HAVE YOU EVER BEEN THERE?
Monday, October 2018
We’re all broken. Some worse than others as far as consequences are concerned. What many broken people fail to understand is that Satan uses our brokenness to deceive us! He does this in many ways, too numerous to fit in this article. However, here are a few.
1. If things are going our way, God is good. We are being blessed. Satan steps in and convinces us that we deserve those blessings. Then everything is taken away. Our children die in horrible accidents. Employment is lost. Bankruptcy is declared. Most of our friends evaporate. Family can’t help. Job suffered from painful sores from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head (Job 2:7). Medicine would not touch it. Relief was unavailable (v.8). But, Mrs. Job wasn’t infected! Yes, she lost the cushiony life she had become accustomed to. She lost the prestige of being the wife of a rich and influential husband. She had lost her children too. She had been reduced to poverty. Since hubby had the sores and she didn’t, it had to be his fault. She had suffered the shame and his condition longer than most women would have endured. Despite her strength, she had reached her limit! Her excellent solution to end her dreadful condition was to advise him to “Curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Did Job’s friends support him or agree with her? They shared by blaming Job. If he would confess his sin, things would normalize! Have you ever been in his shoes? Have you ever occupied hers? Have you ever had friends like that? Have you ever been there?
2. You believe that God loves you because you can quote John 3:16 without fault. However, you think that if you will make one more visit, read one more Bible chapter, pray one more prayer, talk Jesus to one more person, and volunteer to do one more spiritual activity, God will love you more. Also, it might help reward you by placing you a little closer to heaven! Have you ever been there (Matthew 5:5)?
3. Every time the church doors are opened, you are there. You are engaged in every activity on the church calendar. Every time a volunteer is required, you are it. You enjoy people referring to how busy you are for the Lord. You are proud because you are mending the cracks in your own brokenness. However, there are those who aren’t engaged in that accomplishment as well as you. You view others as not being as convicted in their faith as you are because they are not active in what you are involved in. You thank God for your spiritual strength and speak of it in your prayers. You also are thankful that you are not as neglectful as others who are nowhere near your spirituality. Have you ever been there (Luke 18:9-14)?
4. You believe you are a faithful Christian because you are at the church building without fault. Others are amazed at your spiritual accomplishments. Your prayers are worth remembering and cloning. Your obedience is remarkably outstanding. You are very conscience about crossing every “t” and dotting every “i” in your spiritual journey. Your memory work is impeccable. Your recall is without fault. Your logic is flawless. If Paul had any competition, you would be it! Yet, your meekness is noteworthy. Your patience is coveted. Your humility is admirable. Yet invisible to others is the turmoil you live with. Your face is pointed toward heaven, but your feet seemed to be slipping towards hell. Your prayers are offered with honesty, but you question your heart and God’s hearing. You attempt to obey as perfectly as possible, but your imperfection announces your failure. You know John 3:16 shouts God’s love for you, but you question your love for Him. You know Jesus paid it all, yet you feel he left room for you to pay something, but you haven’t reached the amount. You know you are faithful, but aren’t sure if it will ever be complete? Jesus pled, “Come to me,” but that action on your part lacks perfection (Matthew 11:28-30). You want to trust Jesus rather than in your abilities, but there is one more thing to do, which you haven’t done, and you know you could have! Have you ever been there? Paul was. Have you not yet realized what he did (Romans 7:24-25; 8:1)?
The devil uses our brokenness to deceive us. We can listen to him, or we can put our trust in Jesus. When we do, Paul’s answer makes sense (Romans 8:1).