EVERY YOUNG MAN’S BATTLE: STRATEGIES FOR VICTORY IN THE REAL WORLD OF SEXUAL TEMPTATION
STEPHEN ARTERBURN, FRED STOEKER AND MIKE YORKEY

What a friend taught me:

I’d heard nothing about this practice before then. My parents never talked about sex, and my two older brothers never told me about it either. I’d never had an orgasm and had no idea what one was, but my buddy seemed to know everything. I remember the night very well.

He said all I had to do was reach inside my pants and rub my penis up and down. If I kept doing that, it would feel even better and better, and then some stuff would come out, and when that happen, it would feel really good. But first I had to get my penis hard to get things started.

When you learned to masturbate, you didn’t learn to commit the unpardonable sin.

No matter how spiritually strong you start out, a life of pornography, masturbation, pre-marital foreplay, and intercourse will weaken you and leave you distant from God.

Is masturbation a sin?
If it is, why can’t I stop it?
If it isn’t, why do I feel so guilty?

Let’s get right to it, first things first. Masturbation isn’t address in the Bible, so there’s no direct, definite scripture that says the practice is right or wrong. In other words, the issue of masturbation won’t be as cut and dried as say, adultery. But the fact that adultery is a sin helps us out a great deal in defining almost all marital masturbation as sin. Jesus said:

I tell you that anyone who looks at woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

If Jesus defines simply looking lustfully at a woman as adultery for the married man, certainly looking at a woman and masturbating is adultery. But what about you single guys? While the Bible is unclear about masturbation, this same scripture makes a similarly strong case against lustful looks in single men. If looking lustfully at a woman is the same as going to bed with her for married guys, looking lustfully at a woman is the same as going to bed with her for single guys. We don’t see much difference.

Some make a case that isolated instances of masturbation to relieve sexual tension are okay, if you’re married and focusing on your wife, not some supermodel, during periods of separation or illness.

Looking at it from another direction, is masturbation the only way to release sexual tension? There may be purer ways. We need to discuss all these questions.

I feel most comfortable simply calling masturbation a “sin” because its effects are exactly like the effects of any other sin in a man’s life. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it likely is a duck:

*Habitual masturbation consistently creates a distance from God.

*Jesus said that lusting after women in your heart is the same as doing it. Since most masturbation involves a lustful fantasy or pornography, we’re certain that nearly all circumstances violate Scripture.

*The pornography and fantasy that surround masturbation change the way we view women. How can that be right?

*Habitual masturbation is hard to stop. If you don’t believe it, wait till you get married and try to quit masturbating.

*Masturbation is progressive. You’re more likely to masturbate the day after you masturbate than you’re likely to do it the day after you didn’t. In other words, the pleasurable chemical reactions draw you to repeat the practice more and more. This is bondage, and God hates bondage in His sons.

Masturbation is not rare, and most have tried it at some point. They just don’t admit it or talk about it.

When they (men) go without masturbating for a month, they feel so clean and good about themselves.

“Pond the sin and shame aspect too hard, and his insecurity problems get only stronger.”

Self-condemnation only sets the cycle of masturbation into a downward spiral, causing deeper embarrassment and humiliation.

The desire to become close to somebody can also drive you quickly into the arms of women or one-sided friendships. Rather than turn to God, you truly can begin looking for love in all the wrong places, hoping for something, anything, to take that place of that loss.

For these guys, masturbation makes them feel good and takes away the loneliness–for a moment.

If you masturbate to fix your feeling of insecurity and isolation, then the masturbation just adds to your loneliness because you’re not receiving true intimacy when you do the act.

This is why many young men fighting for sexual purity seek support in a men’s Bible study group or a smaller accountability group with one or two other men. Having a safe place to discuss this tough issue often results in an honest exchange, although getting there can be awkward. (Another drawback of being a male is that we don’t verbalize our feelings very well.)

This should be a male friend, perhaps someone older and well respected in the church, a person who can encourage you in the heat of the battle.

As your intimacy with God grows , you’ll need less of that false intimacy. You’ll find Him to be your best accountability partner.

What helps bring true intimacy with God quickly? Worship. We were created to worship. Worship and praise brings intimacy with the Lord and ushers us quickly into His presence.

