Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In My Flesh....

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

The first verse of that passage from Proverbs 3 came from the latest Wednesday evening service at my church. No, I wasn't the preacher. But it speaks to part of today's thought. And, in a sense, we're going to start at the end and work backward.

Just hours before I started to commit my thoughts to words, I read an article that talked about various people who committed or tried to commit suicide because of Harold Camping's apocalyptic prophecy. The author spoke of these people as if they were your everyday, Bible believing, born again Christians. And that was the author's mistake. There's a difference between believing the Bible and believing in the Bible. Anyone can read the Bible and determine that there's going to be a very interesting end of time. That's as far as you get if you believe in the Bible. On the other hand, for this discussion, it doesn't matter if we believe the rapture will occur before, during or after the tribulation, if we believe the Bible. Because that has to come from a relationship with God. Which allows us to trust Him, no matter what. The people mentioned in that article knew about God, but they hadn't developed a relationship with Him. They relied on their own wisdom. As did their teacher. Which takes me to the beginning thought for this post and Romans 7:18.

My flesh will take me in the direction of judging Harold Camping and his followers. Because "in me dwelleth no good thing". And despite the fact that the Bible is clear that only God has the right to judge. Faster than Speedy Gonzalez, I'll be right down the wrong spiritual path if I listen to my flesh. The suicidal people are making the rest of us look bad, Mr Camping is misguiding thousands, I feel betrayed by this group, etc. All possibly true and my flesh is spiritually false. I don't have God's omniscience, so I don't know for sure what their motives might be. I can discern some things, come to some conclusions by words, actions and past behavior. But I can't know. Proverbs 4:23 tells me to guard my heart. Which takes me right out of the judge's bench. We read in Proverbs 12:20 that, "Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy." So, let's not follow the flesh and judge. But rather, guide, console, draw people into a real relationship with God. That's our responsibility. God provides the results. But those who are rightly related to God will have the trust and peace described in 1 John 4:17-19 for all situations.

If any of this sounds like you and you've never asked God to come into your heart to begin that relationship, now is the time to call upon Him. Matthew 24::36 tells us no one knows when the end will come. But all the things happening today certainly give us a good clue that the end isn't far away. You can read in the Gospels and 1 Corinthians 13 about how much God loves you and wants that close relationship with you. But He'll never force Himself on you. You have to ask Him into your heart. So, if you haven't done that before, do it now. And you can let me know you made that decision by emailing me at pbillk dot at gmail dot com. I'd be overjoyed to hear you made that decision to accept God's gift of salvation and, if you'd like, help you in finding a good local Bible believing church to help you grow in your new life with Christ.

Till next time, be blessed and don't forget to pray for Dana, Curtis, Peggy and Libby. And, of course, all the recent disaster victims.

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