On Goodness

“I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” Galatians 2:21

“They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” Romans 3:12

I want my Christian light to shine. I don’t want to be a person in which others can’t tell that I am a follower of Christ based upon my deeds and words . However, it’s been hard for me. It’s true that you have to die to self daily. As Paul so eloquently said in Romans 7:15, “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.  If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.  But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.  For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.  Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.” I truly want to do good and be a good person, but my flesh is so weak.

I had a conversation via text with a close friend the other day about this very topic. She is of the opinion that one can be good on their own merit. I disagree strongly. We cannot be good on our own strength. If that’s the case, we would have no need for a Savior. And the Bible clearly states “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9. I know that I can not make it without God’s grace and mercy. I depend on this. Without Him I am a MESS. I can’t trust myself to do the right thing at all times. I need to be covered in the Blood of the Lamb and dressed fully in the armor of God. Even on my best day, I am not worthy. Simply put, I can’t function without Him.

The mentality that being good is enough outside of Jesus is one of Satan’s deceptive ploys. He tricked Eve with this same strategy. Don’ let the devil fool you into believing otherwise.The truth is that we need God. For everything. Period. The End.

Noga

“You shall have no other gods before me.” ~Exodus 20:3

When I was in 7th grade I wrote in my diary that I wanted to try yoga. It looked peaceful and the poses were beautiful. As a ballerina it also appealed to me because it could increase my flexibility.  As an adult, it became the exercise to do. Yoga pants were all the rage and worn freely by those who didn’t even practice the art form. Studios popped up everywhere. Celebrities stood on their flimsy platforms and promoted its validity which increased it’s “hip” factor a thousand times over.

When Nike came out with the Studio Wrap Pack, it was a wrap (as we used to say back in the day) and I was sold for a cheap price, LOL.

I knew Yoga and I were meant to be when I found a Groupon for ten classes for a mere $20. And the best part was that the studio was less than five minutes from my house.

I purchased a pass and proceeded to take lessons. I liked it! The instructor praised my form and poses. I immediately bought a mat and clothes.

But after the first class I had an uneasy feeling. The fact that yoga was affiliated with Hinduism surfaced in my mind.  However, I brushed it off feeling that I was being too dramatic and paranoid.

During this time, a pregnant friend of mine was also taking prenatal yoga which she enjoyed. As my sister in faith, I shared my concerns about us engaging in yoga. She thought it was okay as we were only participating for health purposes-not spiritual. This made me feel a bit better but my spirit still felt vexed and decided I would finish the pass and then quit since I didn’t want to waste money.

I researched a bit and concluded that practicing yoga was a form of idolatry. I learned that the poses pay homage to Hindu gods. Even the way classes end with the word “Namaste,” I bow to the god within you, is a clear red flag that it is not in alignment with Christian beliefs. According to Laurette Willis, the founder of PraiseMoves, the process of enlightenment is to become one with  Brahman, Hinduism’s highest god. 

I now believe that the uneasiness I initially felt but couldn’t quite finger, was the Holy Spirit’s way of letting me know that yoga was not for me.  I had only completed 7 out of the 10 classes, but at this point I was more concerned about pleasing God than I was about squandering money. I did not want to be one of those people who went against God. It reminded of the Israelites in the Old Testament who chose Baal over Jehovah. It was a sobering thought and a group that I did not want to be a member of.

I talked to my friend once again and convinced her to discontinue classes. I pointed out that we could do Zumba or Pilates  and achieve the same effect. Thankfully she agreed.

Many Christians have started participating in “holy” yoga but I won’t be doing that either. There is nothing holy about it and the whole concept is an oxymoron. Yoga is rooted in Hinduism and therefore can’t be separated from it. That’s like having game night with a Christian Ouija board. Creepy.

Some people reading this might think I’m going too far. It’s just exercise so they think. Make no mistake people. The devil is here to kill and destroy. And he’s going to use anything he can to achieve his desired outcome. I think “innocence” is one of the wiliest tricks that Satan employs. See how easy it was for him to get Eve to bite, literally and figuratively speaking? He skillfully convinces us that whatever sin we are engaging in is harmless. The practice of yoga is nothing more than a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing. Remember, he will use ANYTHING to separate us from God. His desire is to sift us like wheat. Practicing “minor” sins only opens us up to commit major sins later.

A few months after I quit, my pastor spoke about this very thing and warned us if we were taking lessons to stop. I took this as confirmation that I was correct about my feeling. And even IF I turn out to be wrong, I haven’t lost anything, but have gained everything. Thus I will continue exercise my right to say no to yoga.