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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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Roadblocks

Posted by admin in February 6th, 2009
Published in faith

God is good…all the time. Think about it. He knows we’re frail and weak and that we have a tendency to do bad things. It’s in our nature. I know. I know. I am always writing about original sin, but it’s true. Our nature is to sin. But think about what God says in Scripture, 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation He will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” Some translations say “overcome it.” He will provide a way out so that we can overcome temptation. Wow.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away I was sorely tempted. But I’ve noticed in my walk with God that He is good to always put up Roadblocks to keep me from falling. “Hey little missy! Don’t go there!” He uses big signs saying, “DANGER! SIN AND BROKENNESS AHEAD!” Truly He has given us the power of the Holy Spirit (not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord).

In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He comes, He will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment…When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth” (16:7-15). So He has sent us the Holy Spirit, our Advocate, to comfort us, to teach us, to help us and to convict us of sin. Great idea that Holy Spirit. Good work God. So basically we are without excuse. Roadblocks keep us safe. The Holy Spirit keeps us safe.

So, long ago in a land far, far away I toyed with one of the big sins. Do you categorize them? I certainly do. Anyway, I was single, lonely, wanting to be in a relationship and quite honestly I wanted to be loved. Mr. Right didn’t come along and I waited and waited and waited. One day while being an amazing missionary in Russia I met a cab driver. Very attractive. Very funny. Interesting to be with. (At that time in Russia a lot of well-educated folks were doing jobs not in their field because the pay was better). Vladimir helped me when I needed to pick up people from the airport or if I needed to buy something too big to bring home by bus. He was wonderful. One day as we were riding up the elevator to my apartment old Vlad kissed me. And instead of stopping him, I let myself go. By the time we hit the apartment door things were out of control. I was arguing with the voices in my head telling me about sin, and grieving the Holy Spirit and ruining my life and not being a good witness to Vladimir; the VOICES WERE SCREAMING IN MY HEAD. So I told them to shut up and right there and then I decided to disobey God and sleep with Vladimir. Yes. I decided to have sex. The elevator trip wasn’t that long, I only lived on the seventh floor, but in mind time the conversation with God was going rather quickly and I had time to tell God how bad He’d been to me: I’ve waited, I have been faithful, I am 33 years old, I am human, You Yourself saw that it was not good for man to be alone, I’m tired of saying no… blah blah blah. I fumbled with my keys and finally got the apartment door opened. Vlad was right behind me and there sitting in my living room straight eye shot from the door was my old friend Barb. She was sitting in the sunlight, reading a book just as comfortable as could be. She was a little surprised to see me and Vlad. “Barb, what are you doing here?” She explained that her apartment was being exterminated and she needed somewhere to spend the night and decided to come to my place. She had a key because if either of us was out of town we’d check in on each other’s apartments, plants, security, mail, stuff like that. And seeing Barb sitting there in the sunlight reading and looking normal I realized that I had almost made the biggest mistake of my life. Passion, lust and sexual desire were overriding all I knew to be Truth. I had lost my mind and there in my little Moscow apartment God had it waiting for me in the image and presence of Barb. I turned to Vlad and told him goodbye. He asked me to meet him later or tomorrow or something and I just pushed him out the door. Barb never said a word. I went into my tiny little kitchen and was shaking horribly as I made myself a cup of tea. I sat at the small wooden kitchen table and realized how big of a mistake I almost made and then the Scripture came to me, “There is no temptation that comes to you that I don’t make a way out…” And He did. Roadblocks are there for all of us. Warnings. Ways Out. I never saw Vlad again and told him via phone that my faith had convicted me of wrong. That’s when Vlad’s salvation became more important to me than my own lust.

