered me. He helped me gradually learn to eat calories, fat, protein, meat, etc. In the years to follow, the past few years, He has gradually restored everything, first the weight and hair, then the fertility, and more recently the motivation to live and feminine spirit.

25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— 
   the great locust and the young locust, 
   the other locusts and the locust swarm— 
My great army that I sent among you. 
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, 
   and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, 
   who has worked wonders for you; 
never again will My people be shamed. 
27 Then you will know that I am in Israel, 
   that I am the LORD your God, 
   and that there is no other; 
never again will My people be shamed. Joel 2

               As I had my femininity removed from me (so that I was physically like a little girl) and had it restored again, God taught me so many things about what it means to be a woman. In addition to other things, my sensuality was destroyed in the fire of this calamity. As mom tells me, “God was protecting you from evil men and from the temptations of youth”. Since being restored, some of these temptations have come back, but I am much more aware of them (having had them removed and restored) and rely on God alone for my daily purity…my daily Bread. Christ is my righteousness and purity.

The point of this story is to convey to you that if you continue on in sensuality, God can and will inflict you with calamity to wash away your impurity.

 13 Look! He advances like the clouds, 
   His chariots come like a whirlwind, 
His horses are swifter than eagles. 
   Woe to us! We are ruined! 
14 O Jerusalem, wash the evil from your heart and be saved. 
   How long will you harbor wicked thoughts? Jer 4

In a way, another weapon against sensuality is to let yourself bear the anguish of God for the sin of His people.

27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke 
   while he is young.
 28 Let him sit alone in silence, 
   for the LORD has laid it on him. 
29 Let him bury his face in the dust— 
   there may yet be hope. 
30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, 
   and let him be filled with disgrace. Lam 3

Go to funerals and comfort those who mourn so that your heart will be drawn to heavenly things rather than sensuality.

2 It is better to go to a house of mourning 
   than to go to a house of feasting, 
for death is the destiny of every man; 
   the living should take this to heart. 
3 Sorrow is better than laughter, 
   because a sad face is good for the heart. 
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, 
   but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. Ecc 7

Spend yourself on behalf of the needy and make yourself industrious for the Kingdom of God, or rather let Him work in you to will and to act according to His Spirit. LIVE BY THE SPIRIT.

16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. Gal 5

XVIII. Agape’s Facilitation of Respect

               Agape refers to the unfailing true powerful unconditional love of God. I have found personally that in order to respect a man, I must AGAPE him. Some men have said, “I would rather have women respect me than love me”, but I am saying here that though this may be true from his perspective, I cannot respect him without loving him with God’s love. I do not know how to respect men without God’s help.
               Here is an example of my clueless disrespect as a teenager that I will never forget. Many years ago Anand was acting goofy one day and I told him to “stop acting like a girl” in a careless way and I did not even think twice about it. After a few days I realized that Anand was not talking much to me. Finally he told me “Preethi, I want to say that I am sorry. The other day when you said “to stop acting like a girl” I was really angry at you so I want to say that I am sorry”. I think I went to my room and could not stop crying…

               Without AGAPE I do not even understand how to respect men. But when we love them unconditionally and selflessly, we are able to know in the Spirit how to behave and speak to show them that we respect them. When women are “blinded by love” they tend to only see the good in the man and neglect all his faults. As earthly strife and struggles come to them, she will start to see his faults and begin to belittle him in her mind and compare him to other “better” men.

               In this sense, our respect for men cannot depend on their solidity of virtue or earthly characteristics. Because those things are temporary: men may falter in sin and they may lose their earthly wealth, charm, and strength. We must love them unconditionally with God’s love. This means that we are seeking for their greatest joy and satisfaction in the glorification of God…in loving God with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength, in loving those around him, and in fulfilling His God-given purpose. If you truly love him, you will see his soul with all his faults and still respect him…BECAUSE YOU AGAPE HIM.

Think of a blessed wife embracing her husband before they go to sleep thinking, “You have not loved me. You have chased your idols all day. You have left me with many financial worries. But I love you. I pray that God supports you and comforts you. May you know Him more, my dear one. I love you. I love you. I love you…You are my great delight. I want to follow you. Will you be my leader?”

Every day she does this. She keeps herself pure and respects him because the AGAPE bestowed to her for him will enable her to. Thank God for His great power!

XIX. A Few Words On Modesty

               I am not an expert on modesty by any means, but I will share what I have learned. Modesty is protection not only for men that they may not be tempted, but equally for us. Our modesty is not only protecting us from man’s lust, but also our responsiveness. Just as young women are warned not to ever be alone with a man, a modest woman will protect herself from sensuality. A sensual dress will arouse man’s lust. And, recall chapter XIII, his lust can arouse your responsiveness. If you are modest, you will get fewer lustful looks and acts from men. Then you will have much less to feed your mind with.

               In the Bible, with regard to sexual immorality, God tells us to flee. He does not tell us to stand in the midst of it and fight. Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife. Job vowed never to look lustfully at a woman. Solomon warns to young man to avoid the adulterous woman. Modestly is a way of “fleeing” the evil cycle of men’s lust and your own responsiveness.

 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. I Cor 6:18

               An aspect of modesty is that it is hard to make absolute standards. I have observed that standards of modesty depend on the heart condition of the women as well as the physical attributes of the woman. I have seen some women wear certain clothing with a pure attitude and not seem immodest at all. I have seen other women cover themselves much better and still seem sensual. Sensuality is from the heart and manifests itself in dress and in the eyes.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matt 6:22

What is your true heart’s desire? Who has captured your heart?

               We must differentiate between God-given beauty and sensuality. God-given beauty is the beauty which glorifies Him and points others toHim. God blessed Job with three beautiful daughters who were like no other women. Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and other noble women of the Bible were notably beautiful. The Proverbs 31 woman is described as being “dressed in purple”. The type of beauty that we ought to portray is that of purity, chastity, nobility, and respect.

               In a sense, I have found that a form of respect for those around us is to dress pleasantly and cleanly, yet not outlandishly or in a way that draws attention to ourselves. God has taught my heart some things by working at the VAMC. There are a lot of very old handicapped helpless men whose standards are “outdated” and who will be passing away soon. Sometimes they ask me to help them do something (like held them find their way to a ward or to make their coffee) and I do not see them asking other women who are sensually dressed. I pray and use these opportunities to share the Gospel briefly or to at least tell them “God bless you” which in itself has brought some of them to tears (because no one tells them that there in the lonely hospital). If I had the least bit of sensuality at the time, I could not be of any use to such lonely souls. We ought to dress in a way that is beautiful and refined, and yet in such a way that we could minister to old needy men whose standards of modesty are quite a bit higher than our culture’s and feel no guilt.

               Our God-given beauty refers to the glory of God which radiates from our faces. There is no beauty in sensuality, simply none at all. But there is a great beauty in the face of a pure woman who has faith in God. Sensuality will literally wash the look of innocent chaste beauty from your face. If you are sensual, a man will never fall in love with you in the traditional sense. He can almost only fall in love with your body.

               I am still learning much in this area.

XX. The Resurrection Power Over Impurity

This concept is actually the Truth that God revealed to me this week and we will have to understand this together. The extent to which you believe that Christ is raised from the dead is the extent to which you will be victorious over sin. Pray and meditate on this concept.

And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you. Rom 8:11

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