Another aspect of this problem is that we are often more than willing to accept some seeming “blessing” as God’s signal that we are ready to go on to new and higher calls. Maybe you say, “Lord, if You provide $5,000, I’ll know we’re ready to move out. That’s just exactly how much it will take to move us.” So, eagerly you begin packing, overlooking the fact that there are some relationship problems that need to be dealt with before you go.

Many times, young Christians, eager to go on with God, will move from objective evaluation into subjective self-evaluation. Paul warns in Romans 12:3, “Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with SOBER JUDGEMENT.” It is always wise to seek counsel from a more experienced man, someone who can give fatherly, authoritative evaluation, especially in the area of self-evaluation.

Oh, how much we need the counsel of the wiser ones who love us and are concerned about us! The nature with which we are born does not lend itself to developing good thought patterns. Left to itself, our nature will quickly form ATTITUDES that are unhealthy to our maturity.

Let’s take a look at what the Word of God says about our THOUGHT PATTERNS, our ATTITUDES: Galations 6: “If anyone THINKS he is something when he is nothing, he DECEIVES himself (vs.3). Each one should test his own actions (vs. 4). Do not be DECEIVED (vs. 7).”

Deception is an instrument of Satan. It means that what we think is truth is NOT truth! To be deceived means “to be taken in; to be victimized.” So, if we think we are something when we are not, or if we think we are ready when we are not, we are likely to be “taken in” by the devil. For most of us Christians, the art of deception is played out in very subtle ways by the enemy. He LIKES to make us think “more highly of ourself than we ought to think.” OR, he will try to lay a “guilt trip” on us for NOT BEING READY!

Most of our “failures” are God’s way of teaching us some very important lessons. But the devil will “hold us guilty”, and all the time, God is looking for a man who is willing to fall flat on his face trying. So, you see, God’s plan for us is a “narrow way”.

Peter says in his first letter, “Prepare your MINDS for action!” HOW? By being SELF-CONTROLLED! (1 Peter 1:13). In 4:7 Peter goes on to say, “Be CLEAR-MINDED, be SELF-CONTROLLED, so that YOU CAN PRAY.” Most of the times we pray out of desperation, but God’s Word says we need to “PREPARE OUR MINDS FOR ACTION – FOR PRAYER.” To do so, we must be SELF-CONTROLLED!

From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 27, December 1982.