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January 7, 2015

Text:  “Thus says the Lord, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.””   Jeremiah 17:5

Every one of us faces decisions every day. These choices range from the mundane to the sublime. Some are very important to the health of our souls. We are not talking here of whether  to buy a chocolate or a strawberry ice cream cone. Our  determinations regarding our beliefs and actions are of such importance that they dictate the fate of our eternal souls.

Decisions are frequently onerous, a heavier burden than we can  bear alone. Then we must judge who can supply the proper advice and help with the solution. Who shall it be? Your father? Your best friend from high school? Some counselor? Those ways would be the ways of men. Their answers would contain foolishness, prejudice, vanity, and ignorance. If you choose these you will wind up depending on the weakness and sinful foolishness of men and rejecting the will of God.

God not only seeks your obedience, but also demands obedience to his commands. “Fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13  Many are the warnings the Lord gives to men about the necessity of obeying him.  The  Bible is an unabashed record of the unwise decisions of its heroes. King Saul did not listen to the prophet Samuel and looted the goods of the defeated Amalekites. Samuel said, “Behold, to obey is better than to sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” I Samuel  15:22  King David had Uriah the Hittite  murdered to steal his wife Bathsheba. Moses struck the rock at Meribah instead of speaking to it  as God had commanded in order to receive water for the Israelites. But we make catastrophic decisions also when we ignore his will.

We sabotage our own efforts to obey God by many human devices. The first device is to ignore a command that God has  put forth. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”  James  4:17  Another device is evasion  of responsibility to obey God. There are a lot of evasive tactics; not enough time, lack of knowledge, other things seem more pressing at the moment, split loyalties, forgetfulness, other activities take precedence over God’s kingdom. Then there is the tactic of making excuses.  And giving worldliness more importance than going to heaven.

These dodges invade our thinking and promote worldliness.  Our hearts lose their affection for God. Our  own egos whisper to us to spend more time pleasing self than pleasing God. Our thoughts turn more and more to activities that gratify the flesh and choke our duties to serve God until they expire. Such thinking diminishes righteousness and nurtures our souls in doing evil.

So whose guidance shall we seek? Vow to yourself to obey God. Take care to follow the path of his word.

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord of our God.” Psalms 20:7









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