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::Devotional:: ‘Slow Fade’

July 13, 2009

ashamed

During my time in youth ministry, I was fortunate to attend a host of concerts from a variety of Christian groups and one that has always touched my heart is Casting Crowns.  During one particular concert several years ago, Mark Hall (lead singer of Casting Crowns and youth pastor at Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough GA) shared a few insights into Psalm 1 that were instantly rooted in my heart.  Today I would like to share Mark’s insights with you and a few of my own thoughts as well.

 

 

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers. Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

What a picture this passage paints.  To be a fruitful Christian who is rooted deep in the word of God.  Vibrant and alive!  But this verse also paints another picture, one that is not so pretty and all to often common to many Christians, myself included.  Mark pointed out that the beginning of the verse shows a picture of a man slowly shutting down and becoming consumed in his sins.  Mark shared true insight that night at the concert I attended and I have never forgotten it.  I have made notes in my Bible, it is marked on my heart, and I have seen it happen in my own life.  I hope you will find it true and useful in your walk with Jesus as well.

A man who walks in the counsel of the wicked…

A man who walks in the counsel of the wicked is a man who continually exposes himself to the power of sinful suggestions.  He seeks counsel in wicked things.  Meaning, he spends time taking in things that are sinful; through what he watches, what he listens to, and even where he goes on the Internet.  I would add that this man is flirting with temptation, especially the temptation to let go of his time with God in order to take time to do something else.

A man who stands in the way of sinners…

A man who stands in the way of sinners is a man who is now locked in to one or more of the wicked things he has spent time with before.  He is a Christian who is not easily identified among a crowd  of those who do not know God.  Mark said that his “standing in the way of sinners” was related to people who did not know God and were turned away from Him because of the confusions of this mans life.  I would add that he is a man who stands like sinners, and is beginning to retreat into the darkness with his sins rather than living in the light and confessing them.  He is a man who is yielding to his sinful nature.  His guilt is beginning to outweigh his knowledge of the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God according to the Bible.

A man who sits in the seat of mockers…

A man who sits in the seat of mockers is a man who has completely shut down.  He has crumbled under the weight of his sins.  He is a man who will run from God to hide his sins rather than run to God to expose them.  He is no longer motivated to yield to the Holy Spirit because he has surrendered to the power of sin.  The temptation is now over and the terminal has set in.  His mockery in the face of God is his desire to run and hide when God has promised to forgive those who will run to him and confess.

People never crumble in a day, it’s a slow fade

The process this man went through of shutting down to sin did not happen over night.  He was not a man who went to bed one night devoted to the Lord and woke up the next morning addicted to pornography.  The process is slow a series of small compromises over and over.  Satan has gone to battle with God and he is not afraid to war with us.  It is so easy to rationalize each compromise along the way until we arrive at the bottom of a dark place that we never ever thought we would get to.  I would add that not only is it compromising and deciding to give in to sin but it is also compromising and deciding to ignore the Lord and His word.  It is a slow fade, always a slow fade.

The promise of God’s Word

Mark’s comments on this passage were right on in my opinion.  I have seen the truth of this passage play out in my own life several times.  Usually my compromises begin with not guarding my time with God.  My schedule gets full and my diligence to spend time with God each day begins to falter.  Very quickly it goes downhill from there until I find myself weighted down with guilt and sitting in the dark.  Over the years though I have learned that in those moments of guilt and darkness, God still offers his hand out to me.  More than once I have pulled out my Bible and turned to God’s promise of forgiveness, 1 John 1:9, and read it over and over until I came to the point of confessing my sins and asking for God’s forgiveness.

If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9 NIV

God has always been faithful to me and honored his promise.  If you have found yourself at the end of a long road of small compromises; if you have crumbled after a slow fade – know that God is faithful to forgive you as you confess your sins to him.  Seek God in his Word and allow him to rebuild all that has crumbled within you.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

It was God’s revelation of the truth in Psalm 1 that led Casting Crowns to record ‘Slow Fade’.  You can check out their official video on  youtube.com

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