A POSSIBLE YOU
FINDING GOD’S DESTINY FOR OUR LIFE
BECOMING OUR OWN WORST ENEMY
“For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile (deceit) let him eschew (avoid) evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue (follow) it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (I Peter 3: 10-12)
I was listening to a radio program the other day and they were airing a short interview with a young gay man. He told the story of how he was raised in a religious home and how his family had such high hopes of him going to college, getting married, having a family and living a wonderful “normal” life. He said that he tried to put on the false smiles and the mask of being happy but he finally broke down and revealed that he could not exist in such a miserable lie. He said that he realized that the God of the Bible did not accept him as he was (neither did most of the church) but he confirmed through his public statement that this “rejection” would not prevent him from living his life exactly as he pleased. He was somewhat arrogant and defiant (as a result of being hurt) as he went on to say that he and God did not talk much anymore and had a rather cold and distant relationship. He seemed to blame all of this on the Lord for not compromising His stand toward those who prefer the same sex. It was as if he was right and God was wrong and that somehow this was going to comfort him while he continues to brag, “I did it my way.” Allow me to say that whatever our excuse for rebellion, no one can justify sin! Our hostility and sneaky plans of revenge remind me of when babies discover that if they scream loud enough and long enough they can selfishly get what they want. This does NOT work with God when it comes to Him “bending” His own standards. To walk in the attitude of this level of pride results in us becoming our own worst enemy as we are destroyed from our refusal to let go of what we “think” is right. “Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” (I Timothy 4: 1-2)
Please listen to me as I have been given a very important message to pass to you. Through the years we have spoken extensively about the power of the tongue and confessing God’s Word. We have also talked about our intimate personal relationship with God where we pour out our heart to Him in the secret place and enjoy the pleasures of being in His presence. However, I was meditating the other day about all of this and I sensed the Spirit whisper to me that we should be careful not only about the negative words we release that can be created but also about revealing our fears and weaknesses where the devil and his demons can HEAR them! God instructs us to go into our “closet” and talk to God in “secret.” Why? Because the devil will not follow us into the holy of holies and he cannot hear our personal secrets that we are crying to the Lord. When we open our mouth and tell all of our fears and weaknesses out loud, the enemy can freely begin to launch attacks against us that he knows will pierce us and bring us to our knees. If we have any particular problems we are facing and have serious concerns about a situation – that is exactly where he will pinpoint his attention and intentionally target our weakness in order to defeat us. Become aware of what you are saying because you could easily be causing many of your problems and becoming your own worst enemy! The secret place was given this name not just because it is a private place to meet with God but because what is said between us and God is a “secret” and not for the natural world or the spiritual world to hear – especially Satan.
Another very important reminder for our spiritual development is having a VISION for our faith! Seeing our self the way God sees us may be the key to our victory. When we ask God to help us change and make us a better person in His image, we really need to take this one step further and try to spiritually “see” this individual. “A POSSIBLE YOU” is all about finding this person and identifying what we are believing for. The idea of “CHANGING” from who we are into what God wants us to be is the “DYNAMIC” of genuine salvation and the purpose of our Christian progression. We will never reach a sinless plateau in this life but we can become more wise and stronger as we continue to mature in our journey. It is like when high school students take college prep classes in order to become more familiar with the next “level” of learning we likewise should always be eager to advance in our understanding as we progress toward the next step of our spiritual evolution. The same is true with having a vision of what and who we are interceding for! Let us not pray one thing and then speak negatively about it because the power of our words can hinder the possibilities of our faith. Selah. Whether we are seeing visions with our natural eyes or having dreams and visions in our spirit, these images are being displayed within our mind and accepted into our heart. May we be careful to NOT allow tele”vision” to replace the real “vision” that God is calling for us to be focused on! Are we so naïve to ignore the reality that being distracted could be preventing us from having miracles come to pass? Yes, life and death are in the power of the tongue but it also makes sense that our “insight” could be the missing link of our total faith process. Envisioning the final result will energize our words and become the “substance” of things hoped for and the EVIDENCE of things NOT seen.
