It always amazes me how the Lord knits all that is going on in our lives into a lesson that deals with what is happening in are own lives at that moment. I just finished preaching two messages on Idolatry. As I worked on those messages I realized the condition of my own life. In the last 3 ½ years I began to struggle with my health. I have not really listened to my wife about my health (sleep and rest) and in the midst of that I allowed myself to permit something into my life that God was not happy with. (For those that know me, it is not Pornography. This January, by the grace of my Lord, I will be 11+ years free.) The specific issue is not important – God and I have dealt with it and I am back in great fellowship with Him. My point is that I was beginning to Drift, and did not want to admit it, and now I am dealing with that very topic. God is so merciful and gracious!
Just to keep our thoughts flowing let’s review:
· First Warning #1 Laziness = Lack of Discipline
§ Test yourself: Do you only do the difficult or inconvenient when forced to, or do you choose to do the difficult, i.e. Memorize Scripture, Read through the Bible, Fast, etc. just to stay in shape?
· Second Warning #2 Boredom = Lack of Purpose
§ Test yourself: Are you Proactive in your walk with God? Do you seek from Him on your own to create new ways to grow and serve Christ?
· Third - Warning #3 Restlessness = Lack of Contentment
§ Test yourself: How do you handle solitude? If you are alone for a period of time, can you use it profitably, or do you just become “antsy” and have to find anything to do to distract yourself?
· Fourth - Strong Current #4 Pride = Lack of REAL Esteem!
§ Test yourself: How many of those around you know that you need Christ and have no joy in your life without Him? Are you embarrassed to talk about your dependence on Christ for everything in your life?
The moment we hit the “current” of Pride, our situation becomes much more dangerous. The next step is an obvious one, when we become obsessed with ourselves, the minute we don’t get our way we throw a “Pity Party” for ourselves.
Fifth - Strong Current #5 Self Pity
When you throw a pity party for yourself, the unholy trinity, Me, Myself and I, will have a feast on sin. Everything will be focused on you and what you want or don’t have. This exposes a Lack of Control over Circumstances! Our flesh drives to be in control of everything in our life…which is impossible…never the less it still demands that. As we experience this frustration we find ourselves feeling sorry for ourselves. (self pity)
Deuteronomy 3:23–28 “I also pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying, ‘O Lord God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours? ‘Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ “But the Lord was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me; and the Lord said to me, ‘Enough! Speak to Me no more of this matter. ‘Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes to the west and north and south and east, and see it with your eyes, for you shall not cross over this Jordan. ‘But charge Joshua and encourage him and strengthen him, for he shall go across at the head of this people, and he will give them as an inheritance the land which you will see.’
Test yourself: When someone does not fulfill a promise they made to you, how long does it take for you to get over it? When someone has wronged you, how difficult is it for you to forgive them?
Philippians 4:6-8 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.
Colossians 3:13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Ephesians 4:26–27 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
Sixth - Strong Current #6 Pigging Out
One of the universal experiences that every human being has had is enjoying their “comfort foods.” Whenever they are emotionally down or exhausted they turn to their comfort food. My problem is I have too many “comfort foods!” J This happens to us spiritually also. When we are throwing a pity party for ourselves we will seek whatever our flesh desires to bring it comfort. This exposes a Lack of Control of Appetites in our life. Drugs, sex, ego boots, revenge, you name it, whatever will bring comfort to your sinful flesh.
Psalms 39:6 Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.
James 5:1 -3 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.
Test yourself: Which do you hunger for more, that which pleases God or that which pleases you? Do you seek to make others feel good or your self?
Philippians 3:8, 17-20 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
Meditation: How often do you feel sorry for yourself? What do you do when you feel that way? What brings you comfort? Is it spiritually healthy? If you turn to comfort that takes you away from the Lord, what do you need to do?