Believing this way is the very source of my frustration and quite honestly irritation with I’m-back-in-the-lime-light-again-Ted-Haggard. Have you seen any of his interviews lately? Nauseating. Seriously nauseating. When he high-fived Oprah and bear hugged her because she stated, “What you did wasn’t wrong Ted, it was the lying about it that was wrong.” Uh, no. No, that’s not right. In fact Oprah everything he did was wrong. His sexual unfaithfulness to his wife: wrong. His sexual act with/as a homosexual: wrong. His buying and using dope: wrong. His lying about it: also wrong. And Ted Haggard didn’t just fall or slip into sin! He didn’t wake up one morning and realize he had made a mistake. No. His stuff was a hard time coming. He had to work hard to get that far into this crap because all along the way there had been Roadblocks; all along the way the Holy Spirit had convicted him, warned him, spoken to him. All along the way the ways of escape were available to him. But he just kept ignoring the promptings; he just kept saying “hush” to the Holy Spirit. He had to blow down, dynamite and destroy some major Roadblocks before getting to the extreme, horrible state he’s in now (and I don’t mean Colorado). I have dealt with Christian leaders who have fallen into deep sin and every time—every-single-time—they busted through Roadblocks. They didn’t take the way out offered to them by the Holy Spirit. They quenched that Holy Spirit and grieved Him so many times that eventually, like Ted Haggard, they wake up in a pool of their own vomit. They wake up carrying the heavy sin of drug addiction, sexual immorality, financial wrongdoings and lies that hang on them like prison chains fettering their ability to even know the Truth anymore.

Ted Haggard is not a repentant man. He is laughing, smirking, joking about his sin. He is waving it like a banner and declaring the obscene, the morally offensive and the decadent as normal. When asked he sidesteps a clear declaration of what is sinful; he refuses to state clearly that homosexuality is a sin. He states that marriage between a man and woman that is monogamous is God’s ideal but not His command. He uses divorce to explain his point—divorce isn’t God’s ideal, but it is permitted. He says that his counselors have helped him understand the complexity of his sexuality. He is unique he says. Not someone you can put into a box. And his wife raves that he is and always has been a wonderful lover. How does this, any of this, bring glory to God? The guy is still majorly screwed up.

As I watched Ted Haggard I kept thinking about Zephaniah the prophet. He wrote, “Its prophets are reckless, faithless persons; its priests have profaned what is sacred, they have done violence to the law. The LORD within it is righteous; He does no wrong. Every morning He renders His judgment, each dawn without fail; but the unjust knows no shame.”

Ted Haggard showed no shame, no remorse and the more he talks the worse it gets. God have mercy on him and his family. Ted Haggard lost his way because he didn’t pay attention to the Roadblocks. Thank God for Roadblocks. I need them daily.

“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil. And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do this” (I Timothy 5:19-23). Aren’t you glad He is faithful? Isn’t it good news that He will do this? Peace.

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53. jamie said,
February 6th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

wow. so good. I too, caught glimpses of the interview and when he and Oprah did a high five–I thought, wait…uh…what did she just say? He didn’t even know what he was saying. It was unnerving. Not to mention disappointing. Someone who professes their faith on National television (the same faith I claim)made it look so slimy and lukewarm. I hated it. Anyway…miss you. Hope to see your sunshine-y face real soon!

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54. admin said,
February 6th, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Did you see him on Larry King Live? It was like watching a train wreck. Then he parades his poor wife out there…I think she is authentic, and trying to do the right thing. She kept saying on Oprah, “It’s choices. Right? Ted? You believe it is a matter of choice right?” And he wouldn’t answer her. I pray for her she is so lovely and so not at fault here. Roadblocks are a blessing!

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321. LeeAnn said,
January 11th, 2010 at 9:33 am

Terry, Bravo!! And thank you for your honesty! You the bomb, chicky! There is something so desperately lonely in being a single overseas; I think culture stress has a lot to do with it.

When I was in college I told my boyfriend that I would go to my honeymoon a virgin. I wasn’t even a Christian then! Four short weeks later I told the voices in my head to get out and I let myself follow my hormones.

I was serious when I said I wanted to wait, but I didn’t set up any kind of fence. I had no accountability, no boundaries, and no clue how quickly things can go when those feel good tingles take over your brain! Now I walk with several women who ask the hard questions and act as my roadblocks and I am forever grateful to God for their presence in my life.

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