The Dangers Of Ignoring God As We Grow Older!
We do not hear too much preached these days about the dangers that are out to take us off the Christian path and into deception. But it is a fact that we are living in a day when many have, and are straying, from the call of God upon their lives. In 1 Kings 11:1-13 we read the sad story of Solomon being led into deception because he failed to bridle his sexual passions and he finished up with 700 wives and princesses, and 300 concubines. The mind boggles as to why he desired so many women! Tragically, those women had all kinds of religious beliefs that they brought along with them and, over time, the Bible says, “When Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David” (1 Kings 11:4 ). It then goes on to tell us what gods he yielded to: “Ashtoreth the goddess (female) of the Sidonians and Milcom (Molech ~ satanic witchcraft, occultic god) the abomination (“detestable thing” – Young’s; “disgusting, i.e. filthy; especially idolatrous” – Strong’s) of the Ammonites” that were anti-the Living God that Solomon was raised to serve. The women that Solomon married did not carry the same convictions and calling of God on their lives that Solomon did. They were ignorant of the “standards” that God sets for His people. But Solomon was not ignorant; he should have known better than to do what he did.
When we note that Solomon had been pre-warned by God about inter-marrying into such nations he should have been doubly wary and avoided them with all his heart, because he would have known that when God warns us against any thing at all, that there is a negative outcome if we do not heed His voice. It tells us in verses 9-10 that the Lord “appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord had commanded.” Solomon had had two personal revelations and warnings from God! Yet the impact of them had been “ignored” in his pursuit of fulfilling his own natural fleshly desires as he grew older. Even though God had raised him to the very top of being the leader over Israel, and he wanted for nothing, Solomon failed to “discipline” himself to obeying the commandment of God that He spoke to him about.
TRUE CHRISTIANS ARE DIFFERENT!
Christians need to be reminded again and again that the ways and calling of God are very different to that of those who are not born-again by the Holy Spirit of God. We are called to be disciples of Jesus, and that means we are committed to doing whatever He tells us. It happens out of a love relationship with Jesus. Jesus told us that if “we love Him, we will do what He says” (John 14:23 ). Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus Who is alive from the dead, and His Holy Spirit lives within us to lead and guide us into all truth. If we ignore the leadings of the Holy Spirit, we will finish up with a religious belief system that still believes in God but has no power to keep us free from the dictates of the world, the flesh and the devil! And let us not think that we are immune to such. If “Solomon in all his glory” (Matthew 6:29 ) could make such “dumb” decisions to follow his own lustful heart and to do what he did (after being warned twice by God Himself), then it can also happen to us if we make the same decisions as he did.
Let this New Testament Scripture sober us: “Now the (Holy) Spirit expressly (“explicitly”)says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving(“deluding and seducing”) spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Timothy 4:1-3 , NKJV).
The Message Bible puts it this way:
1. The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. 2. These liars have lied so well and for so long that they've lost their capacity for truth. 3. They will tell you not to get married. They'll tell you not to eat this or that food — perfectly good food God created to be eaten heartily and with thanksgiving by Christians!
Our problem may not be the same as Solomon’s, but it may be a failing to take heed to what God has spoken in the past, and our lives are now being lived out in weakness, frustration and bad attitudes because someone has talked us out of the will of the Lord?? Make no mistake about it: there are scores of Christians who carry the call of God but have not been encouraged to do anything about. Instead they sit in churches around the world trying to be faithful to a system that will not encourage and release them into their destinies. My experience is that it will cost you to fully answer the call of God! But it is all worth it. I am totally fulfilled in the calling of God, for I know that I am doing what I have been called to do. My only regret is that I did not heed it sooner!!
Do not expect every other Christian to recognize God’s calling on you. They won’t. In fact, the more you are in the centre of God’s will, the more Christians will question and misunderstand you! That is why it is so important that we hear from God for ourselves and live with the conviction of His voice in our hearts day by day.
A DAY OF OPPORTUNITY!
It is a day of opportunity. It is a day when we can be found serving the Lord, regardless of our age. Do not believe those mindsets that tell you that once you reach a certain age, God can no longer use you. Ironically many Christians tell brand new converts that God cannot use them until they have had a certain period of time learning the Scriptures, getting to know God better, etc., but that is not the teaching of the New Testament Church. They got saved, baptized in water, filled with the Holy Spirit and began to witness for Jesus. They got on with the job of why Jesus called them in the first place!
If you are one who feels that you have made some “dumb” decisions that have “robbed” you of the call of God on your life, then do not accept that any longer. Enough of living as a failure! Make some new decisions today that will get you right back into the centre of God’s will. Repent ~ tell the Lord you are sorry and that you do want to fulfil your destiny ~ and make those decisions that will see you yet live out His dream for your life.
Remember, most of the great men and women of the Bible fulfilled their destinies after some earlier “dumb” decisions in their lives. Yet God brought them gloriously through! And He can do the same for you!