It is amazing how self-sufficient and independent the human brain can become. Those who are strong willed and have a high degree of determination to succeed have always been more difficult to surrender their will than the average person that does not have an energetic vision to accomplish lofty goals. Many would think that I am referring to a lost person but actually there are a few Christians that have qualities of high intelligence, practical common sense and have a pit-bull mentality that cannot be easily side-tracked or discouraged. Within the personality and psyche of many of these over-achievers there is an analytical personality that is “direct” and examines everything with a microscope all within the seemingly effortless flow of control. These types are “hard wired” to be cautious and skeptical and are often judged as being aggressive, always on guard and down to business. Actually these are solid traits that can be used for good and in God’s eyes; they are considered unique, gifted and filled with His unlimited potential to do great and mighty things. The problem is the declared war that battles against their soul. Not only does the enemy target these visionaries with attacks of fear and intimidation, but their own strong will becomes a force to reckon with and is a regular “deal breaker” when it comes to trusting anyone (especially a God they cannot see). We have heard many times that it is much easier to accept the Lord into our heart at an early age. Why? Because if we have Christ as our Lord when we are young, we can be molded to fit His pattern and learn gradually how to adapt our mind and views to His Word. We can “grow” not only physically but also spiritually and mentally when we are still flexible and pliable in the tenderness of our years.
When we have already built the foundations of our world-views and political/social ideas and philosophies, it is much more difficult to persuade us to tear all of that down and start over. You see, when we receive Jesus as a young person, we are like a lump of fresh clay on the potter’s wheel where we do not have a lot to tear down and we can begin to celebrate and rejoice as we begin the molding process on our brand new life. When we are older we dry out and become hard and “set” like concrete after a few days. When anyone chooses to live an independent existence that relies completely on their own instincts and logic they become a vessel of their own design. The potter (which is God the creator) cannot put us on His wheel and salvage the temple that we have become. The only thing He can do is break us and crush us back to powder and mix us with water so that we can become clay again. This “born-again’ opportunity can present us as a little child and by child-like faith we can become transformed and renewed as a disciple of His Kingdom. So we can clearly see that it is God’s specific perfect will that we raise our children in the guidance of spiritual truth so when they are still very young hopefully they will flow into their profession of faith as they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Would you agree that the longer a person waits to “deal” with their spiritual condition the more challenging it will be? When I say this, it sounds like I am implying that we can turn to God whenever we choose and use Him like we do the water faucet on our bathroom sink. Allow me to say that I have no intention of teaching this concept of salvation. I say with all humility and with the sobering reverential fear of His person, that if anyone is ever convicted, moved, had their conscience pricked or spiritually awakened, it was God reaching out in His LOVE, grace and compassion! If we ever come to love Him – it is because He first loved us! Selah. What many people have become deceived is that He does not promise that He will always hold the door open or continue knocking with us repeatedly ignoring His call. Many have wandered through this life thinking in the back of their mind that they have plenty of time to respond to God or that He will always be ready to welcome them in their last breath. This may sound like a sneaky plan to dive in at the last minute – but is this worth the chance of being wrong?
Let us stop for a moment and seriously meditate about how we become a Christian and what does it mean to receive and accept His invitation. When we are lost, we have no interest in the things of God and it is a waste of time to pester someone about getting saved. In fact, if we are not led by God, we can actually hinder and damage God’s plan to intervene in someone’s life. This is why we pray and ask God to give us a burden for lost souls, cause us to be a good witness for others, for us to be sensitive and obedient to His voice and to open divine appointments for us to share the gospel with someone that is ready for the seed. When someone is lost (however they hear the gospel), it is this POWER within God’s Word along with His Holy Spirit that comes upon them and DRAWS them while revealing their need to be redeemed. It is this conviction that exposes who we really are (our hopeless condition) and temporarily opens our spiritual eyes long enough for us to see ourselves the way God sees us. This wonderful example of mercy beckons for us to let go of this world and embrace Him as the author and finisher of our faith. However, we have been given the free-will to make the decision whether or not we are going to accept this invitation. In this light, it is clear that our rebellious human nature and the hard-hearted, stubborn passion for “control” can definitely become our own worst enemy.
