IF you have your eyes open to what is going on in the world today, it should not be hard for you to recognize the Word of God is swiftly unfolding right before our eyes. There is so much going on as the pieces are being moved into place, it just lets us know that Jesus is very very soon to come. Now, this post is not concerned with whether or not you believe in the rapture of the church. With the way this world is going, any one of us could breathe our last at any moment. Tomorrow is promised to nobody. So, because we see how fast things are taking shape, we should be examining ourselves more than ever before, and be HONEST about what we see.
Instead of self-examination, however, many of us “think” ourselves right and ignore the Word of God regarding our own character. So often we can look the part, talk the part in church circles, but have a heart that is fraught with ungodliness.
We can “say” we are holy people of God, claim to be sanctified, but REFUSE to truly sanctify ourselves beyond the easy surface. It’s not right, and if we are going to meet the Lord in peace, we had better get it right. And I’ve got news for every one of us; the window and time of opportunity for such work is closing fast.
I believe we have all had occasion to be foolish. All of us have probably let our mouths fly beyond our brains. There are occasions, perhaps, where we should have listened but chose to ignore the sound advice. In our human frailty, nobody is exempt from such moments from time to time.
The Bible, however, gives us a real good view of the characteristics of a fool. I have witnessed some behaviors that often brought a few such verses to mind. Because this behavior was amongst believers it left me brokenhearted and deeply concerned, since such conduct cannot be our way of life!
Time and again, in Christendom, folks like to quote Psalm 4:1. But, is it not also foolish to say there is a God but live like He doesn’t hear, see, and care what we say and do? Oftentimes we can live from the playbook of fools instead of the Word of God. One area of trouble is the found in OUR own behavior towards others and the things that spill forth from the un-surrendered and un-purified areas of our heart (Matt 12:34-37; Matt 15:18).
I have watched professing believers transform into something totally opposite of GODliness, while pointing out faults in another. They never once realized they were in violation of the Word of God!
I Once watched an altercation between two people; let’s call them Bob and Larry. Bob was ranting about Larry; Larry doesn’t this, that, or the other. I’m standing there thinking to myself that, in less than 4 minutes, Bob himself was deep in his own disobedience to God’s Word, and he did not even realize it. Bob did not see himself at all!
Bob called Larry a slew of ugly names (James 3:6; Matt 5:21-22; Matt 15:11; Prov 29:20; Titus 3:2-3; Eph 4:29-32).
He portrayed his own brand of stubbornness (Acts 7:51; Prov 12:1; Psalm 32:9).
He let his emotions lead him; he gave himself over to the works of his flesh (Galatians 5:19-21).
He acted out of anger (James 1:20), exhibiting a foolish and fiery temper…even in front of children! (Psalm 38:7; Prov 15:1; Eph 4:26; Eph 4:29-32; James 1:19)
Bob will be the first to say he has the Holy Ghost, but in this moment, he totally disobeyed the Spirit’s instruction…completely drowned Him out! (Eph 4:30; Acts 7:51; Heb 3:10)
Bob demonstrated NO self-control or other fruit (Gal 5:22-23; 2 Tim 1:7; 2 Pet 1:5-7).
Bob was spitting mad with whoever tried to diffuse the situation, proving himself to be peace-less (Matt 5:9; Rom 12:18; Heb 12:14; 1 Pet 3:11).
Bob also obstinately refused to be quiet, refused to listen, and he threw wisdom out the window (Prov 3:5-7).
ALL in less than 4 minutes! And he continued to hail forth, following Larry to continue the noxious rant. Whatever the issue that made Bob angry, his conduct was a heartbreaking display of overkill!
Now many, after such an ordeal, would calm down, justify themselves and commit to avoid the other party. We would try to excuse ourselves, smooth over our actions, and ignore our need to repent for sin against God and the other party. However, people of God cannot do that! Taking that route is to put ourselves in the pot with the fool who says there is no God. How? Well, if Bob does that – for example – then he is living like God did not see and record that entire pitiful display of compound disobedience.
