Weather Report From Heaven: Sunny and bright, with an abundance of light and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture- “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”- Hebrews 4:12
Insight: Most people I know, including myself, are prone to self-destruction over time. We don’t mean to, it just happens as a result of the sinful world in which we live. I have seen people who were seemingly on the top of the world fall with a mighty crash. I have seen addictions, lust, greed and pride destroy lives in an instance and it is not pretty. The only hope we have for lasting success can be found in Jesus. Simply put, Jesus saves us from ourselves.
I have heard it said that for every 100 who can deal with failure, only one can handle success. I think this is true in many respects. Why? Because when we are successful we can give ourselves too much credit and turn away from our need for God. We are more vulnerable because we have lots of different influences vying for our attention when we are on top. Our material success can lull us into a false sense of security, and dull our perceived need for what only Jesus can offer- true contentment and security. Like Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead sang “when life looks like easy street there is danger at your door.”
It takes talent to make it to the top of the Mountain, but it takes character to stay there. Where does that character come from that allows us to remain successful? I believe it comes from spending time in prayer and repentance in the presence of God. That is where we can let the Word of God penetrate deep in our soul, as Hebrews 4:12 says above, and point out any thoughts or attitudes of the heart that are not in line with His will and may be flashing warning signs to us. Prayer and repentance build humility. We need to let His word do its work in us and this can only be accomplished through time spent in His presence. The results are always in our best interest, as “He works all things for good for those that love him,” as it says in Romans 8:28.
How do people who are famous or make tens of millions of dollars or more end up broke as you read about all the time? Easy answer- they get prideful, and then they make foolish decisions! Proverbs 16:8 warns us succinctly to be on guard against pride “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Satan wants to destroy the life of Christians ( 1 Peter 5:8 ) and ruin their testimony. God wants to keep us from making foolish decisions and He wants to protect us in His power, and it has nothing to do with worldly wealth. His love is much deeper than that and it is not circumstantial! He wants us to trust in Him, obey Him and follow Him, wherever that may lead. He knows the best path for us, and He knows the things in our life that can be used by a deceitful enemy to destroy us. Let Jesus reign in your hearts and then let the word of God do its work as mentioned in the Scripture above. He will never leave us or forsake us ( Hebrews 13:5 ) and although our situations will change many times, He never changes. ( Hebrews 13:8 ) He is our Rock, the solid ground on which we can stand. That alone should give us the strength and courage we need to turn to Him when things are tough, or maybe even more so when things are seemingly good.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you that You alone can save us from ourselves and keep us from destruction when we keep our focus on You alone, no matter what our circumstances may seem like. You are the strength we need in both good times and bad. Lead us to the right path and keep us far away from destructive pride. Amen!