|“How often you would like to reach inside another and alter their perception of reality. You say to yourself, ‘Why can they not understand this simple message of redemption?” …”But they cannot, and you cannot force it. Unless the ‘Wind’ has His way, they remain blind and dead in their sin.” …“If you try you will inevitably become abusive in your interpersonal relationships, trying to force people into meeting your expectations so that you can accomplish your objectives. The work of God requires a walk of faith.” …”Let God do with your investment what He wants.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”)
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12
Self-denial is obligatory, but differs from law in that you are free to express the application according to your own conscience and convictions. An exact standard of self-denial becomes law, and can never compensate for the loss of personal freedom. For example, God gives few commandments, allowing you a great deal of freedom. If you don’t exercise self-control over your freedom, you become defenseless and break His commands. You are free to drink, but not to get drunk. You must exercise self-control in order to draw the line between the two, but no one can tell you where that line is.
You find law primarily in the Old Testament and self-denial in the New. In the Old Testament the law required you to tithe. In the New Testament all you have belongs to God and you must decide what part you spend on yourself vis a vis giving to the cause of Christ. Liberty is not freedom from self-denial. Self-denial is where duty and volunteering meet. You are obligated to do it, but decide for yourself what it looks like.
Note the two operative words: helpful and enslave. Helpful consists in using things in harmony with the reason they are made. For example, God gave you food to nourish your body, but you are warned that you must not allow your appetite to enslave you. Sex is wonderful when done within the parameters for which it was created, but to become enslaved by it so that you fornicate or commit adultery leads you to perdition. You have the freedom to determine what self-denial looks like in your own life, but are warned that you will have to give an account to God for your conclusion.
Psalm 116-118 1 Corinthians 7:1-19 (New King James Version)
1 Corinthians 7:1-19
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