Choose

Causes of rebellion

IMG_7331

~Romans 6:12-14~

In God’s eyes, anyone who sins is rebellious, and Scripture tells us we’re all guilty (Romans 3:23).  Now, it makes sense that an unbeliever would choose to act apart from biblical teaching.  But what about those of us who have committed to follow Christ – what would cause us to stray from the will of our heavenly Father?

There are two powerful human tendencies that lead to disobedience: doubt and pride.  Both can be dangerously misleading.

  1.  Doubt is a mental struggle over whether or not to believe God’s promises.  From our limited perspective, we cannot understand how the Lord works.  Sometimes His way does not feel like the right path, so in order to obey, we must step out in faith.  Then it can feel as though we are jumping off a cliff and trusting God’s invisible rope to hold us.  If we listen to our doubt, we will surely transgress.
  2. Pride is the sin that caused Satan to fall from heaven, and it is a deceptive obstacle for believers as well.  Pride has to do with thinking that our way is best, putting more faith in our ability than God’s promises, and desiring praise.  Anything we do out of pride is rebellion against the Lord.

Whatever the cause, sin never leads to the Lord’s best for our life.  God’s way is the only road resulting in fulfillment and peace.

The enemy wants to lure us with doubt and pride – both feel right and are easily justifiable from our human perspective.  But believers should follow Joshua’s wisdom instead:  “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, November 21, 2017.

Advertisements

Choose

IMG_5601

“No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life” (2 Timothy 2:4).  The word for “entangle”, which also occurs in 2 Peter 2:20, means to be so wrapped up in something that movement is hindered.  This is the term the Greeks would have used to describe a rabbit ensnared in a thorn patch.

Peter’s letter admonished followers not to return to past sins, but Paul was emphasizing a different lesson: He was warning Timothy against allowing essential daily pursuits to supersede a commitment to Christ.  Paul himself at times worked as a tent-maker while carrying on with ministry; however, he realized there was potential for an occupation to become all-consuming, to the detriment of a person’s spiritual life.

Growing and managing wealth, providing for one’s family, and taking advantage of leisure time are important activities.  In fact, God encourages all of them.  However, these blessings are not to become distractions that draw believers away from church or regular prayer and Bible study.  Nor are we to compartmentalize our life into “Christian ministry” and “regular work/play”.  We are Christ’s soldiers, no matter where we are or what we are doing – there is no such thing as a part-time warrior.

It’s important for believers not to draw artificial boundary lines between the secular and the sacred.  Everything God gives – from vocation and wealth to leisure activities – is to be used for His glory.  By keeping priorities straight and activities in balance, you can prevent hobbies and interests from becoming a snare.

Commentary from the In Touch Devotional by Charles Stanley, June 7, 2017.

Choose

img_1919

Enter through the narrow gate.

For the gate is wide and road is broad

that leads to destruction,

and there are many 

who go through it.

Matthew 7:13

“He must not be able to suspect that he is now, however slowly, heading right away from the sun on a line which will carry him into the cold and dark of utmost space.”  The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis