Friday, April 28, 2017

What Price? "Fruits of 'I Can't live without it"

What Price?  “Fruits of “I can’t live without it” compulsion?   
“Do not be worried about your life as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matt. 6:25). 

Hey Gang:  Did you ever want something? I mean really want something- something you just cannot live without, something you would do just about anything to get?  Even something that you know is wrong?  On our route home from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, last year, we stopped at a rest area on the West Virginia turnpike. While there a young man, I would estimate to be around thirty years of age, waddled in and I mean waddled.  I would guess that he tipped the scales at more than the 400 pounds.  He made a “B” line to the ice cream counter and ordered a very special made-to-order Sunday of monumental proportions.

He was a captive to the simple fact that he could not handle temptation.  I am sure, if I would have asked him why he allowed himself to get into that condition he would have had a multitude of excuses, including I just cannot help myself.  Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, broke that bubble when he wrote, “No temptation has overtaken you but such is common to man” (1 Cor. 10:13).

But, we need to understand there is a prerequisite to overcoming the desire to do those things that are not pleasing to Father God and grieves the Holy Spirit.  Paul, went on and gave us the key to not giving into the whims of the evil one: “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” I Cor.10:13).

Notice, Paul then gives us the essential ingredient to prevent our being led down the Prime Rose Path: “My beloved, flee from idolatry” (v.14). You mean when I give in to that ten- pound piece of chocolate cake I am giving in to an “idol?   I would suggest that is exactly what Paul is saying.   Anything that stands between you and your bringing honor and glory to Father God is, in Paul’s eyes and the writer of this epistles eyes, ‘an idol’.  I talk from personal experience.

I have said it many times and enjoy saying it again, I love the Amish (the Plain People) and have been blessed to learn many lessons from them.  In recent years, they have opened the door for their late-teen-aged kids to leave the Amish community, go out and check out the world and see it they would rather live in the modern world or return to the world and faith of their youth and parents.

Did it take courage to say, “Go and find out which world you want to spend the rest of your life in?”  Yes, but, I believe it took faith in the seeds that had been planted in their kid’s hearts.   The results have been more than ninety percent returned to the faith and, of the ten percent who did not, recent studies have found that most believe they made a very bad decision.  

So, my young friends, beware for Slue Foot, the evil one. He is going to dangle an apple in front of you today and try and convince you that -“You surely will not die”.  But “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 5:57-78).