Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I'M SICK OF IT

Here is an understatement for you - I imagine if there is anybody that is sick of betrayal it is God.  He has had angels, in particular an angel named Lucifer, betray Him.  He made man and woman in His own image and their disobedience was their form of betrayal as they forsook their trust in God, believed a lie, and placed their trust in themselves.  He had a beloved nation, specifically the Hebrew people who would later be known as Israel, develop a vicious, habitual, sinful cycle of betrayal unto Him.  He had a disciple, Judas who heard, saw, and lived with Jesus for three years and still betrayed Him.  I am sure there are other individuals who have decided to go their own way even after experiencing God's presence in their lives.  In addition, they try to stick a knife in God's back while leaving.  I encourage you today, Don't you be another betrayal story.

Here are some Warning Signs of Betrayal - Pride, Complacency, and Agenda Replacement.

Pride
Lucifer started it all by playing King of the Mountain with God!  Lucifer tried to take the place of God and it did not work out for him.  It does not work for anybody, anytime.  He and a third of the angelic host were immediately judged/damned and lost their lofty place in heaven's hieracrchy (Rev. 12:4).  He then polluted humanity with the idea of us being the one to call the shots, which was his mistake. Mistrust and disobedience are the offspring of Pride.  The enemy used them both to inject humans with what he had - Pride.  And we all know - Pride goes before The Fall. So thick is the cloud of our sinful nature that it totally blinds us to the Holiness and Perfection of God and His Throne. Left alone to our own devices, it doesn't take long before we find or invent someone or something else to devote our affections and attention. However, humanity was not left without any hope. The very Word of God Himself came in human form - Jesus - and paid for the sins that had entered the world through Lucifer's temptation and humanity's betrayal of trust.

Complacency
Israel's history had a vicious cycle of betrayal.  Their symptoms were - spiritual staleness, a reasoning away of their condition, and looking for love in all the wrong places (the gods of near-by nations).  These gods were usually ones that pleasured the physical senses.  Their festivals were more about them than their gods. Yahweh did not like Israel's betrayal and would send some kind of punishment to get their attention.  A natural disaster or prophesied national invasion was fulfilled. Israel would cry out for help.  God would send a deliverer/champion.  Israel would return to God's ways, BUT eventually fall back into their old lifestyle - as the usual procedure.  Nothing really took hold with Israel, because they liked their muck.  Their condition worsened to the point where God scattered His people from their homeland to the four corners of the earth. But God was, is, and always will be faithful to His People.  His love endures forever (Psalm 136).  It has always been about God and Him showing humanity that He is the only perfect one.  He is the only faithful one.  He is the only Covenant Keeping one.  God has brought His people back into their land (albeit contested by the surrounding nations) and is going to deal with them even more directly in a future seven year time frame called The Tribulation (Daniel 9:24).  God still loves His people.

Agenda Replacement (Placing Your Agenda In Place Of God's)
Judas Iscariot, a disciple of Christ who heard, saw, and lived with Jesus for the three years of His ministry betrayed the Son of God.  Why?  Judas did not want to die and that is what he heard from Jesus awaited them in Jerusalem.  The Jewish Messiah was to be a militant Savior - a man who would gather the masses naturally and supernaturally and defeat the Roman Empire and it's hold on Israel. Then The Messiah would set up His Reign upon David's throne and rule forever. This is more like how the Second Coming of Christ is laid out, Not Christ's first visitation.  Christ's first visit was about servanthood and being ready to die for Him. That's where we have Jesus speaking about going to Jerusalem very soon to die and Judas wanted no part of that.  Funny how the "And after three days I will rise again." was blocked out of the Disciples minds. Judas was even possessed by the Father of Lies himself in order to carry out the betrayal (John 13:21-27). After betraying Jesus to the Jewish "authorities" for thirty pieces of silver, guilt and shame overwhelmed Judas and he hanged himself.  Judas had another agenda on his mind for Jesus to fulfill. Even though Judas' agenda may have been established out of self-preservation and knowledge of prophetic Scripture, that does not give him or us the right to project or force our plan on God.  God's plan for us is infinitely better than we can hope for or imagine.

After The Church was birthed others tried on Christianity, as if to wear a comfortable piece of clothing to suit their agenda - Phygelus, Hermogenes and Demas.  People such as these are not real believers of anything. They have a void that can only be filled by Jesus Christ, but rejected Him.  So, when it comes to traveling down the narrow road of Christianity (John 14:6) they needed to follow some good advice from my friend Yoda - "Try not. Do. Or do not!! There is no try." (Yoda, "Empire Strikes Back").

I encourage you not to be a betrayal story.  Stay away from Pride and all it's negative offspring.  Instead, remain humble before God and He will lift you up. Don't allow complacency to set into your life.  Do everything in your power to keep your passion for God alive and kicking everyday.  Finally, don't play God. Trust His all-knowingness and His Plan for your life - Wholeheartedly!  Where concerning my family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances I don't want God saying - "I'm Sick Of It!"