Revealed Secrets

Proverb 3: 2

For length of days and years of life, and peace they will add to you.

Length of days, years of life and peace are all things most of us deeply desire. Too bad the author didn’t tell us how to receive them. Okay, he did, I’m kidding. It is in verse 1 which reads, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments.” Aw man, it’s the same old drill. God hasn’t changed his mind yet. The benefits of his promises are in following Him. Go figure!

You know, it kind of perturbs me today to listen to people talk about life expectancy and getting old. First of all, most people have no expectation of living long and this is true even of Christians in spite of the many promises from God about long life. The other point that is becoming all too clear to me is that we shorten our life expectancy in so many ways the loudest of which is in not following God. When Jesus left he sent his Holy Spirit to lead us in the way we should go but probably more Christians than not never listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling them much less follow his advice. I know this was true of me and it was really showing in my life and health. But now, I have a new lease on life because I have found God’s secrets. He hid them right where I should have found them but wasn’t looking – between the covers of my Bible. But now the lid is off because I know where His secret stash is and that knowledge is now showing in my body and health too. The comparison, in fact, is like night and day.

The first part of the equation is His Word. Hey guys, it really is no mystery. There is life in that book and as I got back into it and started applying the Word, things began to change. I went from hobbling along like an ancient person to riding my mountain bike 35 miles at a time. Doesn’t that sound like a miracle to you? Well, it is but the key for this one was that I was a participant. I helped Dad bring this miracle about by hearkening to His Word, believing it and doing it.

Do you want to know super huge secret number 2? Can you handle it? Okay. The second mystery is found in the 11th word of verse 1. It is the word “heart”. Do you hate hearing that as much as I used to? No, you guys wouldn’t but it used to make my skin peel back. I just hated all that goo-goo stuff that some preachers spoke, like love and heart. Do you know what I mean? I was so intellectually entrenched that I had lost track of where I had put my heart. And just because I say that I was intellectually entrenched that does not mean that I was all that smart. Obviously, because if I really was smart I would not have made my mind and my thoughts the center of the universe. Really? How smart is that? No, it was just that my approach to the world, to problems and even to God was to think about it, to reason. Wow! Find that in the Bible. Now, however, I am on a heart journey and literally that impacts every area of my life including my health and physical well-being. God is now at work within me healing, guiding and repairing the damage. His Word lives within me, in my heart and it is spreading through me like warm honey. And it really is making a difference in how I feel, how I am able to move and how healthy I am. His Word in my heart really does work. I know Dad has been telling us that for thousands of years now but I just finally heard it so I am catching up.

There is one last thing that I have noticed that damages our life expectancy. While today’s verse is good news there are also the verses that tell us what will happen when we don’t follow the good advice that God is giving us. Just yesterday we looked at Isaiah 41: 11 which tells us what will happen to those who hassle God’s kids or who do not treat us with love. They are going to disappear. And you see, this is even true for Christians who gossip, backbite and deal dishonestly. So one of the reasons that we are seeing people die before they should is because we have not been dealing fairly with each other. Brother, when you talk that negative junk behind someone’s back you are planting a seed that is going to produce a crop that you don’t want. Then when that seed begins bearing fruit folks start blaming God. Hey, we don’t have to blame God. He is telling us up front how to live long, healthy lives. Read the Word and do it. You are going to reap great rewards.

Vanishing Enemies

Isaiah 41: 11

Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; those who contend with you will be as nothing, and will perish.

Trouble comes. You know that. Even for Christians there are challenges. Sometimes I think we ought to be able to live charmed lives where nothing can touch us but that is fantasy. In reality problems affect everyone. The secret is in how we deal with those issues and how we let them affect us. We really can live above the fray, above the chaos if we will let Jesus be Lord of our entire day rather than just our philosophical Lord. What do I mean by that? We have all given our lives and hearts to Jesus. We have asked him to be Lord of our lives and we are sincere in our surrender to his lordship. However, Monday morning always comes and in the clamor of all that must be done we lose sight of our position with Christ. That is why it is so good to give the Lord even just a few minutes in the morning before you are confronted with the tasks of the day. We need to re-establish first thing in the morning Jesus as Lord over our lives and, significantly, over every minute of our day. Then throughout the day when issues and questions present themselves we take them to Jesus. If he is Lord then he ought to have a say in what goes on. When we systematically apply Jesus’ lordship to everything we do and to everything that invades our lives then we can move from the center of the tumult. Jesus fights the battles, completes our task lists, multiplies our time and does everything else we need.  

You can’t fight the battles on your own because your detractors will lie and cheat. You need the supernatural power that the trinity can provide. If you want to look around and find the enemy just gone, then you need to put the problem in Jesus’ hand and leave it there. Sometimes that is a minute by minute process but when you allow the lordship of Jesus to prevail over the problems of your life then it becomes his problem rather than your own. That is when you will look around and find that those who contended with you are as nothing. We don’t pray against them, of course. We don’t have to. And if you truly understand today’s verse you will understand very clearly why Jesus told us to pray for our enemies. Those who attack, criticize and condemn us are walking into a hornet’s nest of their own making. The bad seeds they are sowing are going to sprout and produce a bountiful crop of trouble for them. We need to pray for them because if they mess with you they are going to be shamed and dishonored, be as nothing and perish. Okay, not a good forecast.

God is on your side. He is in your corner. Let Him be your fight manager. Let Him be the boss, the Lord and then the outcome is assured. You will arise and your enemies are going to suffer. Pray for your enemies because they have signed a destruction order over their own lives. Get a big revelation of Jesus as Lord of your challenges and step out of the turmoil and into his glorious victory. Amen.