The biggest trap Believers fall into is complacency…especially if we’ve been a Christian for years. Our spiritual life has become very comfortable because we’ve picked and chosen bits and pieces of the Gospel that suit us. Our life in Christ has slowly become all about us – not others. We’ve become self-satisfied, tepid Christians with no enthusiasm to reach the lost…no thirst to get into His Word…no eagerness to share the Gospel. Complacency means we’re satisfied with the status quo, confident in our own salvation, but not really interested in anyone else. No wonder in this Scripture God is ready to spit lukewarm Christians out of His mouth…they have lost their first love…their zeal…their spiritual fervor. And to Him, they are worthless.
Psalm 146:3 puts it another way, “Don’t put your trust in mortal men who cannot save.” Anytime we put more confidence in another human being rather than God…we’re headed for trouble. For no matter how powerful, charismatic, or appealing someone is…they’re still a mortal being…full of a fallen nature just like us. So we need to be very careful not to get sucked into worshiping man… and not God. For no man can offer us deliverance from sin and eternal salvation. Only God can do that through His Son Jesus Christ.
I Timothy 2:3-4 tells us that God wants all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. But it also tells us in Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” So whether we want to admit it or not – we know what’s right and wrong. God’s unearned and unmerited favor is for all. But when we reject God’s truth, we become estranged from Him, having no excuse except our selfish Will.
Paul is thought to have written this letter to the Philippians during his first Roman imprisonment. He wanted them to be encouraged whether they ever saw him again or not. Paul especially exhorted them to stand firm in one spirit…something that the modern-day Church should take heed of. When there is infighting, discord, and division, the Church cannot function as it should. For when we are not standing firmly together in unity…contending for the Gospel as one…the message of Salvation through Jesus Christ is lost in the muck and mire and turmoil within the Church walls. Paul reminds the Philippians, and us, to lead our lives in a manner deserving of the Gospel of Peace.
Everyday God is using us for His purposes…just as He used Jesus Christ in the supreme purpose of our salvation. But if we seek greatness for ourselves…we stop God from using us. As long as we have personal interests and ambitions…as long as we attach “I” or “Mine” to our work…we can’t be completely aligned and identified with God. It’s not until we can honestly say, “My purpose in life is now God’s purpose.” that the Lord can pour into us divine thoughts, plans and intentions that will further His Kingdom.
Suffering, grief, troubles, and pain are all part of the human experience. No one is exempt. So if we know this will happen in our life…why does it sometimes take a while to give these burdens to the Lord rather than shouldering them alone? The Psalmist here is crying out to the Lord for protection and deliverance…realizing, that only God can help him. The time to give our troubles to the Lord is long before we’ve come to the end of ourselves…when desperation, hopelessness, and despair have taken over our life. If you’re in this place today, I pray Psalm 20:1-5 over you now, “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May He send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May He remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.” Amen.
Everyday there are common, ordinary people -just like yourself – that do extraordinary things in the name of Jesus. These people may be poor when it comes to material things, but they are rich in the things of God. The Lord is depending on ordinary people – like yourself – to do His work here on earth. These are people who, in the world’s eyes, may not have much to offer, but they are rich in faith, with confidence in their salvation and eternal life…and with that kind of trust, they can move mountains. For Luke 6:20 says, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.” The Lord is looking for common, ordinary people to advance His Kingdom here on earth…are you in?