Venom
My Own Worst Enemy
My times of weakness
seem like an army from
hell hacking on my self-control non-stop, I feel hopeless until God comes through for me. But I am not finding any grace in my weakness and my spirit is asleep. I feel alone, like He is waiting for me to succeed in my own strength and I am never strong enough. I fear I will always be temptations prey until He is merciful and fills me with His Spirit. God how do I walk in the Spirit and find your strength in my weakness?  Oh, I hate being so vulnerable, I have no backbone, I give in to the slightest temptation. How long Oh Lord? I feel I am being held by one rope, and yet I want to fall into sin, so I begin to consider cutting it. I know the pleasure of sin is only for a season and then I will be its miserable slave, but stupidity can become so overwhelming, that somehow a little pleasure can seem worth it, though hell comes with it. It's horrible. Why does God make everything so hard for me? Why do my trials have to effect my mind, heart and will? This seems to give the enemy an unfair advantage. It is like the enemy first ties up my mind and will and then it has free rein to rob everything meaningful to me, and fill my heart with trash. It's no fair, how can I pass this
test, when
my hands
are tied
and I have
no weap-
ons? It is
no freak-
ing fair.

It is hard for the two of us to co-exist
In this little room, you've always been biggest
And your vague temptations linger in me like a bad emotion

I won't play my rock music when my mama's in the room
likewise while you are here I can't do the spiritual things I want to

When the flesh lust against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh
we don't do what we wish, Paul said this
But he also said to crucify it with its passions and desires
speaking of a genuine end to them, But the only end I find within
Is a momentary sin, by means of appeasing and giving in
which is not an end at all

The passions and desires of the flesh
Are like a powerful, weighty, mighty presence
In the room at all time and it affecting how I feel
What I can do and what I am will to

I know you are there and I can't be at ease until you are gone
Just like when someone is in my house
I am not comfortable going in to a corner and writing myself a song
I am to conscientious

I want to get on with my life
But I don't know how while you are here
Oh how do I kill you?
What a stupid question, you would never tell me

You always say "Give me what I want and i'll leave"
So I do, but you come back in two weeks
And then you say "give me what I want and i'll leave
So I do, but you come back in two weeks
But it is this or you will not leave
And you plague me the next two weeks
Which is not an end at all
"I do not 'feel' like I am being disobedient or rebellious when I have sinned lately. Even though I have been eating too much, buying too much music, getting overly absorbed in the news, and seeking to fulfill the lust of the eyes. The thou shalt nots sort of seem to me like speed limits when I drive. I use to have a strong conviction and always obeyed them, but now that conviction has eroded away and I cannot help but speed and I don't feel bad about it and I'm unwilling to try to talk myself out of it.
     If my parents told me not to do something or my leaders in New Orleans instructed me concerning something, I would not disobey them. I respect my authority figures and I don't naturally feel a desire to rebel, and yet God is not real enough to me for His authority to have the same weight on my soul. I cannot get it to sink in that my sin is rebellion and that He is grieved by it. If God does not give me that revelation and in his mercy give me some fear of the Lord, then I'm hopeless. I sometimes care, but half of the time I don't, and there is not even a whisper of truth in me, not even the faintest willingness to fight temptation. What I need to live godly is absent in my life and I don't have anywhere else to turn to. I don't know what to do, is there no salvation from the self? I am forced to wonder whether or not He really came to save us from our sin.
     I've prayed, I've begged, I've wept. I've been diligent and disciplined at times in my life. I've been prayed over, I've heard prophecies over me, I've gone up to the alter, but still He has yet to save me from myself. And now I don't know what to do, I am totally confused. 7 years of seeking God and I still have not yet found what I am looking for. What I want is freedom from myself and liberty to do what He commands. I want Him to write His laws on my heart and give me the fear of God, Oh that He would give me grace and power and fill me with His Holy Spirit. How can I share the gospel and tell others there is freedom? It crushes me to bring these things up, Oh Lord how long?
      Its unnerving, that the Old Testament had no sacrifice for presumptuous sin and then in the new testament we have things like “If you deliberately sin after receiving the truth, there is no more sacrifice for sin, having crucified Christ afresh.” and Paul saying “Don't let anyone deceive you, no impure person will have any inheritance in the kingdom of God” and John said, “The cowardly will have their part in the lake of fire”. Yeah, sometimes these parts of the bible are like ink bloating out all the happy stuff in scripture I once believed, and I find the positive stuff is difficult to swallow with confidence as a result. Even though I've made sense of them in the past and God has confirmed my salvation, for some reason all this has been voided and I must start over."
The snake has its fangs in the heart and its venom has spread throughout the whole man. The heart represents the emotions, thoughts and will that are now under the influence of the temptation, the desire now pulls the strings. The man is cognizant of the temptation and tries to flee, but it follows him like a shadow. The broken clock shows how there is no end to the temptation until he is worn down and gives in.
    