We can change our views and legalize them, therefore removing the shame.  But they’ll still ensnare us in addictive, binding cycles that isolate us in despair.

Men are sexual beings. Women are emotional beings.

For most young men, it’s a major victory to come to the point of asking for help. HAVE YOU DONE THAT YET?

Psalm 25:21

“Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait on you Lord.”

Real Christian maturity shows up in the tiniest bits of your actions. That’s true. God loves you so much. He cares about you a lot. He likes thinking about the every single detail of your life.

If you mess up, stumble and fall, just stand on your ground and draw near to Him. As long as you repent truly and with your heart desiring to be corrected, God would still forgive you. So what should be our response to God’s everlasting love and forgiveness? Let us uphold our integrity and uprightness. Let us desire for Christian maturity. Be Christlike.

Christian maturity doesn’t come in an instant. It is a process. It shows up in the tiniest bits of our actions. At first, people might not notice your maturity or Christian growth. They might still see your old self. They might magnify it in your face. That situation could possibly weigh you down. But then, let integrity and uprightness preserve you. God sees every effort you do. As the old saying states, “Do your best and God will do the rest.” Do your part in your Christian maturity. God will not let you do all the work. He is always helping you through. Do it and strive harder all for Christ. Then you’ll see the end result: Christlikeness.

It doesn’t matter if people might not see it. What matters is, God sees everything about you. Be encouraged by the fact that He sees every single effort you do, small actions that contribute to your maturity. Just remember, do not waver in doing right things. Always be at your best. Only for Christ! God enjoys you. He enjoys every good thing you do. Quit pleasing people. Start pleasing God.

This should be your prayer:

“Lord, I desire to become the reason of your smile.”

Hindi naman sa pinagtatanggol natin ang mga leaders natin about their flaws or short-comings, but we still have to choose to honor them kahit na hindi sila nakatingin.  Some may say,

“Huu… Pinagtatanggol mo lang siya kasi leader mo siya.”

Well, we can consider that as a compliment. Totoo naman eh. That’s the point. Dapat natin ipagtanggol ang ating leader sa ibang tao na hindi naman siya ganoon kakilala. Hindi naman magandang tingnan na kung sino pa ang members, sila pa ang nangunguna na i-degrade ang personality ng kanilang leader. Dapat nga tayo ang pangunahing uplifters or encouragers ng ating leader.

Naisin ng bawat Kristiyano na makitang nakangiti ang Lord dahil sa ating buhay (Numbers 6:25). Pero mainam din kung nanaisin natin na makitang masaya ang ating mga leaders dahil follower or member nila tayo. Extreme member, kumbaga.

Remember this, it is very easy to honor our leaders in front of them. It is very easy to say good things about them externally or verbally. Yet, we have the greatest opportunity to honor them kapag hindi nila alam at hindi sila nakatingin. Our response towards them basically depends upon the things we say about them internally or within ourselves.

Some reasons why we do not follow and honor our leaders:

1. “Hindi siya karapat-dapat igalang. Hindi siya good example bilang leader.”

2. “Act upon your words. You expect us to do right things, pero ikaw you go on your own way. How on earth are we going to follow you, eh, we cannot see you doing those stuff?

3. “That’s against my will. I won’t obey. All I know is you’re wrong and I’m right.”

4. “Grabe siyang magsalita. Nasaktan ako. I won’t obey ’cause I’m hurt. I’m offended.”

5. “Blood is thicker than water nga. Eh mas inuuna pa niya pamilya niya kesa sa mga tupa niya. Kung ganoon naman pala, sila na lang umatend sa church na yan.”

6. “May sariling gawain din naman ako na dapat asikasuhin. They shouldn’t expect us to always obey. It’s logical to attend to your needs first before attending to anyone or anything else.”

7. “He doesn’t even appreciate me. Napakahirap naman yata magpatuloy kung sa kabila ng ginagawa mo, eh, you’re left unappreciated. Madalas ka pang mapagalitan.”

8. “Lagi na lang tayo ang nauunang kumilos. Bakit hindi naman siya ang mag-initiate para masabing leader talaga siya.”

