Stillness

Stillness. What is it?

It’s context has the ability to mold it but the stillness I am thinking of is connected to the line: “Be still, and know that I am God.” This comes from Psalm 46. An often added title to the chapter is “God Is Our Fortress” pointing to a context that God is our defender and shields us as is seen in the chapter. He “is our refuge and strength,…” and we should “…not fear though the earth gives way,…”

So why the “still” in verse 10?

The point is that God is in control and He has your back despite how bleak things may get. “Be still…” is to not worry or fret because “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. (v. 11)”. However, it goes further than simply a statement of “don’t worry”.

As one who has struggled with anxiety throughout life (but with increased control thanks to God’s work), stillness means more than just pointing to steer away from worry. Anxiousness affects us physically. We shake a foot, bounce a knee, chew on the inside of our mouth/lip, wring our hands, pace, disorganized thoughts,….I could keep going. These actions are often brought on in response to anxiety but they can also feed back  to inflame the anxiety/worry further. As such, being still isn’t just about relying on God in thought but in action as well. With His influence in our lives, we have the ability to change our physical actions. We need to consciously tell our bodies to stop shaking that foot and take back the pilot seat of our bodies. This is often more easily done in a quieter environment accompanied by controlling your breathing but with practice can be done anywhere.

Stillness. It is about both our minds and our bodies surrendering to God and His promises for us.


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Rules

Rules? What’s that title about?

There’s a common thought that Christianity is somehow all about following a long list of rules. This isn’t Christianity.

What appears to be “rules” are instructions on how to act in ways that bring glory to God. It isn’t about how perfectly you can follow a set a rules but rather always trying to improve in how you bring glory to God by your actions and life.

You are going to make mistakes along the way and that’s fine. Having Jesus Christ as a personal Lord and Savior means your sins are already paid for. You do not have to worry about your failures. Recognize your sins before Him and move forward to do better, always fixing your eyes on Him and His example.

To live a Christ-centered life is to live a life so focused on Jesus Christ and His example that people can’t help but wonder why you are so different. They way you live Christ-centered before God brings Him glory as does every head that turns in wonder as to your actions that are aimed at honoring Him.


 

Satan

Who/what is he?

He was chief among the angels and quite powerful. How powerful? Hard to pinpoint precisely but to be the top angel should say something. Especially when you consider the acts carried out by other angels in the Scriptures by comparison.

Regardless, he was the first to fall and then became the source of mankind’s fall. He loves to “masquerade as an angel of light” which is just one of several phrases pointing to his title as the deceiver. This same title points to the fact that he doesn’t take a particular form as was seen in the Garden of Eden. In other words, while he can look like the pointy-horned, pointy-tailed  red being that seems to have become popular over time, this is NOT normal nor what he would regularly do.

It is also popular that Satan (Lucifer) is somehow the dark foil to God. However, Scripture is quite clear that Satan is no where close to being God’s equal. Christianity is not a dualism as the two “sides” are not equal.

God is the creator, Satan a creation.

God is infinite (limitless), Satan finite (limited).

God is omnipresent (present everywhere); Satan is singular and can only be one place at a time. God occupies all of creation but is not bound by it as His existence is separate from it. Satan is an object of creation and occupies a definite space within it.

Satan doesn’t stand a chance against God and one day He will end Satan right alongside sin and death (Rev. 20).

 


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Sex

Sex is a powerful thing for all human beings, Christian or not. It is pleasure-filled, socially powerful, and a profoundly deep part of each of us. There is quite a bit that can be said about sex. However, in this post, I want to focus on how it points to something greater.

Modern America primarily sees the Christian “No sex before marriage” as nothing more than a rule and often an obsolete one at that. There are even popular myths among Christians that somehow sex will be better if they save themselves for marriage. The catch is that there is no guarantee that this will happen for you. In fact, there have even been clinical cases of those who put so much expectation on this idea they were unable to perform when they finally had the opportunity. Others found it didn’t match up to the fantasies they had created in their minds as they waited for that day to arrive. I would submit that such issues are because they weren’t thinking of sex rightly in the first place. It had become an idol of sorts in their minds and hearts.

In reality, sex is but a shadow of something greater. That’s right, I called it a shadow. Despite people around the world who clamor for a chance to experience it, it is but a shadow.

A shadow? Well, how can that be? Wasn’t this supposed to be the greatest thing about getting married?

Yes, it is a shadow. What I am referring to is that it is a model to something much grander. And, yes, sex is still a great part of the married life before Christ, including other great parts, despite how I may have sounded like I was knocking it just a moment ago.

These metaphors of “shadow” and “model” are in reference to there being a greater state of intimacy and pleasure in Christ. Let me explain: A marriage between a man and a woman is also symbolic of Jesus Christ and the Church. Jesus Christ is the man and the Church (God’s children – a.k.a. true Christians) are represented by the woman. There will come a day when Christ comes to claim His bride who is the Church and upon that day they will be with Him in perfect closeness. The pleasure and joy of that day will exceed anything that could be experienced in sex and the best part is that there will be no sin present to mess it up. Think of it, the Creator of all wants to share a state of perfect closeness with us for all eternity!

When we choose to have sex outside of marriage and use and abuse it as we see fit, we thereby choose to act as a bride who is rejecting their husband and sleeping around. We don’t just cheat on those we love here on Earth, but we also cheat on Him. We are telling Christ that we don’t care to honor Him in our sexuality just as choosing to sleep around brings shame and dishonor to the one partner we are supposed to be united to.

There’s much more I could go onto from there, but I’ll leave it there for now. Just know that if you have messed up in the matters of sex and you are reading this, you still have the opportunity this day to turn to Christ, ask for forgiveness, and move forward seeking after Him, His goodness, and His likeness!

 

For additional reading, check out:

http://www.canonandculture.com/the-meaning-of-sex/

(some of the points for this post came from this article)

and

https://www.monergism.com/search?keywords=sex&format=All


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Anxiety

What is is it?

It can be described as worry. But can also be:

1. distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune:

He felt anxiety about the possible loss of his job.

2. earnest but tense desire; eagerness:

He had a keen anxiety to succeed in his work.
Regardless, it includes a restlessness of mind that affects our bodies and well-being. It can touch every aspect of our lives.
“Anxiety about relationships can make you withdrawn and indifferent and uncaring about other people. Anxiety about how someone will respond to you can make you cover over the truth and lie about things.” – John Piper from Battling Unbelief
So, yes, even our relationships are affected. Left unchecked, it can even lead into apathy and further sin as John’s quote above points toward. Anxiety doesn’t just affect you but others as well.
To counter anxiety, we must turn to God and come to trust Him with every aspect of our lives. Even the aspects we personally find very sensitive to.
I’ll leave this post with several verses of encouragement for further reading:
Matt. 6:25 – 34 (pause and think after each verse)
Rom. 8:32
1 Cor. 10:13

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Getting Started

The point of this site?

Posting answers to questions revolving around Christ and the scriptures.

Why the title?

monergist – one who believes in the one work; in this case referring to the one work of God in salvation. Historically, there was another form of monergism represented by Pelagius who believed in the one work of man’s will. Hence the reasoning for the second part of the title.

gratia – this is the Latin for grace; this is added to emphasize the one work of God’s grace in salvation.

 

More to come.