Quick Reminder : Always remember this when faced with temptation
In this fallen world do take heed that there are temptations but don’t be dismayed about them. Instead always remember this when faced with temptation:
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Verses for reflection:
An evil man is trapped by his rebellious speech, but a righteous man escapes from trouble. (Proverbs 12:13)
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:13)
then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment (2 Peter 2:9)
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)
About presumptuous sins
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12 )
Presuming things have caused people lots of harm and heart break. Let me make it real to you;
1) Some people assumed that not wearing the seat belt is harmless, and then got hurt severely in the car that they were in.
2) Some people have assumed that they can speak anything to their spouses and get away from it, and then have been fighting nasty divorce cases instead.
3) I know of people who’ve spoken vile words to their father and that very day their father died later in the same day due to a heart attack. And now these people forever regret their harsh words.
4) Some girls and boys in have tried drugs that are very much illegal just for fun but died on their very first try. And their parents have been in grief ever since that.
The sin of King Saul:
And then we have the case of the first King of Israel Saul who presumed what he felt was right in doing and thereby rejected the whole instruction of the Lord God. And so the Prophet Samuel was sent to him to inform him of God’s punishment for the sin of presumption. You can read the whole of 1 Samuel Chapter 15 to get the details on this.
Because King Saul acted very presumptuously against the commandment of the Lord God he had to hear the following from the Prophet Samuel;
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has also rejected you from being king.”
Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may bow before the Lord.” And Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” As Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his robe, and it tore. And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.” (1 Samuel 15:22-29)
If you think by the coming of Jesus Christ and with the preaching of the Gospel, we need not bother about presumptuous sins, are you unfortunately in the wrong.
The Sin of Ananias and Sapphira:
You can refer to Acts 5:1-11 about The Sin of Ananias and Sapphira
A man by the name of Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, sold some land. 2 He kept back part of the money for himself. His wife knew it also. The other part he took to the missionaries. 3 Peter said to Ananias, “Why did you let Satan fill your heart? He made you lie to the Holy Spirit. You kept back part of the money you got from your land. 4 Was not the land yours before you sold it? After it was sold, you could have done what you wanted to do with the money. Why did you allow your heart to do this? You have lied to God, not to men.”
5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down dead. Much fear came on all those who heard what was done. 6 The young men got up and covered his body and carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife came in. She did not know what had happened.
8 Peter said to her, “Tell me, did you sell the land for this amount of money?” She said, “Yes.” 9 Then Peter said to her, “How could you two have talked together about lying to the Holy Spirit? See! Those who buried your husband are standing at the door and they will carry you out also.” 10 At once she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in, they found that she was dead. They took her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Much fear came on all the church and on all who heard it.
Ananias and Sapphira presumed that they could lie to the Holy Spirit about withholding their offerings towards the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Why do people presume that the Holy Spirit cannot take action against those who sin against Him?
Maybe they have forgotten that each judgement that the Lord God has ever taken, be it against the Fallen Angels, Adam and Eve, the vile Pharaoh of Egypt, the Holy Spirit has never contradicted the Word of God when it comes to judgement against sin. But you O people of God, do not forget this lest you suffer the same fate as Saul or even like that of Ananias and Sapphira.
Verses for reflection:
- Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19:13)
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19:12-13)
- Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)
- Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:13-16)
Avoid doing these things
16 These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
Keeping Secrets (Part 2) – Keeping quiet where you have to
People say that they have nothing to hide but yet they may have things on them which may endanger their good standing before their spouse, relatives and even the society they live in. Let me make it real to you; a politician is considered the best leader of the state for many years. But all of a sudden a secret which only his former aide knows comes out. The politician was once a drug addict in his teenage years and had to be rehabilitated but eventually overcame it all. However the politician’s former worker out of a evil heart bent on making money would tell about the drug addiction part but not mention that how the politician overcame his habit. Now there could be huge controversy in the media and political world, leading to the politician losing the confidence of his people and eventually having to resign and retire as well. However this could be averted by either of the two ways:
- The politician should have not trusted his former aide with his secret.
- The aide should have kept quiet.
I’d like to focus now on the part of keeping quiet. Imagine if you will, things didn’t work out well for the aide and instead he got sued for over a million and even landed in jail for not keeping privacy. Things like these too happen.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. (Proverbs 11:13)
An employee giving out secrets of a banking corporation in terms of their hidden plan to enter the equities market, can result in big time losses to that corporation or undue advantage to its competitors. If such an employee is found out, you can only imagine the lawsuits and jail time such a person would be getting. And also, there would hardly be any other bank that would then try to ever employ such a traitor of an employee. But what if in the first place, such a corrupt employee would never be given access to the banking corporation’s expansion plans? There are certain banks which give information to only select staff members about their tactical future plan and not to everyone in their employ. Then obviously there would very less a chance of information leaking to the public and competitors.
Imagine if an army general while being drunk at a party tells of the location of the nuclear warhead codes to anyone who gives him a drink. And then person who gave him the drink turns out to be a spy of an evil nation. Then there could be loss of life to the nation or innocents in other world regions, thanks to one incompetent general. No matter how much the general pleads, the army judge won’t give him a chance at normal life. And obviously, the army will do everything in its power to punish the general. Retirement benefits are out of the question of such secret revealing general.
This is the point, I’d like to make; keep quiet on your secrets when you have to keep quiet on them.
Let me make it real to you. Remember the incident in the Bible about Samson and Delilah (Refer the entire chapter of Judges Chapter 16) and you’d understand how the great warrior Samson who been given tremendous strength by the Lord God to defend Israel lost it all. And how did he lose it? The woman Delilah (as traitorous like Judas) tricked Samson by means of much fake love and concern into giving out the secret of his power. And the consequences were very nasty for Samson. Let’s read the following:
15 And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16 And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. 17 And he told her all his heart, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.”