There is nothing anyone can say that can save a person – it is completely between God and the individual. We can witness and testify and instruct but salvation has nothing to do with this earth – it has everything to do with what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Likewise there is nothing we can do or give that can save our own soul. If there is anything we can do to EARN our salvation, then the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus was not needed. I think some believe that everyone’s deeds are weighed and if the good is more than the bad they go to heaven and if not they go to hell, but as we have mentioned earlier – deeds have nothing to do with destination. It is whether or not we are saved that determines where we will spend eternity. The question that we all must deal with, “How much is my soul worth?” comes from closely examining our heart as we pursue our most important answer. Some people believe that if we live and die without God in this journey called life, that we are to do everything we want and drain every drop of pleasure we can because we only have one chance to enjoy it. When people are young and healthy they do not consider the great price they are paying because they are convinced that living their own will is not costing them anything. Yet, how many times do we hear of these types of people regretting all those years of selfish independence as they reflect and now face eternity in their last dying moments. You see, the lost (that have knowingly rejected Christ) actually “sell” their soul as an exchange for a generic freedom. They barter and agree within their conscience that they are willing to be saturated with a lifetime of pleasure consisting of doing as they please – as a trade for an eternity of suffering. The sad reason why many stay stoned or intoxicated throughout this short season of life is because they do not want to be reminded of this horrible deal. It is amazing that seemingly brilliant individuals that would work tirelessly around the clock in order to close the big transactions in the world of business would be so easily deceived into such an obvious rip-off. How many people have labored all their life accumulating materialistic treasures and building empires of wealth and affluence, yet will leave this earthly realm empty handed and spiritually bankrupt? Can you think of anything that would be worth trading for eternity? Houses, cars, jewelry, sexual pleasures, power, fame, respect, pride, recognition? As we have said many times before; having a relationship with God is THE meaning of life and nothing in this world is worth more than abiding in His loving presence.
Let us observe one more area that pertains to the human natures struggle to let go of the will and the world. Have you ever considered that it may be more difficult for a wealthy person to surrender their will than an average individual? Now brother. I do not believe that has anything to do with it! We all have the same temptations and the same level of resistance. I understand what you are saying and do agree to some extent but the Word of God seems to speak directly about this subject. I am not saying that God excuses the prosperous but I believe He also takes in consideration that the pull of wealth and the love for materialism is very strong. God is not ignorant or insensitive to the powers of temptation but still cannot compromise His standards. Everyone must follow Him the same way and that is to lay down their idols and trust Him completely. Allow me to clarify what I am trying to say; when I speak of “surrender” or abandoning our will, I am not necessarily implying that the wealthy would be asked by God to sell everything they own and live on the street. The point of becoming His child and trusting Him as our Lord and Savior is developing a genuine LOVE for Him and being completely obedient to Him IF He asked us to do it. Let us look at Mark 10:25, “It is easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.” In our first glance of this passage, the first thing that comes to our mind is that God is saying it is impossible for a wealthy person to be saved. However, I believe this “mental image” is being strongly emphasized because of the seriousness of the issue. This is not a joke or something to be taken lightly. Our human nature is very fierce and filled with egotistical attitudes that will fight at the drop of a hat to defend what we have earned. It is no secret that the prosperous are very proud of their accomplishments and the same perseverance and discipline that helped them achieve success is the same internal fortitude that is ready to go to war in order to keep it. Selah.
It is not wrong to be rich. Having wealth is a blessing and can be used to do many wonderful things. The Kingdom of God operates within the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit but it is also helped along the way with finances. In fact, I personally believe that God would love to prosper all of His people but He also knows that riches without living a dedicated, holy life of discipline would spell disaster and is a clear warning that we could become our own worst enemy IF our ability to gather wealth became our idol. When the rich young ruler was told by Jesus to sell all that he had and to come and join with His ministry, He already knew the man’s heart and realized this young, successful businessman loved the authority that wealth provided MORE than anything else. Jesus was trying to expose to him the very thing that stood between him and God. The Lord wants ALL of our heart not just what is comfortable. Let us look at another passage. “For we brought nothing into this world – and it is certain we can carry nothing out and with having food and clothes let us be content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the LOVE of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after (were greedy about), they have erred (turned away) from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (I Timothy 6: 7-10) All the Lord has ever wanted is our heart and that includes our thoughts, deeds and most importantly our love. He is waiting for us to “get up” and allow Him to sit on the throne of our heart as our King and Lord. Amen.