As you know if you read “Your Attention Please,” I recently “put my back out” as they say. What this really means is that without an externally caused injury, a person’s back has moved out of normal. Severity can range from a swollen disc (the material between the bones of the spine) to a herniated or burst disc. In my case, I fell right in the middle. I “slipped a disc,” which means that material moved (slipped) from its proper place between the bones. This condition is usually accompanied by some degree of swelling. Any of the mentioned conditions result in the same thing but in varying degrees… pinched nerves.
In the aforementioned post, I point to “the Pain” I was in, pain so severe I couldn’t move much less stand or walk, but let me be more specific. Yes, there was pain in my back that seemed to stab at me with the slightest movement and cripple me if I tried to stand. But I want to talk to you about the rest of the pain and lack thereof. This time, unlike the previous “3-day” versions of the issue, the pain went from my back, through my hip, down my leg, and into my foot. In fact, eight months ago, I had my hip X-rayed to look for the cause of the pain I had been feeling in it for the three months prior. The X-ray showed no issues, so I moved on. However, between then and until a couple weeks prior to my disc slipping, the pain in my hip continued. In the two weeks prior, it had begun to increase to the point that only days before my back went out I was telling my family I thought I better return to the doctor to look further.
As stated, the pain didn’t end there. My entire leg ached in pain and my foot had gone numb. As I recovered, I would find myself constantly moving my leg looking for a position where it didn’t hurt so much. Also, as I recovered, feeling gradually returned to my foot. As it did it took varying forms. At first my big toe felt like it was in a constant cramp and my entire foot was freezing cold. I would put on socks, insulated slippers, and a blanket to try and get it warm. Then, a scar I had that went from my big toe into my foot began to feel like it was getting jabbed with needles. Next, my second toe began to hurt. Now, as has been the situation for days, the entire top of my foot feels like it has “road rash.” For those who don’t know, this term refers to the injury received when a motorcycle rider crashes and skids down the road. Wherever their skin makes contact with road, it is laid bare. Anyone who has tripped and fallen scraping their knee or elbow has likely had a taste of the feeling. It’s as if sandpaper had been taken to my foot. The effect is a constant burn and a thousand needles on the attack. The slightest touch, even just the kiss of the air, amplifies the feeling.
Today, my leg no longer aches and my hip no longer feels pain. My foot is as I just described; it will take the longest to recover. But “here’s the rub” as they say. My hip never hurt, my leg never ached, and my foot does not have road rash. My disc slipped. My disc slipped and, in so doing, pinched the sciatic nerves in my back. This nerve cluster includes the nerves to the hip, the leg, and the foot. Now pinched, these nerves lie to the brain! They say, “Your hip is injured and hurts,” and “Your leg is damaged and aches!” They say at first, “Your foot has been cut off because I cannot feel it!” Then they say, “Your foot is still here but it is really cold!” Finally, they say, “Your foot has been really skinned up; don’t touch it!” So, I limp to take pressure off the hip. I move my leg to try and reduce the ache. I bundle my foot to attempt to get it warm. The Truth Is, I can move my leg all day long and it won’t help. I can insulate myself until I melt, my foot won’t know the difference. The Truth Is… they are not injured. No matter how convincing the lie the sciatic nerve tells my brain, they are not damaged. As real as the pain feels, the only problem is in my back. As a matter of a fact, acting in belief of what the sciatic nerve has to say, attempting to ease these pains, can actually increase the injury where it actually exists… my back.
Lying here on the floor, moving my foot around, trying to ease the pain, I realize… I’m believing a lie! No matter how real the pain in my foot seems, it’s a lie! My foot is fine. I also realize, in true Boyle fashion, there is a lesson in this experience. Yes, another one. As Boyle points out and we talk about in “The Auto-Biography of God,” the devil effectively whispered lies to Adam. He convinced him a Perfect World wasn’t perfect. Adam accepted the devil’s lie that God wasn’t 100% Truthful. Adam then acted in response to the lies and, in so doing, made the devil’s lie of an imperfect world… true. As we point out in the post, since the approach was so successful, why would the devil ever abandon it? Over the centuries of the devil’s lies and Adam’s descendants acceptance of them, the world has very little perfection left. But we must remember that God knew this would be so. That is why the Bible talks extensively about, “in the world, not of the world.”
“If you were of the world, it would love you as its own. Instead, the world hates you, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” John 15:19
“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” John 17:14
“They are of the world. That is why they speak from the world’s perspective, and the world listens to them.” 1 John 4:5
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15
“Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever chooses to be a friend of the world renders himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4
“For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:16
To name a few!
We talk in many posts on this site about the common place this has taken in today’s world. How the devil has redefined our vocabulary and even went as far as to redefine God’s. Because Christians have accepted this, the world has become a hazardous place to travel for the True Believer. We are attacked if we dare say, “Your foot is fine, that’s a lie. Your back is injured.” Meaning, if we say, “God says sin is sin and only He defines it,” then look out. If we say, “God defines Love, not man, and man has it wrong”… duck! If we say, “God says Love is not tolerance of sin but to ‘keep His commandments’”… here comes the rail with an “unbeliever” on one end and a Modern Christian on the other. Under this kind of pressure, even the most hardy Christian/Believer is bound to mess up eventually.
I am told that in a premeditated “litmus” attack by the secular world, which came in the form of a talk show, this is what Lauren Daigle faced recently. You’ve seen these before, “It’s OK to claim to be a ‘Christian’ as long as you denounce the parts we don’t like.” As a lover of music, I really enjoyed the entertainment of The Eagles, Journey, Phil (no not Dr.) and others. Looking to get more from my music, I began to get my entertainment from well-known Christian singers. Then, about a year ago and quite by accident, I came across Lauren. After hearing her Worship directly to God through song and allowing me to share the experience, I’ve listened to no one else. As great as the other Christian singers I had been listening to were, they were not The Eagles, and honestly, neither was Lauren. But all good music is good because of the feelings it evokes in its listeners, and Lauren’s touched something different than Journey ever could or Christian entertainment ever would… Worship. Not in her Christmas album or when she wandered into entertaining or singing to me, but when she sang directly to God. If you could point to a day since where Lauren was not at least playing in the background, I would be shocked.