Ilan lang iyan sa mga bagay na tumatakbo sa utak natin when we do not want to honor our leaders. We are all guilty. We are are part of the problem. That’s why we have to take a stand and make a move. Participate in the word CHANGE. Remember this, para kanio ba ang ginagawa natin na paglilingkod? Hindi ba para sa Lord?

This is what I believe, hindi naman siguro pahihintulutan ng Lord na malagay sa posisyon ang ating mga leaders kung wala Siyang magandang plano. Hindi naman siguro sila magtatagal diyan if we will learn nothing from them as our leaders. And besides, hindi ba natin sila pwedeng i-consider, na gaya natin, nasa growing stage parin? We are not there yet? Everyone of us, even our leaders. Lahat tayo ay nasa maturing or growing stage parin. Whether spiritual, emotional, intellectual or physical maturity pa yan. We are not there yet.

Lahat tayo ay marami pang dapat matutunan sa buhay. And it’s a good thing na matutunan natin ang mga bagay na iyon with them help of one another, intentional man o hindi.

Our labor shall never be in vain, the Lord has promised (1 Corinthians 15:58). Kaya it is our obligation or duty to choose to honor them NO MATTER WHAT.

“Don’t do that.”

“But…”

“No.”

“Okay. I will obey. (I will choose to honor you)”

After a moment,

Remember the thing I said earlier? Forget about that. Just do your thing.”

“Thank you.”

See, that is how God works in you by choosing to honor your leaders.

We are part of the church. Wala tayong ibang pwedeng gawin but to support the church and its leadership and do something to contribute in the advancement of God’s kingdom.

We are part of the church and its leadership. We are to build it up and not to tear it down. We are not to bring division among the church members. Instead, let us choose to unite the church with one love coming from Christ.

Bear with one another, as the Lord commanded us (Ephesians 4:2). There is no lesser thing we can do but to adjust with the flaws and short-comings of one another. In the end, tayo-tayo lang din naman ang magkakasama sa langit. Tiyaga-tiyaga lang. The Lord sees us. God has His attention upon us. We, too, should focus our attention upon Jesus (Hebrews 12:2-3).

“What do “teenage-lovestory-themed” telenovelas teach televiewers, especially teenagers?”

First thing, hindi ako si Antonietta from Bubble Gang.  Ako si Joshua Canlas and nobody’s Joshua Canlas, ako lang.  Second thing, I have my own style. You won’t hear me na gumagamit ng mga katagang, “Nangyayari bay an sa totoong buhay, Amnesia?” at “Pinapaniwala niyo ang mga televiewers na…” Tsaka masyadong mataray si Antonietta. May puso parin naman ako.

Let’s go down to the business. In this article, we shall list down some of the “perceived” negative things teenagers can learn from “teenage-lovestory-themed” telenovelas. I just coined that term. Let us begin listing down:

1. Suwayin ang mga magulang ng dahil sa infatuation or immature love.

“Ma, nagmamahalan kami. Hindi ko gusting masaktan ka, pero kung hindi mo siya matanggap, wala akong ibang magagawa kundi ang suwayin ka.”

2. Matutong maglayas at subukang magpaka-independent ng dahil din sa immature love na iyon.

“Patawarin mo ako, Pa. Pero kung hindi mo kayang tanggapin ang relasyon nami, I guess I have no other option but to leave this family.”

“Kahit ano’ng trabaho gagawin ko kumita lang.”

3. Commonly, “kiss-and-tell” ang mga teenage-lovers. Pero iba ang tinuturo ng telenovelas, “TELL-AND-KISS.” How?

“Mahal kita. Sana mahal mo rin ako.”

“Oo, mahal din kita.”

Next scene:

Dahan-dahang maglalapit ang mga mukha, and guess what, magdidikit ang mga labi.

MOMENT NAMIN TOH!!! Kissing-kissing…

4. Telenovelas introduce the idea of “Survival of the Flirtest” (and maybe also the fittest).

Ayoko na mag-quote ng mga lines na ginagamit sa mga telenovelas. The Borrowed Wife, The Temptation of Wife, The Legal Wife, My Neighbor’s Wife (basta lahat ng may WIFE, kahit hindi teen-themed you mga iyan, same effect lang din).  May isa pa, My Husband’s Lover.

