Sunday, March 7, 2021
Are you a Target?
Are You a Target?
Haughtiness goes before destruction. Proverbs 18:12 NLT
It is common old saying that “coming events cast their shadows before them.” The wise man of Proverbs teaches us that a haughty heart is the prophetic prelude of evil. Pride is as surely a sign of destruction as the change of a barometer is the sign of rain. Actually, pride is a far more accurate predictor than a barometer. When people ride the high horse, destruction always overtakes them. Let King David’s aching heart show that there is an eclipse of a man’s glory when he worships his own greatness (see 2 Samuel 24:10). Look at Nebuchadnezzar, the mighty builder of Babylon, eating grass like an ox, living like an animal until his nails had grown like bird’s claws and his hair like eagle’s feathers (Daniel 4:33). Pride made the boaster a beast, as much earlier it had made an angel a devil. God hates haughty looks, and never fails to bring them down. All the arrows of God are aimed at proud hearts. Oh Christian, is your heart full of pride this evening? Pride can get into the Christian’s heart as well as into the sinner’s—it can delude us into saying to ourselves, “I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!” (Revelation 3:17 NLT). Are you glorying in your own appeal or talent? Are you proud of yourself for having had holy experiences? Mark it, dear reader—there is destruction coming to you too. Your pretty flowers of pride will be pulled up by the roots; your mushroom charms will wither in the burning heat; your self-sufficiency will become straw for the refuse pile. If we forget to live at the foot of the cross—in deepest lowliness of spirit—God will not forget to discipline us under His rod. Destruction will come to the unduly exalted believer, a destruction of joys and comforts, even though there can be no destruction of your soul. “As the Scriptures say, ‘If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD'” (2 Corinthians 10:17 NLT). - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
I am not exempt nor will I ever be free from the effects of pride in my life. Neither, my friend, will you be. Change is inevitable some in this world may say. In Christ it's a certainty.
In Christ the vast roots of sin are excised. Spiritual Surgeries occur either daily or across the time we have in this world.
You and I, if we are indeed in Christ, if we indeed are saved, will experience them. Some call it what it says in Proverbs as the rod of discipline. To look at it from another perspective it's also learning to be useful in the yoke Jesus said to put on with Him.
I am in another season of change. It's difficult, but not impossible, it's expected, yet not surprising when you know who is behind it. If I may also say, it is indeed a method to know that indeed you are saved when you can clearly see the Spirit working in you. A very scary thing is if you think that you are saved and nothing has changed in your life in spite of you living year upon year doing your own thing. That, my friend, is a sign that you really are not saved.
Are you going through changes in your life? Are you going through the motions? If indeed life is rough, is it because God is trying to complete His work in you or is it because you are resisting Him?
You come to Christ not to get a ticket to go live your life your way. It isn't about you working til retirement then off you go. Nowhere is it in Scripture anything about retirement other than finishing well in service to God. Adam was told that once they were kicked out of Eden that by the sweat of his brow would the Earth yield its fruit...all the days of his life. Not just until he retired.
We come to Christ for Salvation, yes, to be saved. We then became His workmanship. We then will indeed go through necessary changes to become more Christ like. As the thorns of sin are removed the more the fruits of the Spirit reveal themselves. If you are constantly prone to acidic outbursts then you are resisting God's change in you. If anger and angry outbursts are common to you, you really need to examine why. Not just dismiss them and say "that's just the way that I am". That is akin to the Pharisees claiming traditions that were not what the Bible said was true.
God will target the proud. Those in public service who are political figures are indeed in His sights. None will escape. Those not in public service will be targeted as well. From the small to the great. Does this include you?
You call your sinful behavior "a bad habit". That being your foul language or your outbursts of anger. The same kind of thinking that Jesus condemned in the Pharisees and Sadducees. You excuse your sins as though you have no choice. You can't embrace sins in your life and expect to be pleasing in the sight of God.
Jesus said clearly you cannot serve two masters. Going to try to tell HIM that it was just a bad habit when He knows what your intentions are at all times?
God disciplines those He loves. It's what is necessary to change them into someone who is like Christ. So this morning you need to look at your life. What are you embracing that God says to let go of? What is it that is a target on you? If your pride is riding high, you, are a target.
If you are doing what you want not regarding what the Bible says, you are a target. If you think you can live your own way, you are a target.
In Revelation, after the Rapture, the world is going to be full of prideful people who shake their fists at God. They will refuse to repent of their sexual immorality and their thefts, and their murders. Interesting that the things that they won't repent of are the responsibility of the Police departments to police. The very groups that many in this world want to disband.
Where are you in regards to your obedience to God? Is your hobbies and family activities more important to you than your relationship with Jesus? It's in the Bible, even those things hinder a right relationship with Jesus if done incorrectly. Is your work more important than your relationship with Jesus? Is anything? My friend, if you have a relationship with Jesus at all, those things WILL be set before you for you to choose. Jesus said that we shouldn't love anything or anyone more than Him. In marriage it's still God first, Wife/Husband second (depending on the Biblically defined God Given Gender you are- not the world definition) children next then the world. If you are not married then it's still God first, family second and the world.
Look at even the last year of your life. Is God telling you something about your priorities? Look closely to see if you are saved. Be sure before it's too late.