Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's A Slow Fade

This morning I was driving along I-24 in TN and tuned in to the FISH station in Nashville. The song that was playing was Slow Fade by Casting Crowns. Oh man, does this song ever nail it! One of the things I absolutely love and respect about the music CC has been putting out is that it is so incredibly REAL and HONEST and ACCURATE and TRUE-TO-LIFE and JUST WHAT I NEED TO HEAR.

Slow fade? You betcha. I am aware more than ever, and I hope I am speaking with absolute honesty here, of the activity of the devil in doing what his name implies... lying, deceiving, accusing, stealing, killing, destroying, threatening, intimidating, etc. No, I am not always aware of what he is doing at any given moment and he certainly pulls his stinking rotten tricks on me, but I am aware of how much he hates people and wants nothing more than to keep us from living free in Christ Jesus.


I am also more aware than ever at this point in my journey of my own sinful tendencies and weaknesses and patterns and predispositions.

The combination of my own "quirks" and the enemy that loves to prey on them is not a good one.

But praise God that Jesus has set us free, and whomever the Son sets free is free indeed, and there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, and He has separated us from our sins as far as the east is from the west, and He has not given to us a spirit fear, but a Spirit of love and of joy and of sound mind.

The old hymn says it well... O victory in Jesus, my Savior, forever. He sought me and bought me, with His redeeming blood; He loved me ere I knew Him, and all my love is due Him, He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood.

While all this is true, we still have to guard ourselves because it's a slow fade... nothing happens overnight... NOTHING. It starts with me not being in God's Word regularly. It starts with me not praying which, incidentally, I am commanded to do. It starts with me not walking in the light as He is in the light so that He and I can talk freely and consistently and honestly (and I should note that any breakdown in communication is clearly my doing). It starts with me being prideful and arrogant and stubborn. It starts with me not keeping watch over my tongue. It starts with me holding on to offenses and letting (sometimes righteous) anger fester into cancerous unforgiveness and staph-like bitterness that infects my soul and negatively affects those closest to me.

And then it all boils over like an unattended pot on the stovetop and I rush over but the mess has already been made and it's really difficult to clean up at that point.

I need to guard myself because it's a slow fade.


How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. ~~ Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. ~~ Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. ~~ Whoever guards his way preserves his life. ~~ Whoever guards his soul will keep far from [thorns and snares]. ~~ The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. ~~ The Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. ~~ I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.

[ Psalm 119:9; Proverbs 4:5-7; Proverbs 4:13; Proverbs 16:17b; Proverbs 22:5; Philippians 4:7; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Timothy 1:12 ]

Take a listen to Slow Fade here on the player and let it sink into your heart today.

O God, would You graciously and mercifully give us the strength to avoid wandering away from You and all that is best for us as you know what is best for us. You have been kind and good to us and we are desperate for You every moment of every day. Deliver us from evil and guard us from the temptations that we will encounter today.

Amen and amen.

15 comments:

taralous said...

great post...i love cc too because of their transparency. they are an amazing band. we need more people like them. thanks for the reminder that we need to guard our hearts!

Deryle said...

Greg,

How true it is when we think we are standing tall that we might be sinking is a great part of this song. Isn't that just like the evil one to ease up alongside and deceive us when we think we are doing so well. Then again and again only to find that things don't just happen overnight. We then slowly fade into deception. I like the Proverb 4:23..above all else GUARD your heart for it is the wellspring of life...I think that out of keeping the heart of wisdom is life. ...Love you son very much.
Grampy Sponberg..AKA Dad

Jennifer said...

Thank you

Mare said...

Amen!

Angie said...

Amen

Stephanie said...

I've been having some mental/emotional struggles lately so thank you for reminding me of the scripture... He has not given to us a spirit of fear, but a Spirit of love and of joy and of sound mind.

It is just what I needed to hear.

Melody said...

I LOVE that song. I think we all need those reminders of what a thin line we are walking everyday. I was just realizing out loud as I was talking to God that VERY few of the many, many decisions we make everyday have no impact on our lives. It all impacts something- whether it be our spiritual life, our health, family, etc- there are so few choices we have that don't impact us in some way. I pray we make the right choices- the choices that will be pleasing to God and bring glory to Him. It's a constant checking of ourselves.

Ang said...

I so needed to read that today!!! I am thankful God laid that on your heart!!

Sun said...

I love all of your posts - but these last two - WOW - oh wow - what a treasure. Thank you SO much for sharing what God is teaching you and the insight you are gaining. Sunshine

sheila said...

I am now reminded of how many decisions I make daily without thinking about my Heavenly Father. As if it has no interest, bearing or significance to him, but does it? Will it to me? Could, just by making a decision on my own, have a greater significance on my life or someone else's, by either not heeding God's prompting or completely trying to handle things myself. As my marriage in hanging in the balance, I see it has been a slow fade and not all one sided either. Forgive me Lord for doing what I thought I should be, but not thinking, what do you require or me? Help me Lord to keep guard over my mouth, my emotions (which are NOT factual) and protect me from Satan's lies.
Praise to God that you (I do too)have a Christian Radio station. It is good. Incidentally, 'O Victory' has always been one of my family's fav. songs, even the small children can sing it. "And then I cried Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit"...

oh, that is good. Thanks again. Blessings to you and Nicol and Summer. In God's Love, sheila

Maggy said...

Thank you Greg, I cried when you shared your thoughs about what the word of the Lord is saying to you, and sharing this with us it also help other brothers and sisters in Christ.
His word is always true and powerfull.
Your words are support in a time when we are preparing our family to serve the Lord overseas.
My prayers for your family are never going to cease, the Lord will use you and Nicole for the plans that he had laid for you, before you were born :)
Love in Christ.
Maggy

Sherrie said...

Greg,

I have a situation with my father that I truly wish I could talk to you about. Parts of your post,("It starts with me holding on to offenses and letting (sometimes righteous) anger fester into cancerous unforgiveness and staph-like bitterness that infects my soul and negatively affects those closest to me.") I could have written myself, but I can't get to forgiveness, as much as I would like to say I have. How do we feel love in our heart for someone who does not love us, for someone who has hurt us over and over? Does God expect us to love a parent that does not act like a parent?

Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net said...

Great message and I love this CC song too!

Your words are so true - and encouraging! God is always there and it's us who walk away or take our focus off him.

It's funny because we wouldn't be relaxed or "fade" in many other aspects of our life but with our relationship with Christ, the world makes it OK. We definitely need to guard our hearts from the worldy influences to stay bright and attentive to hear Christ's voice.

Blessings :-)

Anonymous said...

I love this song too! I had my kids listen to it, and then talked about what it meant. It's one of those songs that you just know is God inspired when you hear it.

I'm realizing how important it is to be on guard always.

Julie

Kristy said...

What an amazingly insightful post. So many times we let the pot boil over, and wish we just would have watched ourselves, and stayed close to Him. We all needed to read this. Thank You.