—Thoughts for the Day—and the Day After, and the Day after That... All Ye Who Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness, Ruminate on This One Long and Hard, Daily

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I have long written, in numerous books of mine (and I even made a bookmark and offered one for free with any book order; which offer no one has ever taken me up on), that my motto for the past few decades (which does not infer that I have stellarly accomplished it) has been—

“Each day that I do not, by God’s Grace, make a conscious effort to be more Christ-like has been a wasted day of my life.”

[Of course, this infers a few presuppositions:

1. actually understanding what Christ is like—based upon the FULL Counsel of the Word of God not modern notions of political correctness, humanism, liberal contaminated theology of the Apostate Church, or moral degeneracy; and

2. the Agency of the Holy Spirit being the One Who daily works this, as a believer daily has his mind in the Word of God and asks God to engraft it upon his heart: the Truths of the Word of God being the “raw materials” with which that building by faith will be constructed.  God does not “mind-dump” the Bible, like a computer download, into a person’s brain.  That would be a lovely idea, but even then, most would probably “archive it” and rarely consult it (and maybe even delete it if the free space on their hard drive was running out and they needed the room).]

Today, while musing, meditating, after having completed transforming Psalm 9 into a poem (one of a collection that I have been working on*), I had the thought...

How wonderful if I had been able to go through life untainted by sin, even as the Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, were preserved through the fiery furnace in that they had not even the smell of smoke upon them!

[* Now available in: Bittersweet Impressions & Inspirations, Robert Alan Balaicius, poems and a few short stories, 310pp., pb., 20.00 + P&H.]

As King David declared, My sins are ever before me.  Those with a tender conscience toward God will remember and regret every unkind word, every sin (including all those the average person would consider “utterly insignificant” and never think of again), every failure, every shortcoming, embarassment—even from decades ago.  Indeed, there may be a fine line between having a tender conscience and being obsessive—and between knowing that your (confessed and repented of) sins are forgiven and having a seared [dead] conscience.

About 19 years ago I was at a Bible conference and the preacher asked the audience, “If you could ask God for anything and He promised to give it to you, what would you ask Him for...?”  I knew the answer in my heart  immediately, but waited, hoping that someone else knew it too.  I waited and heard people’s replies: “money,” “power,” “wisdom,” “fame,” “success,” etc. (you would have thought this was a  secular convention, not a Bible conference peopled by those who supposedly knew the Scriptures).  Not even one soul had the ingenuity and humor to answer “Ten more wishes”.  I was disappointed, dumbfounded.  I waited and waited  hoping someone, anyone would know it.  The preacher was about to end the call for answers and I casually looked around, no one else had his hand raised, so I raised mine.  He motioned to me to answer. I called out “The Power of the Spirit!”  Without batting an eye the preacher pointed at me and declared, “I want what that man wants!”

[15 years or so later I asked him via an email, as we had been emailing back and forth about news items, what was the purpose of his having asked the audience the question? how did it fit into his sermon? what answer did he have in mind before he asked the audience?  He replied that it really had no ulterior purpose, he had no set answer in mind, it did not really fit into his sermon, he was just curious.]

Sadly, it seems that no one else in the auditorium had a clue.  No one asked for an explanation.  No one came up to me afterwards to inquire: “Why?”  The important question is Why did they not? —sadly, because the majority of Christians (even those who go to Bible conferences) have not had their minds transformed — “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6) and “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14) and “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts” (Psalm 10:4).

Some may have thought that Ecclesiastes 2:3 is in reference to some charismatic experience.  However, charismatic experiences rely upon the emotions, not the intellect meditating upon the Truth of God’s Word.

You see (in explanation of my answer, “the Power of the Spirit”), Solomon had unearthly wisdom, Divinely given to him.  He understood life and truth and reality better than any human ever has.  However,  knowing what is right to do and doing it are two entirely different things!  All of Solomon’s wisdom in his head did him little good if he did not have it in his heart to do what he knew was right.  This alone comes from the Holy Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit Alone Who restrains the carnal passions within us and enables us to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).  There is no goodness in us at all (Romans 10:3).  Those who think that there is are deluded and deny the Word of God.  If there is any goodness in us (even the goodness to seek God) it is ONLY because God has placed that Goodness within a person (Romans 2:4).

[Solomon actually lacked wisdom to ask God for wisdom, before God gave him that wisdom.  How then, did Solomon know to ask for it? —because God’s Spirit was upon his father David and David had subtly informed Solomon to ask for wisdom.  As I wrote in my S.T.E.C. on Ecclesiastes,* “The forward-thinking David, who asked to build the Lord’s House, and then when the honor was denied him, asked if he could at least gather the materials (showing his pure heart),  indirectly counselled (I Chronicles 22:12) his son Solomon to ask God for wisdom.” (p.40).  However, it was God’s Spirit in David that so led him to so counsel Solomon; and it was God’s Spirit in David that enabled David to desire and so eloquently pen, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God.  My soul thirsteth for God, for the Living God” (Psalm 42:1,2).

* Sacred Truth Expository Commentary on Ecclesiastes, 554pp., pb,. 30.00 + P&H.  See also my: Sacred Truth Expository Commentary: The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, 758pp., pb., 40.00 + P&H and Sacred Truth Expository Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, 632pp., pb., 30.00 + P&H; and Sacred Truth Expository Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Jonah, 634pp., pb., 32.00 + P&H, and my Does God Repent...? Can God Change His Mind...?, 506pp., 25.00 + P&H—which all expound related truths concerning God’s Sovereignty.]