I have told others several times in the last year of my wonder at the amazing wisdom not just in the lyrics but in the worshipful presentation that Lauren possessed. I truly believe that anyone, much less one so young, could only have that kind of understanding by a direct Spiritual connection with God. Do I worry when I hear a new lyric like “I put it on vinyl?” No… I pray! I pray because it seems every other word in her Worship seems written by God Himself. The obvious departure points to the need to pray for this Warrior of Worship as she battles “in the world.” Her songs and her presentation leave me no doubt that she knows the answer to all sin is the same. As we describe in “We Are Moving,” “We ignore the fact that God says a sin is a sin once it occurs in our mind. We hide behind platitudes like ‘hate the sin not the sinner,’ forgetting that the flip side of that coin is that it is not love to accept the sin at the expense of the sinner (Revelations 3:19, Ezekiel 3:17-21).”
I know that Lauren has studied Galatians* and maybe identifies with Paul when he said: “Am I now seeking the approval of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” I pray that she will “Remember” what Paul said next: “For I certify to you, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not devised by man. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” With this Fact in mind we read 1 Corinthians* where Paul declares a list of sins and we know that it is not for us to question whether out of Hate or Man’s Definition of Love. Looking back at Galatians, we see that even Cephas was not beyond being called out when he caved to public pressure: “When I saw that they were not walking in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, ‘If you, who are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?’” Whether pressure comes from the world of the Secular, the Libertine, or the “Modern Christian,” God defines Love and sin, and the Believer’s role in relation to either. (Read: “Pursuit Is”) I pray for God to remind her that as long as she does not become “of the World,” “who can harm her?”
I am also told that a lot of stones are flying! Those thrown by the Secular and Libertine do not concern me; they are thrown in “ignorance” (2 Corinthians 4:3,4 & 2 Peter 3:16). It’s those who claim Christianity and grab a stone for her failure to properly condemn. It’s those who claim Christianity slinging those stones (in “Love”) for her not outright accepting the lie “of the world” as they have. In a world where the average Christian resembles Captain Barbosa rather than Christ in his or her views of the Bible (“…more like guidelines than actual rules”), I know of no believer, including myself, who has not stumbled under much less pressure than Lauren faces every day. In fact, most I know still have a ways to go to show the presence of God that I see and feel in Lauren. So, my hands will not grab a stone, they will grab each other. From that grasp I will pray, quite selfishly, that this source of worship is not lost to us! I will Pray, “this girl ain’t going anywhere!” I will also ask that God remind her of what I know she’s read many times: through her Faith, with Christ, she has already overcome the world.
As for those Christians of the “Self-Righteous,” read “R.U. a Sanctuary?” A couple of things: First, in our examples from Galatians and Corinthians and elsewhere, no one sin is set out as any Less or any More a sin than the others. It says, “…those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Second, when was the last time you stood up in visible public protest against someone for not proclaiming their stance on the other 8 sins listed in Corinthians or the other 15 pointed to in Galatians? Even more, when was the last time you stood up to a family member or “Friend” you “Love” and called out their “Greed” or “Verbal Abuse,” much less a biggy like “Adultery”? I know I’ve sat too quiet too often. I have also had to face the very question Lauren did with someone I Love, yes Love present tense, and had to tell her that her entrance into the Kingdom was more important than her earthly affection for me.
And then for those who would like to separate a particular sin and excuse it as particular to a particular group of people and not applicable outside of the Old Testament, there’s Jude 1, a New Testament declaration, about the same:
“5 I want to remind you that after Jesus had delivered His people out of the land of Egypt, He destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own domain, but abandoned their proper dwelling, He keeps under darkness, in eternal chains for judgment on that great day. 7 In like manner, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, who indulged in sexual immorality and pursued strange flesh, are on display as an example of those who sustain the punishment of eternal fire…14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, also prophesied about them: “Behold, the Lord is coming with myriads of His holy ones 15 to execute judgment on everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of every ungodly act of wickedness and every harsh word spoken against Him by ungodly sinners.”
For those of the “Modern Christian,” the “Self-Righteous,” myself and Lauren, I pray God aids us in “Losing our Religion” as we learn and draw closer to His Truth.
I don’t know what the future holds for Lauren, but for this I am truly grateful! Your Worship has aided in my growth and my survival. I know, especially in this world, it can “Feel Real” that it is more Loving to accept our friends and family as they are. It can “Feel Real” that we are not to “judge.” But if we Truly Love those people, then we will hold those “Feelings” up against Scripture to see if our acceptance is not actually Love but “a stumbling block” to their Salvation. If it is, then these “Feelings” are actually only “Lies That Feel… Real.”
I will continue to pray for your protection “in the world,” that you never become “of the world,” that you will always be able to identify the symptoms, not get tricked into walking with a limp, and stay attentive to the source. Most importantly I pray… that you “Remember” The Cure!
“If you have died with Christ to the spiritual forces of the world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its regulations: ‘Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!’? These will all perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings.” Colossians 2:20-22
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome, because everyone born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith.” 1 John 5:3,4
“…do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world?” 1 Corinthians 6:2
“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14
“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!” John 16:33
*Galatians 1:10-12, Galatians 2:14, Galatians 5:19, 1Corinthians 6:9-11
© 12/7/2018 Scott A Caughel