Friday, December 08, 2006

BEHOLD, I AM VILE

Brothers and sisters, pray for me. How will I ever persevere until the very end? I am so wretched, so evil, so vile. My heart only longs for Jesus sometimes. I am torn by the things of this world, all its temptations, lusts, and pleasures. I am a horrible husband, and a horrible father. I read Psalm 15 and I wonder how I will ever attain. I am not violent to take the kingdom, but only the violent will take it. How can I strive when I don't desire to even strive? I am too weak to strive. I don't even desire to pick up my Bible. I am torn by the cares of this life, the necessities of life and the weariness of sin. How can I overcome the world when I feel overcome by it?

"Just rest in Jesus," some will say. But the warnings in Hebrews do not tell us to just "rest."

Yet, I cannot do this in my own power.

I am horrible at keeping my promises, and horrible at keeping my oaths.

I am more sinful today than I was at the beginning of my Christian life.

My prayer, "Lord, have mercy on me," is becoming repetitive.

Brothers and sisters, pray that the Holy Spirit would keep me. I have no strength left.

Behold, I am vile.

21 comments:

Josh Brisby said...

Also, how can I pray when I don't feel like praying? O how wicked I am. I can't even pray to the One Who gives me life and gave me the life of His dear Son!

Oh ten misericordia de mi, mi Padre.

Nathan said...

Josh...

The Bible declares that this is the place to be. Only when you are broken can you be fixed. Only when you are humbled can you be exalted. James has amazing words on this. Counting trials as joy? Are you kidding? No, they are joyful. This is a trial. So be joyful, because God is refining you. He considers you worthy of refinement, He cares to refine you, and that is wonderful. James says in 4:8 that when you "draw near He will draw near to you." That is wonderful! Josh, you are at the feet of a righteous God, broken and useless without Him. And that is just how God requires you. You say you are vile, and this is true. We all are. But when you break yourself before Almighty God every day, you grow in Him uncontrollably. Your sin is present before you in order that it might be washed. I cannot even begin to describe my life at Masters. I will call you and have coffee this month some time. I will talk to you for hours, and probably smoke much tobacco. God is so Amazing. Just let Him mold you. You know what He requires. So then, "Nike", right? Just do it! Trust Him.
Love you Josh.

Josh Brisby said...

Thank you my dear brother and student. Now, the student becomes the teacher. Thank you for your words of encouragement. Please continue to pray for me. I would love to have coffee with you. Call me anytime. It sounds like our Lord is teaching you much at Master's. Praise His holy Name!

Josh's Loving Wife, aka Angela Brisby said...

My Love, I'll remember to pray for you more, and encourage you in the faith as I should as a loving and supportive wife.

I would like to publicly beg to differ, however on your being a horrible father and husband. We all fail and have struggles. But you are working on your failures and struggling through your weak points in stead of just giving up. Only a loving husband and father would think to do this. I love you very much. I know you love me and the kids. I wanted to publicly attest to this.

RandyMinick said...

Just know you are not alone in these trials, temptations, and despairing thoughts. We all struggle, and in the struggle we can rest in the hope of Jesus. Yes, we must strive and perservere, but it is the actions of Christ alone which saves us, and not our own actions. Thank God for that every day, for you, as I, am deserving of nothing less than God's wrath pouring out on us, except for Jesus' atoning work. Remember, even Paul, as he matured in faith, continually saw his sins as greater and greater, offending a thrice holy God, and gloried in the FACT that only grace can overcome all...We love you guys, and miss you muchly! By the way, congratulations on the new life on the way..Randy

Mike said...

Wow. I haven't seen a more drama queen-ish, hysterical self-flagellation in years. Get over yourself, already.

Josh Brisby said...

Mike,

Welcome to The Reformed Oasis.

I visited your blog. I'm curious, which logical proposition did you use to say that I engaged in self-flagellation and that I need to get over myself?

I pray that God would open up your eyes to see that you are sick, miserable, wretched, vile, and blind as well, because Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Theophan said...

My prayer, "Lord, have mercy on me," is becoming repetitive.

Oh no, sounds like someone is becoming Eastern Orthodox.

Josh Brisby said...

Theophan,

Welcome to The Reformed Oasis.

No, my prayer is not the Eastern Orthodox Jesus Prayer, because I don't do the eastern mantra with the "breathing exercises," which of course have more in common with Hinduism than anything.

Rest assured, by God's grace I will remain in the faith once for all delivered unto the saints, and I will NOT become Eastern Orthodox. By God's grace, I need only Christ's righteousness. Only His righteousness can justify me before the holy God.

Theophan said...

Greetings Mr. Brisby,

I see that you believe that the Jesus Prayer is a mantra, can you please explain how your repeating "Jesus have mercy on me" is a not a mantra while the Jesus prayer is?

Why must you repeat it over and over? Does saying it over and over through out the day make it more real?

Can you not say it once in faith and that be enough? Why do you feel the need to repeat it over and over? Do you believe that you will get God's attention by repeating it over and over?

Simply stated, you do it for the exact same reason the Orthodox do.

I also fear you have equated quilt by association simply due to the fact that something may look Hindu that makes it unacceptable.