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. 20 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. 21 And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison.
Now if you read the entire chapter of Judges 16, you’d know that Samson already lost his internal discipline due to getting into illegal affairs with women of perverse nature, Delilah being one of them. What makes Delilah more vicious is that she faked her love for him at the bidding of the Philistines only to wait for the opportunity to find out the secret of Samson’s strength. You will need internal discipline to ensure that you ward off any repeated attempts by vile people to away your secrets. Yes, be ready for repeated attempts if you have to.
There might be some people who might say why don’t you see how the Lord God still blessed Samson when he repented and due to that Samson took down with him at his death even more than those whom he had killed during his life? I’d say to them, I do not overlook the mercy of God in such a case. For the Lord God is even merciful to the very end. And by the Lord did Samson destroy the enemies of God’s people even at the last hour of his life. But here’s what I have to say; do not put your Lord your God to test by citing the example of Samson in giving away secrets that should never be given at all. Remember dear reader, that Samson’s eyes were gouged out. Eyes! A pin prick can cause much pain to most people, how much more the horrendous removing of eyes.
Now the Bible does not speak of Delilah’s repentance. See and make note, there are some people who never repent for the damage they cause by misusing secrets. Don’t think that Delilah went to heaven, unless the Bible clearly says so. There are people so hardened of heart that they just do not care if they made wrong use of your secret or of anyone else.
If Samson were given the option to turn back time after all that happened to him (unfortunately who even gets this option) I think he would first off never be friends with the wrong women and never have given off his God given secret of strength to anyone! Don’t want to hide this but there are many in this world who wish they could only turn back time to prevent themselves giving out their secrets which may have caused them great shame, vast disrepute and even major financial losses. They won’t be able to turn back time by themselves. But at least if they then decide to be wiser and call upon the name of the Lord God they would stand a chance to live in faith and honor.
Now that you know this, please avoid giving out your secrets when you do not have to. Some secrets in fact must never be given out (to be covered in a later post). And trust in the Lord God and do not put him to the test.
Christ be with you!
Blind tolerance is foolishness
Never get fooled that tolerance is the only thing to have when dealing with others, especially those who hate you and your faith in Christ. You also need prudence. One also needs to be alert. Most of all, your tolerance must be as per God’s will which includes prudence and vigilance and not as per man’s opinions. Blind tolerance is nothing less than foolishness. To be wise in your tolerance, you need to read the Bible for this and not just a few verses, you need to take the whole Bible into perspective.
Some people are overzealous about; Judge not, that you be not judged (Matthew 7:1). These behave that this is the only verse they ought to follow. I’ve already written an article about this (click here to view it) in order to let such people get the right idea of ‘judge not’, so I won’t elaborate too much on this.
The Bible tells us to be vigilant:
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12)
Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children (Deuteronomy 4:9).
It also reminds us to be prudent:
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. (Proverbs 22:3)
But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known. (Matthew 12:14-16)
Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. (Matthew 7:6)
We also need to discern:
Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.(Proverbs 14:7)
He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.(Proverbs 17:15)
There are things we are not to tolerate:
But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20)
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (Romans 16:17)
Our tolerance towards others must not mean that we compromise on vigilance, prudence nor discernment. We are not called to tolerate each and everything. One needs to have a balanced view of the Bible in all things.
Some might say, ‘we are to turn the other cheek’ and to them I say ‘do not put the Lord your God to the test’. If you are to choose between life and Christ, its best to take Christ for yourself. But don’t deliberately put yourself or your loved ones in a situation where doesn’t know how to deal with danger. Not every time this is case of getting tempted to leave Christ. And not everyone out in the world is a criminal. But some are indeed evil! So we must go by the facts and not ignore them. If a leopard has attacked many cattle, don’t assume it’ll be tame towards you because it never killed a human before. You don’t give it to act first to make a decision but instead you first make sure you keep a safe distance from the wild cat or be out of sight.
In the same way, if you know that there are people with a history of violence, you don’t try to play ‘nice’. Instead you keep a safe distance from them. I’m not talking about only terrorists. This is about thugs and murderers too. Also, warn your children and loved ones to know whom to get near and whom to keep away from.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22: 6)
Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. (Proverbs 22:24-25)
Whoever plans to do evil will be called a schemer. The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind. (Proverbs 24: 8-9)
Never get too happy when you see evil doers go down in life. Such rejoicing must be avoided. Be sober because it’s the Lord God fighting them. And the Lord can use angels, animals and even humans to do his work of justice.
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him. (Proverbs 24: 17-18)
You might find my opinion a bit odd, but at times when I came know of so and so sinners, even terrorists who died when being confronted by workers of justice, I felt bad that such souls have not accepted the Gospel and not repented and so are not going to heaven. For a few seconds I tried to imagine that if they accepted the Lord Jesus much earlier in life, how much damage and death to others could have been avoided in the first place.
Then reality set in, I viewed the new reports again and I realized there were innocent people, even innocent kids who got killed by these evil doers. So Divine justice already had to tackle the murderers on earth itself before giving them their due punishment in hell. So if even if you hear of such workers of iniquity getting harmed or killed, do not rejoice but rather pray for the victims of their crimes and also for the victims families. Don’t pray for the wicked who have died in battle, since there is no hope for them.
Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out. (Proverbs 24: 19-20)
Verses for reflection:
To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ (Revelation 2: 1-7)
Proverbs 31 Bootcamp (Video)
Note: Credit for the YouTube video goes to www.hearingGod.tv ministries.