Jan 19, 2011, 1:01 PM
Most of us don’t seem to realise we are our own stumbling blocks to inheriting eternal life. We have got to the point where we blame our misfortunes on God, rather than on ourselves. Instead of being “more than conquerors” in Christ, we are faint-hearted victims of the devil. We wrestle with sin, and in spite of the myriad attempts we have made and failed we still think we can win this war on our own.
Indeed, God wants us separated and detached from the world we live in. But we have to do so in His strength. Our Lord said: “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5b) The problem stems from our behaviour pattern. Recognising our weaknesses and clinging to the Omnipotent One would be in our best interest. The fear of the Lord strengthens us. Our weaknesses and our inadequacies should work for us as they humble us. “For when I am weak then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10) says the apostle Paul. Also, we ought to revamp a number of things in our lives in order to fall in line and cease to live life as usual. Time is of the essence.
The watch maker
There is a built-in problem with humans of wanting to do things our way. We forget we have a God-given purpose to fulfil. Let’s look at it this way. Any gadget we are using today was manufactured by someone and the manufacturer took pains to write out the manual for use so we could enjoy the equipment fully. The user’s manual is meant to avoid taking the gadget to an early grave by wrecking it before its time.
Unfortunately, a good many of us see ourselves as accidents and not as part of God’s plan. We do not have a clear picture of our position in God’s agenda. We just happened, with no clear purpose or direction. How sad! There is a danger Satan is deluding you from believing you really are a child of God.
The watch is not an accident; the one who made it made it for a purpose. Its design and its functions determine its utility. Therefore the watch has a reason for its existence. It follows that if we comply with God’s instructions manual which is His Word - as written in the Bible - we should have nothing to fear. We have a guarantee to live righteously.
Why does God take all this trouble, since in the days of Adam and Eve, to get us to stick to Him? “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4) asked the psalmist. God wants to draw us to Himself, that we may come to the knowledge of truth, that there is no other way. He created life, He set the laws of life and there is no sidestepping Him. He is our ultimate Saviour. If only we will put our intelligence aside and listen to Him we have a better chance of being happy here on earth and are assured of an everlasting life above. “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22)
“Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say ‘the Lord declares’, though I have not spoken?” (Ezekiel 13:7) God warned against false prophets and their mischief - misleading people. What determines a genuine from a false prophet? The true prophet will perform signs and wonders. God will always back His word. “I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” (Jeremiah 1:12)
Our Lord Jesus said that His sheep know His voice. Therefore if you are in Christ, you would detect the voice of the one that is seeking to lead you astray. (John 10:27)
There is a danger if we are unable to distinguish the Shepherd’s voice, the Master’s voice from that of hirelings. Our Lord Jesus will never lead His sheep astray. “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness….” (Psalm 23:1) That is what my Shepherd has reserved for me.Our Lord warns that many shall be disappointed on that day – the Day of Judgment. First, He will “separate the sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25:32) and He would invite “the blessed of my Father to inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34) This means everlasting punishment for the wicked, eternal life for the righteous.
Our Lord specifies that unfortunately, not everyone who says; “Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7: 21) To those who claim to know Him and really don’t, the verdict will be: “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:23)
This scenario brings to mind a nursery rhyme I learnt in kindergarten school. ‘Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not put him back together again.’ There is a danger we may not be able to put all the pieces back together again if we persist to do it our own way.
The finger of God
King Belshazzar threw a banquet for a 1.000 nobles and they were drinking wine. Then he ordered that the gold goblets that his father, Nebuchadnezzar had seized from the temple in Jerusalem be brought so that they (the nobles, their wives and their concubines) could drink wine from them. “As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.” (Daniel 5:4)
Suddenly, the king saw a finger writing on the wall. He “watched as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way.” (Daniel 5:5-6) He panicked. Matters became worst when none of his ‘enchanters, astrologers and diviners’ could read what was written. The king became even more terrified. That was a danger sign.