I have never been a groupie but the death of Whitney Houston has really touched me. What a talented and beautiful lady who did not seem to KNOW who she was in Christ. Watching people like Whitney downward spiral has made me want to resist ever having money or fame. Not that I have any possibility of either. 🙂 Seriously, what do you think happened to Whitney? She obviously was raised in a church and in a home that taught her the gospel. No one really knows for sure who has trusted Christ as their Savior but I honestly think she did. Why didn’t Whitney understand that Jesus was enough?
Several verses come to my mind as I think about her life and death. James 1 says; “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived it gives birth to sin and when sin is accomplished it brings forth death. Do not be deceived my beloved brethren. It’s important to remember we have an enemy who is a huge deceiver. When does temptation become a sin? I believe it becomes a sin once we claim it as our own and begin to play with the idea. We describe flesh as “Man or woman meeting their own needs their own way.” Our needs are to be loved, accepted and to know we are a person of worth. We are all tempted to meet our own needs each and every day. Temptation is not a sin. Giving into the desire to meet our own needs our own way is sin. And according to scripture it will grow until it brings forth death or emptiness, hopelessness and pain. I can only imagine how beauty, fame and talent COULD make you feel loved, accepted and valuable. But the truth is Whitney was already loved, accepted and valuable by just being herself, a child of God. What lie do you buy into that makes you acceptable? Don’t’ be deceived my friend. You are acceptable because you are IN Christ.
Another scripture that came to mind was Romans 7 which says: “For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.” I wonder if Whitney constantly tried to “behave” by putting herself under the law? I have no idea. But many people raised in the church see the law as their answer to their problem with sin. (The beginning of Romans 7 explains why the law is not the answer.) If we keep reading in Romans it states,” For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh, for the WILLING is present in me but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I WANT I do not do but I practice the very evil that I do NOT WANT. But if I am doing the very thing I do NOT WANT, I am no longer the one doing it but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who WANTS to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the INNER man (our spirit) but I see a different law in the MEMBERS OF MY BODY waging war against the LAW OF MY MIND and making me a prisoner of the law of sin WHICH IS IN MY MEMBERS. Wretched (miserable) man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? THANKS BE TO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. So then on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” I cannot end this paragraph without going straight into Romans 8:1, “Therefore there is NOW no condemnation for those who are IN Christ Jesus.” That means you too Whitney. As I’ve stated before, God separates identity from behavior. Does HE care about behavior? Absolutely! He cares because HE knows it will bring us and others pain. I wonder if Whitney understood her flesh and how the power of indwelling sin works against us? The initial temptation does NOT come from us. But if we own it, we will suffer the consequences of our sin in this life. Sometimes the consequences can lead to an early death. It’s so important for us to know that our battle is not between a good me and a bad me but our battle is between flesh and spirit. The REAL you does not WANT to sin. The REAL Whitney did not WANT to sin. This is where I think Whitney took a turn down the wrong road. When she went from singing:
The greatest love of all is easy to achieve. Loving to love yourself is the greatest love of all.
I found the greatest love of all inside of me.
To: When being asked by Diane Sawyer who is the devil? And replying: “I am the devil.” Do you want to scream with me, “NO WHITNEY!!!!!” “That is NOT who you are!” What you believe about yourself WILL determine your behavior.
I will close with another scripture that comes to mind as I think about Whitney. II Peter 1 says, “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith, supply moral excellence. knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness. brotherly kindness, and love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. FOR HE WHO LACKS THESE QUALITIES IS BLIND OR SHORT-SIGHTED, HAVING FORGOTTEN HIS PURIFICATION FROM HIS FORMER SINS.
Let us all learn from this tragic life. Let us not forget we have been purified from our sin. Let us not forget that we do not have to listen to our flesh or the power of indwelling sin. Let us not forget that we have been rescued from the power of sin THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD! Let us remember that scripture tells us to renew our mind with truth. IF we don’t renew our mind with God’s word, it is so easy to forget. Oh yea, and let us not forget we have an enemy who steals, kills and destroys! BUT GREATER is HE who is IN US than he who is in the world! Rest in peace Whitney.