April 4

1 Kings 1-3, Psalm 94

Statistics show that men who are married live longer than those who remain single and the longer one stays married and the happier that marriage is the more the advantage appears to be. Marriage seems to reduce blood pressure and reduces cardiovascular death. Divorce reduces one's lifespan. Alcoholism appears to shorten a lifespan by almost ten years. The same reduced lifespan is true with those who abuse drugs and cigarettes. We all know those who used to be at the top of the jet setting lifestyle years ago. Consider those former Rockstars and how poorly they have aged. Moses wrote in Numbers 32:23, "But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out." Paul also warns us in Galatians 6:7, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man does, that he will also reap." We may think that we get away with things and that God overlooks our sinful lives, but there are earthly consequences for our choices.

We see in the end of David's life that he did not age well. When David fought the Philistines in 2 Samuel 21:15, we read, "...David and his servants with him went down and fought against the Philistines; and David grew faint." David was probably in his upper 60's at this time. Compare this with Caleb in Joshua 14:10-12, when at the age of 85 he requested to fight the giants in Hebron. In the opening verse of 1 Kings 1:1, we read, "Now King David was old, advanced in years; and they put covers on him, but he could not get warm." David at age 70 was now a frail man. David at the close of his life offers wise words to his son, and next king, Solomon in 1 Kings 2:3, "And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn;".

Though I gave statistics for being married versus single, there are many single individuals who choose to follow a Spirit filled life. The question really is are we feeding the Spirit or the flesh. Many like to make God seem like the great cosmic killjoy. Nothing could be further from the truth. His law is good, not bad. The world attempts to convince people that you can rebel against God's precepts and really enjoy life, but this is a lie with only short term pleasures. The long term result of a life of sin is misery. The flesh and the spirit will always be in conflict. It will be a lifelong struggle to walk against the current of this world and deny the flesh and choose the Lord. Paul warns us in Galatians 5:16-17, "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another." There are no ceasefires in our daily walk. Each day we make a multitude of decisions. Our only hope is to abide continually in His Word, in prayer, in worship and rely on the strength of the Holy Spirit.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster