"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
Are We Giving Birth To Life Or Death?
Last week we discussed the birth of Christ and the celebration that we have annually called Christmas. We talked about how and why it offends and specifically why the name of Christ offends in the first place. This week, we will dive into the process of birth and how children are not the only things that we can birth in our lives. The events of pregnancy and birth are perhaps some of the most exciting moments for a young mother. However, to maintain this state and rapid pace of growth from within, she must take extra care of her body and developing baby. This mother has to not only eat right, but also ensure that they receive good pre-natal care and maintain the least stressful environment as possible. During the pregnancy, the mother goes through a range of hormone induced emotions which are brought on by this life giving process of carrying a child. There are going to be food cravings, random moments of crying, shouting, and even some hostility towards dad. The closer to her due date this new mother gets, the larger her child becomes, and the more developed he/she becomes. Around the eighth month, the child now stands a great chance of surviving outside of the womb. Many of the physical features are now visible. Mom’s mobility is now very limited. Her belly now sticks out blocking her view of the double-sized swollen ankles and feet. This mother-to-be now aches in pain and her body is sending messages to her brain that new life is about to be birthed from within her.
The big day finally arrives after several false alarms and mom is rushed to the hospital. Everyone is both nervous and excited. The nurses come in the room to check mom’s dilation, the doctor is now informed and the hospital makes its preparations. Dad begins to call all the family and notify them of the soon coming birth if he hasn’t already out of excitement. Now all the family rushes to the hospital (usually more frantic than mom herself). Grandma and Grandpa couldn’t be more excited because now they get to spoil another child, who they can also send home to terrorize their mom and dad. Besides, they owe them a few headaches anyway! As mom begins to push, she experiences severe pain and her hips begin to literally break apart. She screams out in agony and even though it seems like eternity, in an instant you hear and see a crying baby appears. Even though mom has experienced all of those battles and obstacles, she is overwhelmed with feelings of joy, love, and admiration of this new little one in her arms. Everyone becomes even more excited and is buzzing around the hospital just hoping to get a glimpse. Is he/she more like mom or dad? What color is the hair and eyes? How long are the eyelashes? All of these things come to mind.
A new birth is certainly a thrilling time full of joy and hope for the future. Many billions of exciting births have taken place all around the world. Some have ended in unfortunate tragedies; while most have produced new citizens of society who have gone on to produce more children. A major birth that comes to mind, especially this time of year is the birth of Jesus Christ. Although His birth had unusual circumstances surrounding it, it must have surely been an exciting time for Mary. Isaac also comes to mind when you reflect on exciting births and Joseph may very well be another. However, children are not the only thing that we adults can give birth to. As our Scripture points out, we can also give birth to great sin, despair, and curses upon others and ourselves.
Psalm 7:14-16 (KJV)
14 Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity;
Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood.
15 He made a pit and dug it out,
And has fallen into the ditch which he made.
16 His trouble shall return upon his own head,
And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.
James 1:13-15 (NKJV)
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Being pregnant with sin and evil desire is not what I would consider an exciting time. It is the type of pregnancy and birth that I want to avoid at all costs. I am sure that it is unintentional when we become subject to the sin that we give birth to, however it never fails that someone often falls as a victim to this commonality. Why, you might ask? The reason is obviously because our flesh is prone to sin (Matthew 26:41). But what does it mean in Psalm 7:14-16 as it says to be “wicked”? One source explains the “wicked” by saying, “the wicked are so hotly set upon the evil which they maliciously intend, that they would be immediately acting of it.” This type of individual has no care for what is right or wrong and no conviction for the injustices that they perpetuate upon others. But, how do we get there and how can we avoid such a title as being considered “wicked”?
If you are a born-again believer (confessed faith in Christ and believe) it is impossible for you to obtain this title. One would have to literally renounce their faith and have no conviction at all, which is nearly impossible. The reason it is impossible is because God has ensured that “He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6), however we may forbid Him according to our own free will from interfering in our lives by conviction. Some may consider this to be the actual unforgivable sin mentioned in Mark 3:28, however I do disagree with that distinction. Regardless, God cannot violate His Word and law by going against the will of mankind. This should give us hope as believers that as long as we have even a “mustard seed of faith” in our hearts, we have a hope in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ! But does this prevent us from “conceiving the trouble” which we entertain and giving birth to the “falsehood” that we bare? Absolutely not!
Every time we entertain sin and give it a host in our lives, it will take root and begin to manifest itself through us. The Holy Spirit’s job is to lead, direct, guide, and pray for us; however we make this job difficult and at times irrelevant when our decisions disregard His work. God simply won’t force us to be obedient to Him. He will simply just wait for us to get our act together, much like a school teacher who has lost their patience with a rowdy class. He will begin to wait until we have had suffered enough from our own iniquities and come running back to Him for help. When we give into temptation, sin, and the wickedness of the world over and over again, we give it the attention that it desires. More specifically, we begin to consider and now lay down with the enemy. As we become attracted to the things of the world and ways of the enemy, he mesmerizes us with all the flashy lights that sin has to offer. But like anything dealing with the enemy, it is all “smoke and mirrors” as they say. Soon, after lying down with the enemy in his bed, we will have “conceived” these troubles and now “bring forth” the “falsehoods” that it manifests. In other words, our evil fruit will begin to bear itself through our life.
Sin begins with a thought or feeling as highlighted in James1:13-15, but then is soon entertained when it is not resisted. When the sinful thoughts are not resisted, we begin to conceive its evil, which then allows the sin to give birth to full blown acting upon the sin. This is the “death” that is”brought forth” in verse 15. This is the part that we as Christians need to avoid, that “conception” and “death.” We will always be tempted as we pointed out earlier that the flesh is weak. Being that Jesus was also tempted, do we not expect to be also tempted ourselves? With the temptations being inevitable, we should focus on how to avoid entertaining sin and therefore its following conception and birth. We do this by following God’s Word regarding the avoidance of the entrapment of sin. Scripture such as Luke 22:40; Romans 8:37; and Hebrews 4:15-16. We should also keep in mind the words of 1 Corinthians 10:13 which states that, “he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear” and also “escape.” So, let us avoid the type of birth that gives way to the evils of this world. Let us also avoid the types of labor pains that aren’t necessary in life and cause curses that can only be taken away by the Lord’s return. As we exit this Christmas season and enter into a new year, let this new season also bring with it a new mindset and spiritual renewal. Dive into the Word of God and allow Him to do His work in you, reminding you of who’s you are and who you are! You are the child of the King! Therefore, you will give birth only to the blessings and goodness that God has willed for you in this season. God Bless you all, and may you have a most wonderful New Year’s Eve!
Matthew 26:41 (NKJV)
41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Luke 22:40 (KJV)
40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
Romans 8:37 (KJV)
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (KJV)
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.