Now Bob, Larry, and others, may get angry and take issue with me…probably have some choice words to throw my way as well. That’s unfortunate, but I’ve been there before; however, I will not take it back. The truth is the truth whether one likes it or not.
Sometimes truth doesn’t feel good, but eternal reservations often rest on the things we want to sweep under the rug; therefore, a wise person will examine themselves prayerfully in light of truth, face the facts and repent.
Read The Book; God is not having foolishness in heaven. This earth is our dressing up room. It would behoove all of us to start obeying the Word of God in those oft overlooked areas like our character, our love, our behavior towards others etc.
I encourage all of us to get in the Word of God, perhaps start with 1 Cor 13 or the book of Proverbs, and honestly examine ourselves. We are to train ourselves for GODliness! (1Tim 4:7-8)
What are you doing to train yourself for GODliness? This is training yourself to be like Jesus Christ. We too often want to claim His name but not conform to His ways. We say we love Him, but we refuse to obey when it comes to our words and actions.
Too often we are not training ourselves for godliness. We are training ourselves to become stronger in our ungodliness! We nurture our personal obstinance, our pride, quick tempers etc. We clear the way for our flesh to rule the throne of our hearts. But we still “love the Lord” though, right? We are ready to go back with Him at any moment, while living life without even trying to cultivate the fruit of God in our lives? Ready with our stubborn, unrepentant hearts? …. Uh, no.
Look at the world in light of Scripture. We do not have time to keep playing around; living by the dictates of our flesh while trying to spread Christ over it like a blanket. Either we are going to be true believers (obedient) in Christ, or we are not. The choice is ours. Examine yourself.
Please, I plead with you; I beg each and everyone of us, to get before God and ask Him to shine His light on our life. Ask Him to place us before His mirror, to show us what HE sees in us. Ask the Lord to reveal ALL spots and wrinkles that we have ignored for so long.
Read the Bible and question yourself, your motives, your actions. Review your day! “Lord, have I lived this day as pleasing unto You? Have I acted in any way that was not in line with Your will?”
We all must stand before God one day. We ALL must stand before God one day. The Lord sees everything we do, knows everything we are thinking, he sees every crevice of our heart and He knows our motives. Do you have a desire to truly please Him? Do you love him enough to give up your will? Do you love Him enough to surrender all to Him in obedience? To surrender your pride? Your self-righteousness?
The wrath of God is poured out on the wicked. Do not presume that you will make it in because you go to church, because you SAY you love the Lord, because you offered God an “I’m sorry” for wrongdoing etc…. We must obey; we must obey those passages we use to point fingers at others.Eye Opener: Examine your heart and mind in light of your complaints about others. I dare ya! Click To Tweet
We can all get caught up in the emotional side of things. We can pray with fervor, speak in tongues and just get lost in the mood of worship. We can then walk away and FORGET that the biggest part of worship to God is the life we live!
We can look nothing like Christ because we don’t care to look and sound like Christ. We can offer praise to God and then, with the same mouth, slash others to bits. SOMETHING IS WRONG!!!
There are Booby Traps of Spiritual Death that are in place for every believer, and we fall right into them all too often because we refuse to yield to the Word and Spirit of God.
How does one avoid the traps and train themselves for godliness? I’m glad you asked. We must practice doing the Word of God in all situations!
For example, you see a news report on some bit of wickedness, or political wrongdoing. Do you pray for the hearts and minds of the evil doers, knowing that if they were saved they would not act so dastardly? Or do you go on the rampage, fussing and name calling? Your answer reveals whether you are training for godliness or just reinforcing the ungodliness of your flesh. What is in you will come out. Remember that!
Training for godliness takes personal work. It takes a focused, purposeful examination of our own heart ~ our own words, thoughts, feelings, and actions ~ in light of the Word of God and Christ’s example.Training is practicing doing things the right way,bending your will to God’s will. Click To Tweet
Get off the throne! If God is going to be Lord of your life, that means you are HIS loyal subject, and His will you obey.
Surface living won’t cut it. Transformation requires acknowledging the gunk in our own hearts, and cooperating with the Holy Spirit in breaking up and getting rid of it.
Are you willing to train yourself for godliness?