Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Our Always Present Danger

2 CHRONICLES 33:10 – The Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention.

THEME OF THE DAY. OUR ALWAYS PRESENT DANGER. Living the Christian life is like traveling through a minefield. There are dangers abounding right and left. We have the ever-crafty devil who is smart, knows human nature better than humans, and is a more knowledgeable theologian than us – Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1). We also face a sinfully alluring world that offers us momentary pleasure but delivers lasting poison – For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world (1 John 2:16). And finally, we have to deal with our flesh – that remaining sin within us that wants to make us “spiritually soft” where self-denial, self-discipline, and self-control are virtues known, even talked about, but not practiced due to the pull and power of our flesh. Jesus told us, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). As strong as these spiritual foes are in attacking us to draw us away from the Lord, there is something else that is an always present danger. And it is the most deadly of all. All three of our foes – the devil, world, and flesh – feed off this danger. In fact, this danger is the fuel that makes them so effective in defeating us. When it comes to this danger, what makes it so is the ease we allow it to be part of our lives, and it is so effective, we simply become habitual in allowing its presence in our lives. The results are devastating; spiritual indifference, lives ensnarled by sin and worldliness, no peace, no influence for Jesus, and a spiritual life reduced to a few external acts of lifeless religious routine instead of a walk with the Lord of joy and purpose.

So, what is this always present danger? It is found in today’s scripture. It is the principle of hearing the Word of the Lord and doing nothing with it. In the case of Manasseh and the people, they not only did nothing with God’s Word heard, they ignored it. Now before we raise our eyes in shock of how could they have done such a disrespectful and blasphemous act, let’s take a look in the mirror. I know this hurts. It hurts me, but it is healthy. We need this look. How many times Sundays have we sat under sermon after sermon and none of it make its way into our lives by application? How many times have we left a quiet time with the Lord in His Word and never once take what we were taught by Him and obeyed it? I know. I know. This hurts because of the level of truth contained in those questions. I am afraid we too often hear and read God’s Word but the hearing and reading fail to become acts of obedience. If this describes us, the prophecy of James comes true in our lives – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (James 1:22). If we remain hearers alone, the worst form of deception forms in our lives – self-deception. And self-deception whispers to us saying, “All is well spiritually in our walk with the Lord” when, due to being hearers only of His Word – the exact opposite is true; all is not well in our walks with the Lord. Think about this always present danger and defeat it consistently by being doers of the Word of God we hear and read.

PRAYER: “Father, protect me from the danger of hearing and listening to Your Word, but not obeying Your Word.”

QUOTE: “Nothing produces a spiritually indifferent heart quicker than to hear, read, and listen to the Word but not obey it.”