Let’s get this straight…God does not tempt us. Instead, our own evil desires do a really good job of that. And it’s when we allow our own deceptive imaginings to fester and grow, that sin has a foothold. You might call this day-dreaming…part pleasant reverie, part suggestive fantasy…but all of it giving rise to deception and lies in our thought life. And whenever you allow your day-dreaming to “go there”…whatever that is for you, you’re being tempted to give in to sinful thinking. That’s when we need to stop and remember II Corinthians 10:5, which cautions us to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.
Jesus Christ is the Great High Priest who became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him…(Hebrews 5:9) No longer did we have to keep offering the same sacrifices to remove our sins…for the truth is we can’t on our own abolish our sins…only the blood of Jesus can once, for all, do that.
Jezebel was the ruthless Queen and wife of King Ahab, who during her reign had forced Baal worship on Israel. But instead of hiding in fear when she heard he was coming after her, the brazen Jezebel chose to flaunt and attempt to intimidate King Jehu. But Jehu was on God’s mission, and when he yelled up, “Who’s on my side?” He really meant, “Who’s on the Lord’s side?” For as it says in Psalm 94:16, ” Who will rise up for Me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for Me against evildoers?” The world would like us to think we are powerless and impotent against the evil today…but look who God used here to rid Israel of this wicked woman…not powerful palace guards, but eunuchs.
From the Beatitudes we learn that, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7) Take that thought along with the Scripture here in James and we can understand a little better that our faith is empty when we are unmerciful. For if you think about it…we must show mercy in the same way as God has shown mercy to us.
God does not lie, nor ever will He change His mind. (Numbers 23:19) His gifts and His call on your life is irrevocable.(Romans 11:29) It’s us that sabotage and deliberately destroy His plan and purpose for our life by being disobedient and obstinate. But the good thing is…even when we mess up, God won’t turn His back on us…and He won’t reject or ridicule our earnest pleas. (Psalm 102:17) And in the end, God can still work all things for the good of those who love Him, and have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
If I would take to heart this verse and Matthew 7:2, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged…” you’d think I would stop judging others. It’s not that I voice my opinion loudly and rudely or treat others with contempt to their face…no, my condemnation is silent, covert, and secretive. But regardless, yes, I still judge, and judge harshly…quickly jumping to conclusions before actually hearing all the details. Other times, I form an opinion when I really have no right to…or I pass a verdict just for sport. Either way, it’s wrong and something I really need to work on…how about you?
We all spend our lives searching for it. But when we’re confounded with it, we usually don’t like what we hear or see. What is it you ask? It’s the Truth. The truth is sobering, straightforward, and serious. It’s what we don’t want to hear or see, so instead, we play mind games with ourselves, pretending it doesn’t exist. But the truth will remain the truth, regardless of what we want to think…and God is really good at revealing it to us. What we have to do then… is accept it.