“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12
Old, old saying that we are all probably quite familiar with…”The end justify the means.” And we all know that this pretty much is saying that when you have a purpose or achieved goal that nothing, nothing is off limits or out of bounds in achieving that desired end result.
That mentality is quite common in the world and even encouraged and it can be a task for new converts or even old seat warmers to remember when fighting the temptation to steer away from the Word of God and choose “other alternatives” when achieving what they feel is something that must take place or the end result of a situation that they have been faced with and it is very easy to be swayed into believing that whatever it takes to achieve that goal that God will be okay with because he loves us but when it comes to the Kingdom of Heaven that God has commanded that his people “come out and be separate” and the false doctrine doctrine teaching of that anything and everything is okay with God is an absolute lie.
God means what He says and says what He means.
When God saves us, cleanses us and delivers us we are so new, so alive, so clean and there is nothing like the initial feeling of having the sins of a lifetime washed away and being made new in Christ, but again that is initially.
And as Scripture also teaches us we are babes in Christ, but the time comes for those babes to grow and just as we grow in the natural, growing spiritually involves many ups and downs and the growing process can be at times very painful.
We do not learn to trust God unless we are faced with a situation that seems so hopeless and helpless that our only option is that we must trust God.
We do not learn to walk in faith unless we are suddenly met with a darkened path that can only be walked by faith.
And we will never ever develop the kind of patience that Jesus referred to when he told us that in it we will possess our souls, unless that patience is tried.
These are Christian growing pains, because we must grow in Christ and that is a process, day by day, year by year, we grow in Christ and as we grow and the time comes, just a baby bird must learn how to stand up in his nest before he will ever take flight.
We as Christians are allowed to learn “to stand” just as we grow from babies to toddler and before we can ever walk must less run we have to learn how to stand.
I have noticed more in the recent years than ever, is by convincing Christians that somehow we can still hold fast to the belief that the end will justify the means.
And that is not saying God leaves us, he never ever leaves us and he is always there to help us and as we start swaying, stumbling, even almost falling as we try to stand He is the father who gently takes our hands and steady’s us again.
And this is the place where so many stumble and take hold of the wrong hand and often during these times rather than knowing that God is there is can be easier to allow the enemy to convince us that if we are to stand we will need to do whatever it takes to stand on our own.
That is NOT God’s idea on how we are to handle anything.
Often through our upbringing and society we can easily fall back into the old mindset and completely forget the truth that we once knew and soon enough struggles will come and then we must decide are we going to revert back to the old way of thinking, listening to the wrong voices of handling life or do we take God at His word.
The best description of this growing process, it’s purpose, and the ease of not quite grasping it can be found in 2 Peter 1:2-9: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to (by) glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature HAVING ESCAPED the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to you faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (love).
For if these things be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is short sighted), and hath FORGOTTEN that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins.”
So you can see this for the process that it is and it is a process, little by little, step by step as God transforms us (as scripture says, by the renewing of our MINDS) to become the men and women that he created us to be in Him.
And we must have these attributes.
But we are human, we will stumble, we will struggle but again if we accept the fact that this is part of that process and quit believing the lies of the enemy that tell us that if we were were really “where we should be…” that is the biggest lie of all, we are never where we should be or otherwise we’d be out of here and taken into heaven!
And we are often harder on ourselves than the enemy or others could ever be and we have to stop this and accept, really accept Jesus, his forgiveness and get on with our work for the Kingdom while we still have time to work.
Remember those treasures you are storing up, remember those crowns that you will be given to lay at the feet of the King?
But also remember that we are called for a purpose, for the good of the kingdom, and if we fail to remember that and fail to press forward, we will also need to bear in mind the lives that we did not touch and the work that we did not accomplish.
And as harsh as that may sound, it is a very good incentive to us when we think outside of the box of our own head and look at the bigger picture which is why Peter tells us so clearly that we need these attributes, and note that he does not at any time lay down a number of days, months, years that we should achieve any of these attributes or the total culmination of them all because there is no time frame.
Just that we are to build upon these and we acquire them through the need and dependence upon them to finally reach our true goal- the true “end justification” which is love, love as Christ wants us to love.