If you would like to believe that what you believe is the faith that was once and for all delievered to the saints, than by all means do so, but simply stating it doesn't make it so, history has proven other wise. Even protestant theologian Aliester McGrath has stated

The essential feature of the Reformation doctrines of justification is that a deliberate and systematic distinction is made between justification and regeneration. Although it must be emphasised that this distinction is purely notional, in that it is impossible to separate the two within the context of the ordo salutis, the essential point is that a notional distinction is made where none had been acknowledged before in the history of Christian doctrine. A fundamental discontinuity was introduced into western theological tradition where none had ever existed, or ever been contemplated, before. The Reformation understanding of the nature of justification—as opposed to its mode—must therefore be regarded as a geniune theological novum (Iustitia Dei: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification, the Beginnings to the Reformation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, 186-7;).

In other words, nobody prior to the Reformation held to the Reformers’ view of strictly imputed righteousness and forensic justification. The most central doctrine of the Reformers was brand new, a "theological novum," something unheard of in the previous fifteen centuries of Church history.

BJ said...

Josh,
It must be something in the water:)
I too have been very unpost-mil minded lately. I think it is the whole Christmas season that bums me out. It almost seems like the Church is apostate. See ya in a week!

Mike said...

Not all propositions are logical, and propositions only convey truth in a contingent way anyways.

Josh Brisby said...

Mike,

If not all propositions are logical, then either

(a) you didn't use a proposition when you accused me of self-flagellation and drama queenish stuff, and thus, you cannot place your whole dependence of truth on logical propositions, or

(b) you did use a proposition, one of which I am still curious to know which you used--but if you used a proposition, by your own admission, not all of them are logical anyways, and some are contingent (contingent upon what?), so...

It looks like whether you take the (a) route or the (b) route, your accusation of me fails.

BJ said...

Josh,

Check out my new blog.
bj77.wordpress.com

Paul Manata said...

Mike,

"Not all propositions are logical, and propositions only convey truth in a contingent way anyways."

Wow, so the proposition 'the sky cannot be both green and blue all over at the same time, only conveys a *contingent* truth?

How about the proposition, '2+2=5?' That is contingent?

No, they're not. Here's a contingent proposition: "Mike is a moron in the actual world."

Mike, there are possible worlds where you might be smart, this one isn't one of them. Sorry.

Now, don't get upset for me calling you a moron, wouldn't want you to get all "queenish" on us now. :-)

Theophan,

We sin repeatedly, hence we should repeatedly ask for the Lord's mercy.

I'm afraid you've equivocated on the EO use of 'repetition' and Josh's use of repetition.

Theophan said...

Greetings Paul,

You stated:

I'm afraid you've equivocated on the EO use of 'repetition' and Josh's use of repetition.

Could you please explain how my repitition is ungodly and Mr. Brisby's is God honoring seeing we both do it for the exact same reason? It seems that what we have here is a double standard.

Josh Brisby said...

Theophan,

A couple of things.

(1) You are talking about the EO "Jesus Prayer," in which you are constantly repetitive, "Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." But you repeat the same thing in increments over and over.

(2) My prayer was "Lord, have mercy on me." I do not accompany it with breathing exercises, as you do. The way the EO do the Jesus Prayer falls into the vain babblings that the pagans do. What is the purpose of the breathing exercises? They are dangerous. In fact, I have even heard some Orthodox people warn against them, or at least warn that they can be dangerous. Why? Because this has far more in common with Eastern meditation than biblical prayer.

(3) Your argument that you use from McGrath, in fact, the whole argument, is the genetic fallacy. In other words, even if I grant that justification by faith alone has only been around since the past 400 years, it still does not disprove the Protestant position. I have only been around for 29 years, but I am still real.

(4) The Eastern Orthodox religion can be refuted on its own terms, as Mike Butler has ably done, and as many Roman Catholics have even done. Perhaps I will do a post on this in the future.

(5) Are you my old friend Rob?

Josh Brisby said...

Theophan,

Let me be a little clearer as well. I do not repeat "Lord, have mercy on me," over and over the same time in five minutes, as the Orthodox do. That is what is dangerous and falls into vain babblings.

In other words, I do not use repetition to get God's attention. Besides, my repetition of the prayer came within different time frames. That is to say, you indeed did equivocate on my use of repetition, which merely happened because I could not think of anything else to say, alnd happened over a long period of time (weeks, even months), and your use of repetition, which is the same prayer, with breathing exercises, repeated over and over, in five minutes or so.

Paul Manata said...

Theophan,

Let's move a bit slower.

I never used the word "ungodly" (yet :-)), right now I'm just pointing out that Josh didn't mean 'repetition' the way you meant 'repetition.'

Josh isn't doing what you're doing.

See, in one sense I "repeatedly" back my car out of the driveway (to go to work.) But, this is not the same "repetition" that a man who "repeatedly" backs his car out of his driveway, then pulls forward, then backwards, then forward, etc., etc., etc., does.

If you recognize a difference between these two forms of repetition, then you'll see my point that calling Josh's repetative prayer the same as an EO's repetative prayer is an equivocation.

Do you grant this point? If so, has your question not even got of the gorund yet?

Anonymous said...

I think what is really needed is the Buddhist practice of Mindfullness: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfullness

Max said...

Dont you see that the catholic religion makes you feel shame.

You will die an unfulfilled life because catholicism has taught you to feel shameful about yourself.

Basically, god to you is a money lender. he has given you life, and you must repay him for it until you die. that seems like a pretty bad god if you think about it.

yet god wants you to pray for him?

MIND CONTROL.

who cares that i just said this, it wont change anything in your brainwashed brain.