Monday, March 22, 2010

When Godly People Do Ungodly Things - Week One

We completed our first week of study in Beth Moore's When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. We had two new ladies join our group last night.  After a time of fellowship and viewing a video by Beth, the women divide up into two groups for a discussion and share time. Our lesson for week one was entitled "The Warning" and I wanted to share with you some of the highlights of our study from my notes:

The purpose of the study is to understand how the people described in 2 Corinthians 11:2-3 as being wholeheartedly, sincerely, and purely devoted to Christ can be beguiled by  Satan and have their minds corruped and seduced. Satan is out to destroy the testimony of those who are influential and who genuinely love God. I Peter 5:3 defines Satan as a roaring lion who is seeking to devour us. Some ways he tries to devour Christians is by insecurity, bitterness, fear, worry and obsessive thoughts.  One of his chief objectives is to make the clean feel unclean.  He desires to stain the bride of Christ by corrupting her thoughts in order to manipulate her feelings.  He knows that the nature of humans is to act out of how we feel rather than what we know.  One of our most important defenses against satanic influence is learning to behave out of what we know is truth rather than what we feel. 

One of his most powerful weapons is sexual seduction.  He wants to make the clean feel unclean in hopes that they will act unclean.  Sexual sin is a perfect choice because it can be highly addictive and breeds shame like nothing else and has terrible ramifications.

Beth shared that she had collected stack of letters containing testimonies of people who had devoted their lives to Christ and who walked with God consistently only to find themselves suddenly seduced into ungodly behavior.  She listed 16 common claims of the seduced:

1. Individuals were caught off guard by a sudden onslaught of temptation or attack.
2. The season of overwhelming temptation and seduction often followed huge spiritual markers with God.
3. Everyone described a mental bombardment. (obsessive thinking)
4. Many of those caught in relational seductions testified that Satan got to them through someone close by.
5. Many testified to early warning signals.
6. Many described their sudden behavioral patterns as totally uncharacteristic.
7. Virtually all of them described feelings and practices of isolation.
8. Without exception, deception and some level of secrecy were involved.
9. Many described overwhelming feelings of powerlessness.
10. Many described somethng we'll call an addictive nature to the seductive sin.
11. Most utterly hated what they were doing.
12. The seduction lasted only for a season.
13. Many describe a period of a spiritual numbness of sorts.
14. Many used the same peculiar word to describe what they had experienced. (web)
15. Many describe the aftermath as a time of slowly increasing awareness rather than an instant wake up.
16. Feelings of devastation and indescribable sorrow finally came, ushering in deep repentance.

In the video session, Beth mentioned four classic assaults of the enemy:
1. Doubt  
2. Shame   
3. Fear  and  
4. Blame

None of these are of God who counteroffers Faith, Christ, and Peace.

The good news is that even though Satan's ultimate intent is our total destruction, Christ preserves us. People with a genuine heart for God cannot remain in the practice of sin.  At some point they will cry out in total desperation for deliverance.  The desire for a return to His intimate favor finally exceeds the lure of their seducer.  In the end, Satan cannot cut it because he can't sustain it.  Those who know the truth will finally recognize the lie. We get into a seductive mess by believing a lie, but our ticket to freedom is to look up with an unveiled face before God and say "Heal me".

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