Paul further admonishes and exhorts us: “This I say then, ‘Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh’.” (Galatians 5:16).  Solomon should have asked for wisdom to properly rule the people—and a heart to never turn from following after God.  If only David had thought to tell his son to also ask God for a tender heart that would never stray and the POWER of the Spirit to enable Him to do what is right!

The fact is, it is only by the Power of the Holy Spirit, that one can even pass through this life without being utterly polluted by sin even as those worst, unbridled, unregenerate offenders proudly swim through the septic tank as if it is a badge of honor.  Something that is pure, if it is polluted, it is polluted.  The degree of pollution is a secondary matter.  While we cannot traverse this sod without even the smell of smoke, my God’s Grace we can keep from having all our hair singed off and being burned beyond recognition—and having such a stench of smoke upon us that it causes others around us to choke!  

We were created in God’s Image, after His Likeness.  That is why sin is such an offense (not merely a faux pas*): Sin pollutes the Testimony of His Image entrusted to us His children.  How shameful, embarassing are children who disgrace their father, their ancestors, the family name; polluting their heritage that had been preserved for millennia.  How tragic for a family to have know the way of truth and been on it—to have then jumped off the train to wallow through the sewer system of the ghetto.  That is the picture illustration of all of Christendom today: The U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, etc.  That is why we are all under Judgment.  

[* The French literally meaning, "false step"; that is, a mis-step, a mistake.]

The way out of Judgment is not to embrace the evil around us because the Apostate Church is doing it—but separate ourselves from it so that Judgment can fall; and get back onto the Narrow Road.  If others will listen and follow, wonderful; but God does not call His children to surrogate suicide (nor does Christ tell His sheep to lay down their lives for the dogs, pigs, wolves, or serpents).  It is not the job of God’s people to “talk a jumper off the ledge” or “talk” resisters onto the Narrow Road.  Our duty is to plant seeds and point out the direction of the Road—and STAY on it ourselves; and inform others that we will be praying for them while we are on it, but we will not, like Lot’s wife turn back for them!  You don’t become a drug addict to reach a drug addict.  Anyone who thinks that is calloused is a humanist.  Get your eyes off yourself, off man and get them back on God where they belong.  On the Day of Judgment you won’t answer to your sister’s brother’s aunt’s niece’s cousin—you will answer to God; and He rules by Righteousness and Holiness, not on a “sliding scale” of the “Bell Curve”...!

Referring to my own quotation* at the outset of this Rumination also puts me in mind of the beloved hymn, “Nearer, My God, to Thee” by English poet and hymnist Sarah Fuller Flower Adams (1805-1848); for which I have written three new stanzas, 1 in Spanish.

[* George Bernard Shaw said, “I quote myself often, it adds spice to the conversation”.]


“Nearer, My God, to Thee”
by Sarah Fuller Flower Adams


“Nearer, my God to thee,

Nearer to thee!

Even though it be a cross

That raiseth me;

Still all my song shall be:

Nearer, my God, to thee,

Nearer, my God, to thee,

Nearer to thee!

“Nearer, my Lord, to thee,

Nearer to thee!

Who to thy cross didst come,

Dying for me!

Strengthen my willing feet,

Hold me in service sweet

Nearer, O Christ, to thee,

Nearer to thee!

“Nearer, O Comforter,

Nearer to thee!

Who with my loving Lord

Dwellest with me!

Grant me thy fellowship!

Help me each day to STEP

Nearer, My Guide, to thee,

Nearer to thee!

“But to be nearer still,

Bring me, O God,

Not by the visioned steeps

Angels have trod.

Here where thy cross I see,

Jesus, I wait for thee,

Then evermore to be

Nearer to thee!


3 new stanzas that I wrote:


“Nearer I want to grow

closer to Thee,

Take Lord and fill my cup

I lift it up to Thee

make me Thy Image bear

even if a cross I bear

Nearer my Lord to Thee

Nearer to Thee!

“Nearer I want to bow

prostrate to Thee

humble now this willful heart

I yield it up to Thee

Until Thy Heavenly Throne

is my eternal home

Nearer my King to Thee

Nearer to Thee.”

[Since this Hymn for some reason puts me in mind of classical Castilian opera-like flair (if sung with gusto), I wrote this Spanish stanza.  One day maybe I will make a crude recording of my rendition of this hymn and also this stanza.  I haven’t truly sung for about 28 years (but the court order has now expired).]

“Uno con El Vencedor

juntos contigo

cuando la muerte viene a mí

no voy a morir.

Siempre mi oración será

en todo la Eternidad;

en paz con mi Creador,

en paz oh Dios con Ti.”

[While technically “contigo” would be the proper form for the last line, I imagine there is poetic license in Spanish as well as English (if fake passports can be purchased, a poetic license should be quite easy).  I make no claim to the literary correctness of my Spanish above; it’s been about 37 years since I’ve used it.]

A loose, flowing translation would be:

“One with The Victorious One

Fully one with Thee

When death to me shall come

No I shall never die.

Always my prayer shall be

throughout Eternity

Creator grant me peace with Thee

at peace O God with Thee.

Robert Alan Balaicius