😛

Basically, the objective is to win over the wife or the husband of the other person. Agawan, kabitan, pasikatan, pagandahan, paseksihan, pamachuhan. Iyun na nga yun. Ano? Explain ko pa? Wag na.

5. Fornication (k.dot)

6. Bestfriend of the bida is always left behind, often neglected.  Friendzoned lagi, kumbaga.  Oo nga, friendzoned. Hanggang doon lang! Ano? Kumbinsido ka na?

“May tatanggap pa kaya sakin maliban sa kanya?  Kung magkakahiwalay kami, mag-isa na lang ulit ako.”

“Hindi ka naman talaga nag-iisa eh. Makakahanap ka parin ng lalake (o babae) na kaya kang tanggapin at handa kang mahalin.”

“Tanggapin, oo. Pero ang mahalin, Malabo yata yun.”

“Malay mo nandyan lang yung taong nakatakda pa sa’yo. Ayaw mo lang bigyan ng pagkakataon.”

“Siguro nga… Ahh sige, mauna na ko.”

-_-

(ano’ng ka-kornihan toh?)

7. Initially, friendzoned si bestfriend. In the end, friendzoned pa rin.  

Mukhang ayaw talaga ng mga writers na magkatuluyan si bestfriend at si bida ah.  Si bida, lagi napupunta sa bagong kakilala lang at never kay bestfriend na matagal ng kakilala. Ano ba yan?  (so ano ba talagang pinaglalaban ko?)

8.  Betrayal or pagtataksil. Pagkasira ng friendship.

“Akala ko ba bestfriend tayo? Hindi ko alam na pati pala sa boyfriend ko, gusto mong makihati.”

“Pare naman, pati ba naman girlfriend ko? Hindi ka pa ba masaya sa meron ka?”

9. Pagpapaka-martir. I shall call this “Kagome-Syndrome.”

“Alam kong hindi ako ang gusto mo. Tanggap ko yun. Ang mahalaga sakin ay Makita kang nakangiti. Yung lagi kang masaya. Kaya mananatili lang ako sa tabi mo.  Hindi ko alam kung ano pa ang kaya kong ibigay sa’yo, pero handa ako.”

-Kagome to InuYasha

Well, I quoted that from an anime scene. Pero maraming telenovelas ang gumagamit ng ganyang script.

Syado eksena ni Kagome, nabasted na nga, na-friendzoned pa.  At hanep, hindi pa nakuntento, trip pang magpaka-martir.  Pakibatukan nga yung kaibigan mong may ganitong sakit, “Kagome-Syndrome.”

Iyan ang ilang sa mga medyo negative things na maaaring matutunan ng mga teenagers sa “teenage-lovestory-themed” telenovelas.  Ayoko na magpakahaba pa ng aking speech. Basta, let us be aware na lang.  It’s okay to be entertained by watching those telenovelas.  Pero yung sobra kang maapektuhan at isabuhay na yung mga napapanood mo, na-a-ah, that’s totally wrong.  Mali. Wrong. Hindi mainam. Not good.

Napaka-antagonistic ko naman kung puro sa negative things ako naka-focus. Next time, we shall list down some of the things we, teenagers, can learn from those, as I coined, “teenage-lovestory-themed” telenovelas.

I would like to thank my supporters out of nowhere.  Kung sinuman kayo at nasan man kayo, just stay there. I mean, keep on supporting me.

For any possible responses, ode magkoment kayo o kaya i-message niyo ko. Tss…

-_-

The Youth Summit: Breakthrough Generation
San Juan Arena
December 27-28,2007

Day 1

Speaker: Rev. Joey Crisostomo
Title: Understanding the Fear of the Lord
Text: Deuteronomy 10:12, Joshua 24:14, 1 Peter 2:17

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God,                                                                                                   to walk in obedience to him,  to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

I. Kinds of Fear of God

1. Superstition
– fruit of ignorance
2. Servile
– appreciation of punishment
3. Health
– which has its spring in love and prompts to come act to affect God

II. Fear of the Lord
– a godly emotion, feeling of reverence, of awe and of respect toward the Almighty

1. Being afraid of displeasing God
– Job 1:5, Genesis 39:9

When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.

