The other night, someone was banging on our door and screaming. I slept through it, but my wife didn’t. The only way I found out about the whole thing was that our next-door neighbor sent out a community text wondering if anyone had gotten startled awake a bit past midnight or if it had been just her. Everyone in the neighborhood started texting back that they hadn’t heard any noise, knocking, or screaming, and offhandedly, I asked my wife when I got home if she had, to which she answered yes.
She thought it was just her imagination since, after a couple of rounds of knocking, it stopped, but since the next-door neighbor had the same experience, all evidence points to the fact that someone was, in fact, knocking on our doors in the middle of the night. The neighbor had even called the police; they walked her property, but nothing came of it.
Other than highlighting that I’m a very sound sleeper, there is another purpose in my sharing this story. If the door is sturdy enough, you can knock until you’re blue in the face, and if someone doesn’t let you in, the best you’ll manage is to bruise your knuckles. It is incumbent on the individual behind the locked door to let you in, and they choose who they let in and who they turn away. Do they know you? Do you know them? Or did you just pick a random house in a random neighborhood and start banging on the door?
That many today do not know Jesus and are not known by Him yet fully expect to be let in when they show up and knock transcends hubris. If there is a word that comes close to what it is, it is perhaps delusion.
Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
If those who prophesied, cast out demons and did wonders in His name will be turned away, what of those whose claim to fame is fleecing the sheep and bilking widows out of their pensions for filthy lucre? What of those who walked according to their lusts and caused divisions within the Body so they might gain some advantage? What of those whose singular defense for the life they live is ‘I know that’s what the Bible says, but I feel…’
Do they not know? Do they not believe? Or do they not care that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God? They’re acting like spoiled rich kids who don’t believe the old man will cut them off no matter how much shame they bring to the family or how much trouble they get themselves into until one day he does.
Acts 17:30-31, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
There’s a difference between repenting and receiving. I know, a stickler for definitions this one, but words mean things, and if God is strict about jots and tittles, surely He is strict about whole words. God commands all men everywhere to repent, not receive. Once they’ve repented, they will receive, but you can’t receive without repenting.
Every time you sit down for a meal, you have to decide between something that tastes good and something that is good for you. Yes, there are those odd ducks out there, my wife being one of them who thinks kale tastes good, but for the most part, what tastes good is rarely good for you. The same can be said for our spiritual nourishment because the arbiter between what tastes good and what’s good for you isn’t always your spiritual man.
If your spiritual man has matured, his palate is trained to consume what’s good for him and deem it as tasting good. If your spiritual man is in his infancy, then the memories of empty calories and deep-fried Oreos still linger, and he associates good taste with those things rather than the meat of God’s word.
You will never grow your spiritual man by feeding him spiritual junk. Just as this shell of ours requires protein to grow strong, the spiritual man requires the Word of God to grow strong. Your flesh will always gravitate toward what keeps the spiritual man weak and deprived, hence the reason we are commanded to crucify the flesh.
There will always be people mouthing great swelling words, trying to flatter you in some way, but what is incumbent upon you as an individual is to determine whether their words, flattering as they may be, feed your spiritual man. Are they spiritually nutritive? Is what you hear making your flesh balloon with pride, or is it humbling it? Are the words spoken to you pointing the way to Christ and the cross, or are they keeping your focus on the things of this earth?
If they had their way, all my girls would ever eat is lollipops and Pringles. Either they’d go into a sugar coma or be so nutrient deprived they’d look like a mummy baking in the sun if not for their mother and I insisting they have a piece of chicken and some broccoli once in a while.Your flesh will never want your spiritual man to be strong and operating optimally. It is against its best interest, and if we know anything about the flesh, it’s that it has its best interest at heart, always, every time.
Posted on 26 August 2023 | 11:51 am
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