Love God freely instead of out of compulsion
Love God freely instead of out of compulsion. Don’t be in delusion that any claiming to love God but acting the opposite is going to please the Lord God.
So, in this regard read and reflect on what Jesus said about loving God and following the Lord’s commandments:
- And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
- Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)
Love God freely instead of out of compulsion, because God is worthy of your love. For some it might be hard to grasp this but let wisdom vindicate itself.
Don’t be after the vain praises by others by making yourself look like a great lover of God. But instead love God because you want to love Him, without any desire for attention towards yourself by others.
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)
Never rashly presume things to be holy especially when making vows in marriage
It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,” and to reflect only after making vows. (Proverbs 20:25)
There are people at times who rush into getting married. These rashly say they are doing what is holy since they love their soon-to-be spouse and their soon-to-be spouse loves them. And five years post marriage, there are arguments in their marriage, with the eventual divorce.
These never checked each others temperament nor adaptability before marriage. They just only “saw” love but didn’t both to check the truth. I mean the truth about being long term, even till death do them apart upon getting married. These are the one’s who make their wedding vows first and only few years later reflect if they made the right decision. “A few years later”, yes that’s correct.
Instead of checking things out before marriage they only do their assessment of marriage much later. Now not every divorce happens due to rash decisions going into marriage, there could be other things which might have not been possible to detect earlier, but I do hope you get the idea that faulty plans can get into faulty marriages.
Yet, if these couples who are thinking of divorce get Bible based counsel or just pray with sincerity to the Lord God they can save their marriages from ending into disaster.
Now, the Biblical warning mentioned above in Proverbs 20:25 is not limited to marriage vows. It can be your business decisions, various types of contracts, friendship agreements and anything that involves taking oaths, including taking the oath of speaking the truth in the court of law.
Be wise everywhere for the glory of God!
What if the Lord should give you power to raise the dead
If the Lord should give you power to raise the dead, He would give much less than He does when he bestows suffering. By miracles you would make yourself debtor to Him, while by suffering He may become debtor to you. And even if sufferings had no other reward than being able to bear something for that God who loves you, is not this a great reward and a sufficient remuneration? Whoever loves, understands what I say. (St John Chrysostom)
Do you fast?
Do you fast? Then feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit the sick, do not forget the imprisoned, have pity on the tortured, comfort those who grieve and who weep, be merciful, humble, kind, calm, patient, sympathetic, forgiving, reverent, truthful and pious, so that God might accept your fasting and might plentifully grant you the fruits of repentance (St John Chrysostom)
About the traits of a humble man in Christ
A humble man is never rash, hasty or perturbed, never has any hot and volatile thoughts, but at all times remains calm. Even if heaven were to fall and cleave to the earth, the humble man would not be dismayed. Not every quiet man is humble, but every humble man is quiet. There is no humble man who is not self-constrained; but you will find many who are self-constrained without being humble. This is also what the meek humble Lord meant when He said, ‘Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’ [Matt 11:29]
For the humble man is always at rest, because there is nothing which can agitate or shake his mind. Just as no one can frighten a mountain, so the mind of a humble man cannot be frightened. If it be permissible and not incongruous, I should say that the humble man is not of this world. For he is not troubled and altered by sorrows, nor amazed and enthused by joys, but all his gladness and his real rejoicing are in the things of his Master.
Humility is accompanied by modesty and self-collectedness: that is, chastity of the senses; a moderate voice; mean speech; self-belittlement; poor raiment; a gait that is not pompous; a gaze directed towards the earth; superabundant mercy; easily flowing tears; a solitary soul; a contrite heart; imperturbability to anger; undistributed senses; few possessions; moderation in every need; endurance; patience; fearlessness; manliness of heart born of a hatred of this temporal life; patient endurance of trials; deliberations that are ponderous, not light, extinction of thoughts; guarding of the mysteries of chastity; modesty, reverence; and above all, continually to be still and always to claim ignorance. (~Isaac the Syrian)
If there were no tribulation
Work while the world sleeps
Work for Jesus and work well,
And in His name the darkness dispel.
In worldly cares don’t grow dull,
Lest your praise to God go lull.
The world and its lust is fading away,
Be brave and carry your cross everyday.
For most of mankind in ignorance sleeps,
Unaware of the evil that carefully seeps.
Don’t be drowsy in drunkenness or grief,
Lest your treasure gets stolen by the thief.
Because among God’s chosen you number,
Keep away from all worthless slumber.
And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever. (1 John 2:17)