2. Reverential awe of God

3. Deep and healthy respect for His character and holiness
– Fear of the Lord enjoined
> What does the Lord your God require you to fear about the Lord?
– Fear of the Lord is needed
> in good government, 2 Samuel 23:3
> in administration of justice, 2 Chronicles 19:6-10
> in serving God, Psalm 2:11
> in worshiping God, Psalm 89:7
> in living circumspectly, 2 Corinthians 7:1

III. The Fear of the Lord Described

1. It is an awesome reverence of His presence
– Exodus 34:8
2. It is clean
– Psalm 19:9
3. It is a hatred of evil
– Proverbs 8:13
4. It is wisdom
– Psalm 110:10
5. It is obedience at any cost to what God wants
– Genesis 22:12
6. It is a dedicated respect for the things of God
– Nehemiah 1:4

IV. The Fear of the Lord Obtained

1. Confess our lack of the fear of the Lord
2. Make a study of the fear of the Lord from the Word of God
–  Deuteronomy 4:10a
3. Make it a choice with our will
– Proverbs 1:29
4. Cry out to God to give us fear of the Lord
– Psalm 86:11
5. Have a proper and fresh understanding of God’s holiness
– 2 Kings 8:5
6. Know its positive results. It brings blessings, answered prayers, pleasure to God, etch.
7. Remember that it is produced in the soul by the Holy Spirit
– Acts 2:43

sexual-purity1Why do we always act surprise when people come up and confess they are struggling for their sexual purity or they are desperately fighting for it?  Why do we always pretend like nothing is wrong?  Why do we always close our ears, even our hearts, to their pain and struggles?  Why do we always act like we don’t even care and just easily say to them that some issues are more important compared to theirs?  Something like, “Just learn to deal with it!” or “You’ll get over it!”  I mean, really, why?  Why be so conservative?  Why be so quiet?  “Ssshh!  Let’s not talk about that in public.”  “Ssshh!  Not for now, you won’t even understand.”  Why do we always ignore them when it is very obvious they are struggling to achieve purity?  SEXUAL PURITY!

I wrote in one of my post that we, humans, have this “The Art of Compromising.”  One of them is about our sexuality.

It goes like this,

”  2. SEX – “You can joke about it, but you can never have a serious talk about it.”
“What? We’re talking about sex? Bleep! Quiet. Everyone’s gonna hear you.” We, human beings have this code called,“Sexual Code of Silence.” One book says that this code states that, “it’s okay to joke about sex or even lie about it, but other than that, it’s your solemn duty (as a male) to keep silent whenever a serious discussion about sex takes place.”  Sometimes, people will evaluate a film, saying, “There’s no sex. Just some crude jokes, and that’s no big deal.” On the contrary, Ephesians 5:4 says crude joking is “out of place.” That’s the culture we must change. The reality is, we, guys are sexual beings. We are created with it. It’s a part of us. We deserve to know what’s right and true about our sexuality so we can have the greatest chance to have fantastic sexual relationships with the person we marry. Sex is a precious and enjoyable gift from God inside marriage. So, having crude jokes about sex is humiliating or dishonoring the Maker of sex. John Stott explains, “To joke about them (God’s gift including sex) is bound to degrade them; to thank God for them is the way to preserve their worth as the blessings of a loving Creator.” We shouldn’t be ignorant about this matter. We should integrate our sexuality along with the integration of our spirituality and other aspect of our lives.   ”

Sexual immorality is everywhere.  Pornography is even considered as an art form.  Fornication.  Homosexuality.  Solo sex or masturbation.  Early engagement to sex.  Wrong-timed relationship.  Early pregnancy.  Relationship driven by lust.  Sexually-transmitted diseases.  Broken lives.  Broken relationships.  Degraded morale.  Suicidal spirit.  Lost.  DEATH! (You still think I’m exaggerating? Check this out, Every Young Man’s Battle Trailer)  They are everywhere.  Destroying the lives of God’s children.  Blinding our generation that, “what we see is all we get, so we should take much of it, there’s nothing left.” – Lacey Sturm.  They’re eating up the future God has prepared for them.   These things make the m believe a lie that there’s no more hope, no salvation, no redemption.  There’s no other option but to continue what they’ve started — to continue being soaked in to sexual immorality.

