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Intoxicated Eyes

I was first introduced to the concept of the second glance by the Casting Crowns song Slow Fade. Eve was the first human being to experience this in Genesis 3:4-6. Jesus’ earthly brother compares this lustful look to a fish sizing up the perfectly set bait in James 1:13-15. However, the disciple whom Jesus loved takes this one step further as eyes become intoxicated by specific temporary pleasures on earth.

Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. 17 And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever, 1 John 2:15-17.

If you want a more recent example of intoxicated eyes, check out the attached clip from the Chronicles of Narnia. Unaware of the apostle Paul’s warning in 2 Corinthians 11:14, the White Witch appears as an angel in disguise to Edmund. Yet, when you have gone an extended period without indulging your fleshly desires, passion takes over as you do the completely opposite of what you know to be right, Romans 7:15.

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls then came and spoke to me, saying, Come with me! I will show you the doom (sentence, judgment) of the great harlot (idolatress) who is seated on many waters, [She] with whom the rulers of the earth have joined in prostitution (idolatry) and with the wine of whose immorality (idolatry) the inhabitants of the earth have become intoxicated, Revelation 17:1-2.

The last mention of intoxicated eyes occurs in the Book of Revelation. Building upon the acts of the sinful nature in Galatians 5:18-21, John has a vision of inhabitants of the earth drunk on sexual immorality. John appears to be referring to a demon who he compares to the great harlot. Whatever this being or individual represents, when you let yourself go, drifting away from God, you become vulnerable to intoxicated eyes. May this blog serve as a warning to put to death these desires, Colossians 3:5, before enticement and lust drag you down all over again.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 50: That Lonesome Road

Today’s featured song comes from a band that formed during my senior year of high school. Mad at the World debuted in 1987 in Southern California behind the efforts of two brothers: Roger and Randy Rose. This group combines the in-your-face passion of punk rock with an alternative style of Christian music. That Lonesome Road serves as a warning for those who make bad choices in life.

Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [[f]in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour, 1 Peter 5:8.

The lyrics of That Lonesome Road is a modern-day prodigal son song of what happens to human beings who make bad decisions. Sin has a way of separating Christians from the people who love them. Yet, like Peter’s initial encounter with the White Witch in the Chronicles of Narnia, choosing temporary pleasures in life will lead to loneliness and disappointment. May That Lonesome Road inspire you to take the path less traveled, Matthew 7:13-14.

by Jay Mankus

Forgetting the Divine Word

Amnesia is a condition where individuals develop an inability to recall facts or previous experiences. This can be brought on by a brain injury, fatigue, repression, shock, trauma, or illnesses like lyme disease. From a spiritual perspective, amnesia can be induced by addiction, bad habits and a series of poor choices. Once sin entangles a life, this can cause a Christian to forget God’s word.

And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him; Hebrews 12:5.

Whenever a busy week approaches, I try to maintain my daily schedule of reading the Bible and praying. Yet, at least once a month a packed schedule causes me to put my time with God on hold. Since I tend to be extremely focused on what I’m doing, I’m become so engrossed on the present that I forget about God. The longer I put off spending time with the Lord, I forget the Divine Word.

But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). 15 Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death, James 1:14-15.

The earthly brother of James gives an honest perspective of how and why Christians forget the Bible. When tempted by earthly pleasures or treasures, it’s not uncommon to have lapses in judgement. Whether you’re Edmund meeting the witch for the first time in the Chronicles of Narnia or Peter in public following Jesus’ arrest, enticement and peer pressure is hard to overcome. Yet, if you want to overcome any temptation, open up the Bible so that you don’t forget the Divine Word this Christmas.

by Jay Mankus

The Way of the World

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis star in the 2012 comedy the Candidate.  From a comedy perspective, this is one of my least favorite Ferrell film.  The plot involves two North Carolinians vying for a seat in Congress.  Each opponent stoops to new lows, doing whatever it takes to win.  Backed by millionaires who seek to turn this district into the epi center for a Chinese based factory, Zach Galifianakis‘ character takes a substantial lead in the polls.  As election day approaches, the underdog who is now the favorite refuses to sell his district to the Chinese.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever, 1 John 2:15-17.

This decision results in losing the backing of his donors.  Despite being a comedy movie, this scene could have been a real life example of headlines on a cable news networks.  Before leaving the home of these donors, Zach Galifianakis‘ eyes are opened to the way of the world.  Money controls politics; if you follow the money, you will see the motives behind financial contributions.  In the real world, billionaires like George Soros annually creates, donates and supports the backings of groups that will further his political agenda.  From an integrity perspective, there aren’t many politicians left who can’t be bought.  Unfortunately, those holding out for the truth are often attacked, criticized or demonized.

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God, James 4:4.

The earthly brother of Jesus, one of Mary’s other sons, makes a strong statement about the way of the world.  Apparently, you can’t be a friend of God and the world at the same time.  James compares playing both sides of the fence to adultery.  A decision to befriend the world is considered a hostile act.  The apostle Paul clarifies this concept in Romans 8:5-8.  When minds become set on the sinful nature, it’s impossible to please God.  Therefore, the next time you find yourself on the verge tasting temporary pleasures, Turkish delight, flee before you are bewitched by the world.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

The Stand, the Sword and the Spirit

Between 1950 and 1956, author C.S. Lewis wrote seven children novels known as the Chronicles of Narnia.  The first and best known, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was made into a modern movie by Disney, released in theaters on December 9th of 2005.  Narnia is only accessible through a wardrobe, found by accident during a game of hide and go seek.  After no one believes the youngest, Lucy, Peter secretly follows her, having his own encounter with the White Witch, symbolic of Satan.  As I look at our current society, it appears that fantasy has become reality as many are now under the power of darkness, held prisoner by the Devil.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes, Ephesians 6:11.

Aware of this situation, Paul wrote a letter to the church at Ephesus.  Within a chapter known as the armor of God, the apostle reveals three essentials necessary to withstand this battle.  First, the only way to endure fierce spiritual attacks is to arm yourself with the full armor of God described in chapter 6.  A stand will not be successful without each piece in place.  Second, a soldier of the cross must carry the Bible to fight back like Jesus did during his fast and temptation in the desert, Matthew 4:1-11.  Finally, when you feel like you can’t hold on any longer, pray in the Spirit to lead and keep you from falling.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, Ephesians 6:17.

Every day opportunities await, to rise and fall.  To draw near to God or slip closer away toward the gates of hell.  While this realm is invisible and dismissed by academia, faith helps me to see glimpses of Narnia.  Yet, unless I fan into flame the gifts given to me, 2 Timothy 1:6-7, I too will fall.  Since no one is immune to temptation, don’t allow yourself to fall asleep, under the spell of the White Witch.  Rather, arm up by taking a stand with the Sword and Spirit today.  Then, you too might experience something similar to the Chronicles of Narnia.

by Jay Mankus

 

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