Nothing in all
creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare
before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. -- Hebrews 4: 13 (NLT)
I have to admit it; sometimes I just do not understand how people can operate without the abject fear of God. I see Christians every day behave in ways that bring shame to God instead of honor. People who act out of selfish ambitions instead of the cause of Christ. People who lie and cheat or strike God's anointed and then raise their hands to the heavens on Sunday. I sit there in utter amazement wondering who they believe they are raising their hands to? I am not talking about sin -- we all fall short of the glory of God. We are all fighting the same flesh impulses within us. We all will fail and seek forgiveness through repentance. I am talking about acts of willful and arrogant pride, wrapped up in the name of Jesus. I am talking about despicable and selfish acts perpetrated in the name of God. I feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit so much that I won't raise my eyes to the heavens without repenting. I think of Job and his amazement:
"Are you defending God with lies? Do you make your dishonest arguments for his sake? Will you slant your testimony in his favor? Will you argue God's case for him? What will happen when he finds out what you are doing? Can you fool him as easily as you fool people? No, you will be in trouble with him if you secretly slant your testimony in his favor. Doesn't his majesty terrify you? Doesn't your fear of him overwhelm you? Your platitudes are as valuable as ashes. Your defense is as fragile as a clay pot. -- Job 13: 7-12 (NLT)
Dear Lord, doesn't His majesty terrify you? God doesn't need our lies. He doesn't need our slanted testimony. He doesn't need our fake arguments. There is only one Kingdom we all should be building together but so often it seems that people just do not get it. God has led me to realize that this, like everything else, is not new. There is nothing new under the sun.
The first example is we can allow our greed to trump our devotion to God. Sounds unrealistic? Think about the slew of prosperity preachers who are leading hundreds of thousands of souls into hell. And please, do not lose sight of that fact. It is not some little harm they are doing. Forget the money they make off the backs of the poor -- how many people who follow them are truly on the narrow path to heaven? We need to be very careful about who we follow because our eternal lives depend on it. Greed over God isn't new. When Joshua first led the Israelites across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land they experienced great success because the Lord was with them. But the Lord gave special instructions that no one was take any of the dedicated items for themselves. They were not to covet or be greedy. But there was a man named Achan who disobeyed these instructions. He lost the fear of God. He thought he could prosper against the wishes of God and no one would know. But soon Israel would be defeated by a smaller foe and when Joshua inquired of the Lord, they discovered Achan's sin:
Achan replied, "It is true! I have sinned against the Lord , the God of Israel. Among the plunder I saw a beautiful robe from Babylon, 200 silver coins, and a bar of gold weighing more than a pound. I wanted them so much that I took them. They are hidden in the ground beneath my tent, with the silver buried deeper than the rest." -- Joshua 7: 20-21 (NLT)
From the time he took the items until his sin was uncovered I am sure Achan played the part with his brothers. I am sure he raised his hands and praised God, despite what was hidden under his tent. He had plenty of religion but no relationship. Greed and the desire for material wealth in this lifetime remains a dividing force in the church today. Mega-church pastors flying in corporate jets while the poor in their congregations continue to give them money. The number one subject in the Bible after salvation is taking care of the least in our societies. What is hidden beneath our tent today? What is it that we are hiding from man and not realizing God sees everything, as our key verse reminds us? Nothing in all creation is hidden from His sight! I watched a sermon recently where the preacher made the very salient point of whom exactly do we think we are fooling? Sure, you may be able to fool man right up until the day you leave this earth but then what? You aren't going to fool God! Everything will be laid bare before Him and you will have to give account. Sure most will be fooled into thinking you are in heaven but you won't be. How long will that joy last? He is going to ask us about what we have buried under our tent beloved.
But greed is not the only enticement that leads us astray in these last days. We can become enamored with our position. Quite frankly we get too enamored in who we think we are. The object is for God to become bigger, not ourselves. John the Baptist said that he must decrease so that Jesus can increase. For this, God led me to the first King of Israel. King Saul started out right -- very humble to have been considered by God for this position. Yet somewhere along the way"he began to believe his own press clippings. He was ordered by God to destroy the Amalekites completely but he chose to spare the king and the choicest cattle and plunder. And here was his next decision:
Early the next morning Samuel went to find Saul. Someone told him, "Saul went to the town of Carmel to set up a monument to himself; then he went on to Gilgal." -- 1Samuel 15: 12 (NLT)