Now tell me, why do we have to be quiet about this matter?  Why keep on ignoring?  Why be so conservative?  Let us start making a stand. Let us open up or eyes, our ears, and our hearts to their needs.  Let us comfort them.  I am encouraging you, guys, to open up your lives to them and start sharing the truth that, still, there is hope.  That there is a God who is so willing, so eager, so excited to help them and save them from their sinking sand.  The love they are looking from somebody else is nothing compared to the love they will get from God.  The love of God changes us.  It is forgiving.  It is exceeding.  It is abounding.

Let us start making a stand.  Let us not ignore, instead, be more sensitive and attentive to their needs.  God’s love is what they need.  We are called for this.  Advocates of Purity.  Sharer of Good News.  Spreader of God’s Love.

Let us desire to be part of somebody else’s redemption!

It doesn’t surprise me when people, especially guys, come up to me and confess they are struggling to fight for their sexual purity.  It just hurts my heart to see them face those difficult times.  The mere fact they open up to someone they are struggling to fight for their purity takes SO MUCH COURAGE.LRTos

Accountability groups or prayer partners of same sex do help to achieve sexual purity.   For a guy, this should be a male friend, perhaps someone older (also respected inside and out of the church) and someone who can encourage them (you) in the heat of the battle.  Are we that kind of persons?  We better be!

I want to quote what Fred Stoeker said in the book (which I can lend to you) “Every Young Man’s Battle.”

He said,

“This is why many young men fighting for sexual purity seek support in a men’s Bible study group or a smaller accountability group with one or two other men.  Having a safe place to discuss this tough issue often results in an honest exchange , although getting there can be awkward.  (Another drawback of being a male is that we don’t verbalize our feelings very well.)  Honest sharing must occur in these relationships.  Tough questions must be asked, and true answers given.”

That’s why I am writing this one, not just for those people who are fighting for their sexual purity, but this is mainly for those people who understand and who are ready to help and lend a hand to other people.

I wrote in one of my blogposts, “Intercession: Consistent Christianity”, the reason why we have to help and pray for those people (and even for ourselves) who are fighting for their purity.

I wrote,

“God desires for us a pure life. A life that is blameless. For we are God’s holy people. God is concerned with the pureness of our heart, minds and bodies. Ephesians 5:3 states, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” Did you know that in nearly every book of the New Testament, we are commanded to avoid sexual impurity? That shows that God is really concerned with our purity. Let us never tolerate the spirit of lust inside the church. “Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.” (Revelation 2:20).

Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Psalm 138:3 also says, “When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted (courageous).”

Isn’t it amazing to think that God is so much excited to answer man’s prayer and to save them from their quick sand.  That we can part of God’s miraculous deeds in their lives.  That we can help them to be in God’s solid rock.

Again, let me say this.  We are called to be advocates of purity.  Let us not reject that call.  This is an encouragement to take a stand.  SEXUAL PURITY!

The Youth Summit:  Breakthrough Generation
San Juan Arena
December 27-28, 2007

Speaker: Sis. Edith Mendoza
Text: Hebrews 2:14, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Title: God’s Ever-Increasing Glory

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—”
– Hebrews 2:14

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
-2 Corinthians 3:17-18

 

To receive God’s Ever-Increasing Glory, we must desire for these things:

 

1) Ever-Escalating Revelation of God
– Isaiah’s Commission
– Isaiah 6:1-4

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.’

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.”

2) Ever-Evolving Plans of God
– Our God is a progressive God
– He is the author and the finisher of our faith
– God’s ultimate plan is for generations to generations
– Genesis 3:15, Matthew 1:17
– God is seeking men and women who will stand for Him

3) Ever-emerging Likeness of God
– God is in the business of transformation
– We are called by God to be like Him, Genesis 1:26-27
– Nearness is likeness

4) Ever-Extending Blessings of God
– Deuteronomy 7:9
– Rechabites, Jeremiah 35:17-18
– Abraham, Genesis 17, Galatians 3:29
– Caleb, Joshua 14:9

5) Ever-Expanding Dominion of God
– Transmission from the Ark of the Covenant to the throne
– Jeremiah 3:16-17

6) Ever-exploding Power of God
– Romans 8:11

7) Ever-Enlarging Hunger for God
– For God gives the Spirit without limit
– John 3:34