The prayer meeting was good. The Holy Spirit moves freely in our midst. There was a call to come and serve God in the church. Two different women testified that, for some weeks, they could not sleep because God is telling them to join the choir in the church. Both women sing very well, they belonged to a church choir in the past but since they came to father’s House they both decided to ‘take it easy’. Both these women are not in a good position to join the choir now. One is mourning the loss of her baby who died two months ago and the other is heavily pregnant. Naturally they are not the best candidates for the choir. But the Holy Spirit is Lord. They have to say YES to God and all other things will all into place.
We sang the chorus ‘I say Yes Lord yes, to Your will and to Your ways…’ on and on for about an hour. Our spirits were encouraged and we finally said a joyful and unconditional yes to God, to serve Him, in any capacity he desires. No more excuses! Then the sermon came with power and anointing. It was from Jeremiah 17.
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit (Jer 17:5-8)
The question is this: who do you trust? If you trust in yourself or any other man, in created things like silver or gold, then your life shall be like ‘a shrub in the desert’. The life of a man who trusts in self is spiritually stagnant, boring, hopeless and lonely.
Trust in man ends in poverty, isolation, backsliding, constant anxiety and addiction to different sins. There is no victory. The enemies surround, threaten and attack constantly. God chastises His children by withdrawing the blessings He generously gave in the past. Idolatry always ends in emptiness and hopelessness.
But the trust in God Almighty manifests as a fruitful ever growing abundant relationship with God. The faithful man is spiritual stable and strong because his roots are in the right location. He is planted by the river of life. Even in ‘a year of drought’ (chronic sickness, joblessness, persecutions…) he is not afraid of death, poverty of defeat. His ‘neighbor’ is Jesus Christ, the water of life. And there is no fence of separation between them. That intimate relationship with God produces the assurance of salvation. The promises of God are fulfilled in his life.
What is the danger? Why so many believers who say they trust in God end up so badly? The answer is the heart!
The greatest idol is self. The heart is self-deceived and incurable wicked.
Self-deception means to lie to yourself until you believe that the lies are truth. The heart is incurably sick. Only God can heal it!
It is easy to deceive yourself. We easily justify false beliefs about ourselves. The reason we do it is because deception brings comfort. Truth is good because it brings freedom and the power to change. But truth is painful and we reject the pain to change. Then we cling to lies, as an easy compromise. After sometimes, we convince ourselves that the lie is the same or even better than the truth we rejected.
The sin of deception is a very deep. It is also very common. All men are born with the capacity to lie and deceive. It cannot be detected and removed except by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is a classic example: A child is lying to his father. The father sees enough objective evidence that his son is lying to him. But because he so much wants his son to be a good boy who never lies, that he chooses to believe his son. For the father it is much easier to believe the lies of the son. This is how the son has succeeded to deceive his father.
What is the solution?
You cannot mature spiritually and be fruitful if self –deception is not radically dealt with at the Cross!
Acknowledge the sin of self-deception! Ask God to search your heart and to reveal this sin to you! Repent of it!
Passive hearing of a sermon without obeying the Word of God is self-deception (Jam 1:22)
Thank God for the Holy Spirit! Thank God for the gift of a new heart in Christ! Reject empty religion! Be born again!
In Christ I declare:
I am born again!
I trust in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit!
I repent for self-deception and any other man-made idols!
Jesus is Lord over my life, my marriage, my home, my ministry, forever!
In Jesus name