The second question we must constantly ask ourselves in order to be overcomers is who is using us?
Every man that has ever lived and every man currently living has served one of two masters. There are only two, and if we are not being used by one, chances are we are being used by the other. We are either being used of God to build His kingdom, to call people to repentance, to point the way to Christ, to preach the true gospel, and to help those in need or we are being used by the enemy to tear down the children of God, to tell people that grace is a license to sin, insist that Chris tis not the only way to God, preach a perverted gospel, and turn our back on those who are suffering. It is an either or proposition, and we must be diligent in assessing our lives, our actions, our conduct and our words and in so doing make certain that it is God using us.
Matthew 7:16-20, “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear good fruit, not can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
You are always the first to know if you are bearing good fruit, bad fruit, or if you are a barren tree. It is man’s inability or unwillingness to humble himself and honestly assess the fruit that he is bearing that keeps him from confronting barrenness or the bearing of bad fruit in his life. They realize that if they confront the situation they will either have to change it, or acknowledge to themselves that they are living in open rebellion toward God. As such, they would rather pretend that bearing good fruit is not a telltale sign in and of itself; they’d rather pretend that it is not the canary in the coalmine in regards to one’s spiritual condition.
So who is using us? When we bear false witness against a brother or a sister who is using us? When we judge a situation and pass sentence without knowing any of the details who is using us? When our self-righteousness precludes us from receiving correction or fellowship with other believers who is using us?
These are questions that we must answer for ourselves as honestly as possible, because every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. It is done away with, removed, uprooted and destroyed.
I realize by now I’ve angered some of you, I’ve hit a raw nerve and you are presently fuming, but before you swear this weblog off for good please answer one question. Is it true? Uncomfortable and challenging as they might be are the words I have written the truth?
Lord knows there are plenty of places on the Web that coddle one and all, that are less wordy than my drawn out essays because let’s face it how far can you stretch ‘the positive affirmation of the day’ before it gets repetitive, but if we are never challenged, then we will never grow, and if we never grow we will not be able to defend ourselves against the enemy in the state of spiritual infancy so many today find themselves in. Just a thought!
The third question we must constantly ask ourselves in order to be overcomers is where are we headed?
Is the course we are currently following leading us to more of Christ? Is the road we are currently traveling leading us to greater sanctification, to a greater intimacy with Him, to a greater knowledge of Him, and to a greater strength in Him? Are we growing in love? Are we growing in power? Are we growing in faith? Are we growing in grace?
There is an old adage but a true adage that if you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get the same result. Yes self-assessment can be brutal, yes self-assessment can be humbling, but if we desire more of God in our lives then we must do something different than what we have done thus far.
We tried the fads, they didn’t work, they left us empty and cold and soured, we tried chasing after the guys in the shiny suits who punch people in the gut, we tried listening to alternative gospels that mentioned nothing of Jesus, we tried believing for prosperity, we tried naming and claiming castles and islands and private jets, now let’s try daily picking up our crosses and following after Christ in humility and obedience. He will not lead us astray, He will not disappoint us, he will not take advantage of us, He will not fleece us, He will not abuse us, nor will He lie to us.
We can only be overcomers in Christ, through Christ, and by Christ. We can only be overcomers by following after Him, by obeying Him, and by making certain that He is by our side down the path we are walking. There is no other way to overcome, and there is no other way that we will sit with Him on His throne.
In our constant quest to be non-offensive, non-controversial, non-threatening, and sensitive to even the most sensitive of sensitivities we’ve butchered the Word of God to such an extent that if you ask certain preachers what the Scripture is about they will tell you it’s all about encouraging you, and making you feel okay about yourself, and bolstering your self-esteem. As such when some men hear the truth of scripture, the undefiled, unfiltered, undiluted truth, their first instinct is to balk, and cringe and recoil.
Contrary to popular belief however Scripture is not about petting bunnies and having a goofy smile on your face, it’s not about being okay with myself just the way I am, Scripture was given for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, and thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Nowhere in this passage do I see the words ‘self-esteem, encouragement, or being okay about being you’, beware the voice you heed, and beware the road you follow, because if you are heeding the wrong voice, and following the wrong road, chances are you are being used by the wrong master as well.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.