As a Man Thinketh. . .So is He! | Jay Fesperman (3/3)
Finally, Peter says (1 Peter 5:8-9), “Be SELF-CONTROLLED and ALERT. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. RESIST HIM, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
James asks a question (3:13): “Who is wise and understanding among you?” Then he says, “Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done IN THE HUMILITY that comes form WISDOM.” He goes on: “If you harbor BITTER ENVY and SELFISH AMBITION in your HEARTS, do not BOAST about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, UNSPIRITUAL, of the devil. For where you have ENVY and SELFISH AMBITION, there you find DISORDER and every evil practice.” (James 3:13-16). “AS A MAN THINKETH IN HIS HEART, SO IS HE!!”
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.
“All a man’s ways SEEM right to him, but the LORD weighs the HEART.” (Proverbs 21:2).
Sometimes our willingness to hear and DO the will of God can be hindered or retarded by our ATTITUDES about people or circumstances. For example, suppose that you know that God has prepared you for a particular assignment to a role in another country, another culture. Along the way, in the months and years of preparation, you had an encounter with another man, perhaps a teacher, who really pressed you in and held your feet to the fire for an entire year. Maybe he even held you back and made you repeat a full year’s study. Finally, however, after what seemed a wasted year, you got the message and came to realize real maturity in that particular field of study.
Recently, in reading Mark Batterson’s book, The Grave Robber, I discovered the term “inattentional blindness” – also known as perceptual blindness. A Wikipedia article regarding inattentional blindness says “it may be further defined as the event in which an individual fails to recognize an unexpected stimulus that is in plain sight.” As I read the definitions, I realized that could illustrate some of the 10+ years that I lived in The Inn.