It is a process, because even though you may have faith but if you do not have self control what could happen with that faith?
Maybe you have brotherly kindness and can be helpful to those in need and maybe your heart goes out to them and you are led in someway to reach out to them and perform some of act of service but you lack diligence, your heart may reach out but you will not be able to complete the task, without diligence we see nothing through.
And he tells us at the end that IF we lack these things we are short-sighted, we cannot see far off. meaning we can not see the end, the eternal outcome and it is then that we are tempted into playing the game of “The end justifies the means” because we are searching for that quick fix.
Another set back to modernism of the church, we can not lie, or avoid the truth or pretend to like those who our hearts are filed with unresolved hurt against, we can not do any of these things out of any agenda because it is still sin and using it as a ‘”Means to an end” is also a sin.
Again part of that growing process, but as we grow in Christ and we choose to follow a plan that is at the very least questionable in comparison to the Word of God on handling that subject and while that little voice inside is telling us this is not quite right and we reason within ourselves that it is not that big of a deal and reassure ourselves with our own reasoning… it is sin.
Honesty, whether that honesty seems good or bad to others, God requires honesty, and as James 4:17 states “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it IS sin.”
We are not bound by what we do not know,and if we do not understand the things that we should not do and do them, God will let us know in our hearts or by a word of exhortation that we should not do those things, He will ensure we get the message, because He loves us, and that love is unconditional and He wants us to have the life of peace and joy,a life that was purchased by him for us, a life that was paid for in his agony, his blood and his life and when we choose our own path we are devaluing his sacrifice.
If we are to be part of the outpouring of the last days, which we know that we are in, and we truly want to see his Kingdom come we have to get these “little foxes” under control and out of our lives. We all struggle, we all have questions about our identity from time to time, that it normal and God promises are so pure and so perfect, we are PROMISED that he will never leave us, no one loves us like Jesus and no one ever will!
He wants us to succeed and if that means picking us up and dusting us off and giving us a hug every fifteen minutes we are on this earth He will.
He is gentle, kind, and merciful beyond human comprehension and he does not expect us to be anything other than who he created us to be and to keep his commandments, love and honor him and do the best that we personally are capable of doing.
But in that we also must be willing to choose the correct path and the correct response to the things that life throws our way, it is often said concerning parenting to “choose your battles wisely” and I do believe many fights in battles that were never theirs for the fighting, such as staying in situations out of pride, not wanting to be the “one who gave in” when it would be more wise to walk away
Remember that God wants us to come to him with all that weighs you down, he wants you to bring to him every problem that you can’t solve because in truth we can’t solve anything and we often make things much worse and God will come to our rescue when we ask but often we are left with damages that we should have never had to incur.
Know this, that if you have to pray one hundred times a day that God hears every single pray and he honors humility and truth and when we say God I can’t…. that is exactly when he will let you know that even so, HE CAN and he is not interested in what you can do for yourself he is interested in you trusting him.
Verses to remember:
1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath NO temptation taken you but such is COMMON to man; But GOD IS FAITHFUL, who will NEVER suffer (permit) you to be tempted (tested) above that which ye are able; but will with the temptation ALSO make a way to escape, that ye might be able to bear it.”
It comes to everyone and God will NEVER allow it to destroy you IF you take his way out. But if you choose to follow your own path, you can not blame God because God gives us FREE WILL, the choice is ours.
Romans 6:14: “For sin SHALL NOT have dominion (rule) over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
Plead the blood, plead the blood!
Revelation 12:11: “And they OVERCAME him (the enemy) BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and by the word of their testimony; and that they loved not their lives unto death.”
To wrap up, we must be our guard, sometimes that path will seem right but it can lead to the ways of death, spiritually speaking, a little this or a little that, “this one time” is only minute in our reasoning and sin leads to more sins, that is why our beginning verse starts singular, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” and becomes plural.
That WAY leads to those WAYS.
So stay on guard and never con yourself or letting anyone else con you into believing that we will ever justify our own on way, only God can justify us and games… God does not play!
Thanks for reading!
Φλογιζω NBJ 2020 Rev. Nina Brown Johnson