Thursday, May 29th, 2014
Christian Pitfalls (Part 5)
They were filled and their heart was exalted; Therefore they forgot Me.
Hosea 13:6 (NKJV)
They believed His Words;
They sang His praise.
They soon forgot His works;
They did not wait for His counsel,
But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness,
And tested God in the desert.
And He gave them their request,
But sent leanness into their soul.
Psalm 106:12-15 (NKJV)
Yes, again and again they tempted God,
And limited the Holy One of Israel.
They did not remember His power:
The day when He redeemed them from the enemy
Psalm 78:41-42 (NKJV)
When a dying world looks at American Christians, what do they see? Possessions and pride? Idols and iPhones? Faithful words without faithful works? Mission trips instead of a commissioned life?
Are we rich kids who refuse to grow up? Do we pick the sweet Words of Jesus, while others eat the hard Parts? Do we hang gold crosses on our necks, while others hang on real ones?
'Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.' When Christians forget God's sovereignty, they reduce His presence in their lives--because God is a Gentleman, and a gentleman will go no further than he is invited to go. In essence, they limit God:
'Prescribing to Him what proofs He should give of His power and presence with them, and what methods He should take in leading them and providing for them; directing Him what to do, and when, and in what manner, to do it, and murmuring if He did not always grant their particular and various desires' (Benson Commentary).* After all, America is a take-charge nation with take-charge Christians.
But in a take-charge position, we forget God's rightful place: 'Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as Head over all' (1 Chronicles 29:11).
We forget our rightful place: 'He went a little farther and fell on His Face, and prayed' (Matthew 26:39).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Don't allow arrogance, busyness or unhappiness make you forget God. 'Draw near to God and He will draw near to you' (James 4:8).
Jesus said, 'If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed' (John 8:31). The best habit you can ever have is to spend quality time with God--every day: In His Word, in prayer and in Spirit. Only in constant communion will you be able to withstand the wiles of the devil.
David, a man after God's Own Heart, faced more trials and temptations than most of us will ever face. His answer to them all? To remember God:
'My heart within me is distressed.I remember the days of old;I meditate on all Your works;I muse on the work of Your Hands.I spread out my hands to You;My soul longs for You like a thirsty land' (Psalm 143:4-6).
Let David's good memory be your good memory. Therein lies your peace, protection and promotion.
To Be Continued...
* Benson Commentary (and others) on Psalm 78:41: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/psalms/78-41.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Christian Pitfalls series.