A Turtle On A Fence Post
A phrase or quote was heard that was attributed to a basketball coach: “If you see a turtle sitting on a fence post you know it did not get there by itself.” A turtle cannot climb the post, it cannot fly to the top of the post, a turtle cannot tightrope walk the wire of the fence to get to the post. If a turtle is on a fence post somebody put it there. His intention was to say that sometimes a player that stands out is there because of those around him. But the phrase has been around for a long time, most often attributed to politicians.
Spiritually “I” am as a turtle: slow, methodical, and crawling, and very quick to retreat into my shell. And it is often as if on a fence post: any and all of the physical and spiritual places that I have reached, all that I have been given, all that I am, but more than that, all that I could or can be, are given from God and by the Spirit, so that He would be glorified. Even this exhortation is written, and was written, because He spoke it and purposed for me to. I was an obnoxious, obscene, obstinate, unstable, perverse sinner when I was serving the devil. I often had no inclination, and I had no means or ability in myself, to change.
Consider yourself: were you perfect and the picture of stability spiritually before Jesus changed you? Even after coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus my obstinate, fleshly, nature has often prevented receiving the fullness of the very promises of God. It is only when we submit and yield completely to Him and His will that we can have the fullness of this life. In the instances where confusion, indecision, inadequacy, and even pride arise I must check for the flesh or the enemy and again repent and allow God to provide His refreshing and blessings. It is no wonder Paul said … I die daily. While this dying daily is mostly attributed to defeating the flesh, the necessity is to … escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. (II Peter 1:4) Why would God put you up on a fencepost for everyone to see if you were full of wickedness? That would lead people to assume that the sin or lust was acceptable to God. You cannot mix oil and water, they eventually separate again: similarly you cannot mix sin and righteousness. You cannot have the fullness, completeness and sufficiency of this life in God when/if it is mixed with your former sin or failure. Lust is a trial, or motive, that wars against and most often prevents our obedience to God;
James 4:1 – 3 FROM whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Lust is great desire; a driving force that will leave you warring internally and externally to fulfill that desire. You can lust for food, alcohol, drugs, wealth, sex; the list can be exceedingly long. Realize that lust is your internal enemy, and you must escape it to receive the fullness that God has for you. John spoke of the lust of the flesh and eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:15 – 17), but James attributes lust to our spirit as well;
James 4:4, 5 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
In the natural or flesh we understand lust as being our carnal nature, and attribute it to fornication, lasciviousness, hatred, etc. While this is how lust is prominently displayed by the world, there can be a filthiness (II Corinthians 7:1) or lust of the spirit (above) as well. Have you ever seen good works, compassion, sanctification, or the anointing working in an individual and desired them or envied their call? If you envy the calling or anointing on an individual, know that it is your spirit and not the Holy Ghost: there will be perfect unity in the Spirit. When you see the promises, the blessing, and multiplying, and anointing of God working in an individual, give glory to the God who has given those things! Spiritual lust may be even more subtle and deadly to fulfilling your calling because it is often unrecognized, and as a result not dealt with. As much as God’s grace delivers from the carnal sin, that grace can also deliver from the spiritual filth and iniquity, bringing sanctification. The grace of God can bring you out of your lust and put you on a fence post! That grace is ours only if we will be humble;
James 4:6 – 8 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.
If we will Draw nigh to God, know that he will draw nigh to you. It is in that place close to God, His righteousness, His holiness, His omnipotence, and yielding to His keeping power, that you will be overcoming. So we see that … I die daily is not a monumental task for us to struggle to accomplish, but humbly submitting ourselves to Him and allowing God by grace to daily put you on a fence post, where your obedience abounds, and the lust of the world cannot control you. We often do not understand that lust in our heart is the root of our failure, and not necessarily our actions. To illustrate, consider that scripture says Enoch walked with God three hundred years;
Genesis 5:22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
Amos 3:3 says Can two walk together, except they be agreed? For Enoch to walk with God he had to have complete agreement with Him. Yet we see that Enoch … begat sons and daughters. Sons and daughters result from a physical action, but Enoch was walking with God! We are taught that the physical action is the sin, and miss that it is acceptable and honourable to God (Hebrews 13:4) if it is within His commandments. It is when the iniquity of lust and concupiscence arise and conceive (James 1:14, 15) that the actions become sin and death, out of the will and blessings of God. We can know then that Enoch was consumed with God and not lust, and he was taken to be with God;
Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
What was the testimony of Enoch? Hebrews 11:5 says … he pleased God. While Enoch is an example we can easily understand of not walking in physical lust, begin to see and receive of God an understanding of the spiritual lusts that cause us to miss the purpose of God. Get a deeper understanding of the call to cast down the spiritual filth or lust;
II Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Removing the filth and lust of the flesh and spirit will bring us captive to the obedience of mind that God desires for us to have. And we again find the knowledge of God in this scripture. Anything that prevents greater knowledge of God must be defeated. The knowledge of God and Jesus is eternal life;
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
As you begin to know God in a greater way you will begin to delight in Him. The world has mis-read the following verse, and thought that God would give a Mercedes, a mansion, or great wealth. But if you truly delight yourself in God the lust for things will be replaced with a new desire for the spiritual wealth;
Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
As you fully and completely delight yourself in God, His desire will become your desire, that you might be consumed with, and by, and for, Him. You cannot know Him only in head knowledge, but must have a heart knowledge of Him as well. Your heart will become His heart, His kingdom, His throne. If you are delighting in self, or anything or anyone else, as much as you are delighting in God, you will not be fully complete, or giving Him all, in the desires of your heart. What did Jesus say was the first commandment?
Mark 12:29, 30 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all the soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
The people or things are not the issue, but rather the order of the things: in your flesh do you love anything as much or more than God? This is subtle and often imperceptible to us due to the lust of the flesh. Begin to fast, or deny, your flesh some things that it loves while also praying and seeking the face of God, and see if you get a greater understanding of the lust and also of the love of God. Lust hinders or prevents your ability to receive the divine nature.
It is very humbling to know that I have been placed where I am only by the love and enduring mercy of God Almighty. That He knows and cares for the least of us shows the utter, the exceeding, the extraordinary and unequaled magnitude of the greatness, the omniscience, the omnipotence, the omnipresence, and the love of Almighty God. Let God put you on a fence post, that He might receive glory for the work He has done in your life. Please consider the following scripture deeper in the context of Psalm 37:4;
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
In the natural we perceive this to mean that we get more faith by reading the word of God, but that would only need the first part of the verse. Numerous scriptures tell us we have ears to hear but hear not (for instance, Ezekiel 12:2 or Romans 11:8). Lust or sin decay or reduce our spiritual hearing, and our delight in God. When we begin to reach the point of truly delighting ourselves in God, then the Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, will provide the grace to open our spiritual understanding to truly hear and expand our faith, the Spirit will guide us into greater truth (again Jesus, the Truth), and we can and will have the desire of our heart, to please God! This is truly reaching the place of being as a turtle on a fence post, for we have no ability in ourselves to achieve any of these places! It is also a repeating process, as we continue to grow deeper and deeper in the things of God. Praise God for His omnipotence, His omniscience, His omnipresence, but most of all for His enduring love and mercy! Allow God to continually use you in His will, purpose and plan, and for His glory!