On the left side of the wall are people who could help, but he is running the other way, because he is not thinking clearly. The man is about to hit a wall (painted like the desert), showing the end result of trying to deal with it alone.
  Sometimes seeking out others is the only way to break desire's spell, and yet one needs to somehow seek people out at the outset, before the mind, will and emotions are taken captive and are under the influence of desire, for by that time it's to late.


Self-control
FREEDOM

While I was strong I built a wall
It kept me safe, though I could hear the enemy taunt
But I grew tired of my captivity
I thought I'd tear it down, one brick at a time
One compromise and it all came crashing down

And now I am wondering, having been trampled by the enemy
Why would I tear down what protected me?
And I am standing here, having been robbed of everything
I treasured in my heart, because I longed for freedom

Freedom to look with hollow eyes at that which cannot satisfy
Freedom to let my heart be numbed; making my mind like a tomb
So my flesh could be free to do what it wants to and feast
At the cost of time, at the cost of peace, at the cost of joy and liberty And communion with You

And now I am wondering, having been trampled by my enemy
Why would I tear down what protected me
I am standing here, having been robbed of everything
I treasured in my heart, because I longed for freedom

Freedom to just exist like an animal,
to let live and go by how I feel
Freedom to remove these chains, which bind my flesh
So it can be released and do what it pleases and feast
At the cost of time, at the cost of peace,
at the cost of joy and liberty
And communion with You

I want to be a slave again, a slave to righteousness
Only then do I have liberty to do what truly makes me happy
I want to be a slave again, a slave to righteousness
Only then can I walk with You and be filled with Your fullness

I want to be a slave again, a slave to righteousness
For freedom to indulge in sin only brings hell on earth within
I want to be a slave again, a slave to righteousness
the life you give is worth the chains, it is worth the chains
Click to listen to Freedom







"The present has a way of snowing under past realities of God doing great things in my life. I can be absurdly unreasonable at times. I know I could be doing more... its not all God's fault (Well, I guess technically its not his fault at all, it just seems like it is, because I feel dependent upon Him and it SEEMS he won't lift a finger to help). It still is a mystery to me how to find the willingness to do my part, I royally stink at doing what I am unwilling to do, and I'm sure my stench sours the stomachs of the angels.
   I have felt kind of depressed all day and I think it was in part due to sharing all my issues with a friend, while knowing I was not yet willing to change. But I am getting more and more blessedly miserable, which gives me hope, maybe I will finally die and new life will begin.
    It always wakes me up when I start dabbling in the thou shalt nots. Most of the time its just the 'thou shalts' that keep nipping at my rear. When I start becoming cozy with fleshly past-times, I start getting really uneasy with everything spiritual, and when your job is mission work, this is a recipe for discomfort.
    The last several times that God has brought me back to life, I burned the ships lest in the future I drift back towards  sin when I am not paying attention. But the problem is I have not taken positive steps forward. I just swept the house and put locks on the door. Since my disciplines were never reestablished, (because I did not know how and was unwilling to try), eventually my mediocrity led to hating myself for torching the fleet and I then find myself rebuilding a boat with full intentions to sail on to another sinful escape.
    I must busy myself with things of the Lord, I must get disciplined somehow, so there is at least a little resistance in me when temptation comes. If I have not been feeding the spirit, what else should I expect?"
Turning Off The Mind
Flushing oneself down the toilet
"I must find something to fill this empty space. I feel an obligation to waste this time, even if it means being obsessed and absorbed in that which will be thrown away. I fast from sleep and food because meaninglessness has a way of consuming me, wetting my appetite until I drown. But what else is there for me to do now that I have unwillingly and without warning been pulled into an illusion, a land of make believe, pipe-dreams and images of perfection drawn in disappearing ink? What can I do? I have no control over the strings, I cannot budge the hand that is just too indifferent to lift my spirit out of the grave. I must wait until I am revived, until then I somehow must survive. It is like all I have to eat is Romaine noodle soup. it keeps me feeling like crap, but it fills my stomach. Maybe I should catch and eat the dove that made a nest at the top corner of my porch, but I do not feel like removing the feathers."



Small Sin
"Leap Year"

A Membership at the gym
Going on a diet with a friend
Buying the newest exercise machine
Swallowing 10 to 30 supplements religiously
Are all desperate attempts to find motivation
As if something external could change us within
Sure, it works for a little while, uh... maybe two weeks
But it ends the same as any new year resolution
We cannot get ourselves to do what we ought
And we grasp at anything that promises to help
But accountability looses its power eventually
Commitments only bind us with a paper chain
Season of discipline last about as long as spring
Motivation stays in coma but for when God awakes it
Therefore, we look to God to free us from ourselves
And to give us the will, motivation and ability
And yet for unknown reasons
He does not seem interested
After we're left on hold for years
we tend to hangup the phone
But sometimes it clicks, and we know it
sometime our commitments carries us through
But this is only in February on the 29th day
If its not then birthed and stirs our motivation awake
Then yet another 4 years we must wait
Mopey, Temptation and Misery
A Definition: Temptation is an idea that comes to our mind and calls out to our emotions, to seek the enjoyment of an appetite, drive, or a desire in direct violation of what we know is God’s will,  based upon God's infinite intelligence and perfect love.
Click To Continue...
“Self-control keeps us from eating a whole bag of chips or from running up the credit card. A new study says that self-control makes the difference between getting a good job or going to jail - and we learn it in preschool.
"Children who had the greatest self-control in primary school and preschool ages were most likely to have fewer health problems when they reached their 30s," says Terrie Moffitt...

     Moffitt and a team of researchers studied a group of 1,000 people born in New Zealand in 1972 and 1973, tracking them from birth to age 32...
The researchers define self-control as having skills like conscientiousness, self-discipline and perseverance, as well as being able to consider the consequences of actions in making decisions.

The children who struggled with self-control as preschoolers were three times as likely to have problems as young adults. They were more prone to have a criminal record; more likely to be poor or have financial problems; and they were more likely to be single parents.

This study doesn't prove that the lack of self-control in childhood caused these problems, but the large size of the study, and the fact that it followed one group of people over many years, makes a good case for an effect...
Parents can help their children learn self-control. For example, preschoolers can learn that they don't always get what they want immediately; they may need to wait for that treat.

"I call it Grandma's rule," Alvord says. "No dessert until you finish your dinner."

Parents can help teenagers learn self-control by making sure the family has clear rules for things like curfew or finishing homework before they have screen time. Teenagers who have problems with impulsivity may benefit from special driving classes that let them practice controlling the car in difficult conditions on a racetrack. For all teens, clear rules such as curfews help them regulate themselves.

Though self-control can be improved throughout life, Moffitt says the earlier children can learn these skills of self-discipline and perseverance, the better. "The later you wait in life to try to learn self-control skills, the more problems you have to reverse and overcome."

All the more reason to start picking up blocks when you're very young.”


Part of an article about Self-control from the NPR
Only the strong one makes it
But he is not allowed to boast

Only the one who endures can pass the line
But he can't gloat in his perseverance

Only the healthy one can continue on
But he can't take pride
in how he eats and his exercise

Only those with blind faith
can carry on against all odds
And never ask questions as they just
keep swimming across the Atlantic ocean

Maybe this treadmill
This lesson in futility
This going in circles
This fictitious journey to nowhere
Is doing the tearing down
only for it to heal bigger, building strength
lifting weary arms so they can endure
all the while making one more healthy
Is this a funny side-effect of a necessary evil in me
Or else Lord why would you leave me diseased?

I read you gave me all that I need
Lord this is the hardest thing for me to believe

Click To Enlarge
Re-wire the brain
I've read some interesting studies concerning brain-science, that claim that the limbic system and the frontal lobe are in conflict with each other. The Limbic system is the part of the brain that cares nothing about consequence, it wants the pleasure NOW no matter the cost. The frontal lobe, on the other hand reflects upon what is the highest, it is willing to delay gratification and practice self-control if it means better returns in the long-run.
    They can hook people up to imaging devices and then offer them $10 now or say they can wait a month and be given $100. And I kid you not, the part of the brain that lights up the most determines their choice; if the limbic system is the most active they choose the $10 now, but if the frontal lobe muscles his way to the front, the person waits a month for the $100.
   So there is some truth to that saying “If you have a black dog and a white dog, which one wins? The one you feed the most” Studies show self-control is best learned as a young child, and yet though as an adult it is harder to develop, it is still possible to strengthen it, kind of like a muscle.

              The Overflow of the heart 
Most people don't decide “Oh I am going to get angry and hurt my wife by screaming at her” No, something triggers it and out it comes, its the same thing with impatience, covetousness and lust at the outset, also things like resentment, envy and feelings of dislike for others. All of these things can be spontaneous. Yet, we are still responsible for our behavior for we had a choice to begin with.

     But due to life-style choices we have hard-wired our brain to naturally act and react in various ways. Now the tracks have been formed, we plow down it like a train. It is not easy to change. I do think it is profound that Paul spoke about "being transformed by the renewing of our mind". For even secular psychology has discovered the physical brain can actually be rewired by the mind. A really interesting book on this is "Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation"  by Daniel J. Siegel
Sleep walking
So many of the bad things we do, we are not even conscious of, until its to late.
"No End At All"
"After-Thought"
Click To Listen