Hey BCU Family!
As usual, the written transcript has a little more detail in it than the podcast does, but nothing drastic! Please enjoy both formats!
This post is especially for the singles..but the Scripture lesson can apply in a few situations for ANYONE! Please stay with me, BCU Fam! Let’s dig in!
There is something about the holidays–and the new year in particular, that seems to bring out the nostalgia, audacity and duplicity in folks. Over the past few weeks, a few very shady menfolk, cleverly disguised as a “good things”, tried to run their best game, but the Word says “resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7b). I thank God for heeding to His voice and not falling for the old set-up/okie-doke. It seems a few of my sisters have also had some menfolk trying them as well, and glory to God, they recognized the set-up and came out victoriously!
Luke 4:1-13 tells the story of the enemy tempting Jesus after His fast (of course, Jesus used the Word to counteract Satan’s attack). Verse 13 says. “and when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from [Jesus] for a season. In other words, the enemy will be back and likely to tempt you in this same/similar area, singles. In that case, let’s prepare!
Your best line of defense: Prayer. I know you know this, but we can NEVER underestimate the POWER of prayer and seeking God for answers. I’ve told this story in some form or another before, but it’s always worth a revisit! Awhile back, a former acquaintance telephoned me, and as we were catching up, I thought to myself, “hmm.. sounds like “Bob” grew up a lot–I think there is some serious maturity here.” Eventually Bob mentioned meeting up for lunch at the end of the week and I agreed without even thinking about it. That quick agreement has happened to “seasoned” people of God before—it’s a set-up and it gets you into trouble! Let’s look at Joshua.
Joshua, chosen by God to secede Moses, was a mighty in faith and in battle, so much so that the people of Gibeon, in chapter 9 were concerned about Joshua coming for them next. So the Gibonites went to work on a plot to trick Joshua into to making peace with them. Though Gibeon was about eight miles from Israel, the Gibonites pretended to be ambassadors from a far away place, seeking a covenant with Joshua so he would not harm them. They even came outfitted in old clothes, shoes, torn wineskins, and even had dry, moldy bread to authenticate their story. After a short round of questions, Joshua and his people ate with these tricksters and eventually covenanted peace with them–only to find out they were tricked into the agreement, but it was too late to do anything about it. Joshua was set-up!!! And why did the scheme work? Verse 14 in that same chapter says “[the Israelites] asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord.” If JOSHUA could trip up and miss praying to see if this situation was okay by God, the very same thing can happen to us, if we do not consult God first.
Notice that the Gibonites “looked” the part of ambassadors and “said” they came in the name of the Lord, but their heart was all about how they would benefit from this ill-gotten agreement. How many of these old flames that show up look good–dressed nicely, well represented OR even playing the part of the Gibonite, “woe as me, I’m dressed this way because I lost my job” my car, my place, I have no where to go.” “I just need $40, or “may I borrow your car to go on this job interview?” Or “My new place will be ready tomorrow, if I can stay….” OR “You’re supposed to be a Christian and help people, right?” This is a set-up!!!! And they sound like they know God–“Yes, I am SO blessed”, “I know God, too”, “I thank God for..”. or “I need to give my life to God, can you tell me how?” Do you see the set-up here?! What is going on in that HEART?! Jeremiah 17:9 says, “the heart is deceitful above ALL things and desperately wicked, who can know it?” We may not, but God sure does and will reveal it to us IF we ask and heed to what He says.
Now, I’m not saying that every old flame or person that approaches you isn’t sincere about being saved or that should we skip sharing God’s plan of salvation according to Acts 2:38-NO! We really need to be prayerful about how best to witness to this person without compromising your witness. Be in public, with another believer, or better yet, invite the person to church. That move tells a lot about the heart– either they come and start really yielding to the voice of Christ who wants to save them, or they will flee with a quickness!! Just remember to pray for the individual as we do want them to be saved. As we’re praying, one other are to be on hight alert in is “preventive care”.
Unless God reveals otherwise, stay out of places (in this case, people) that God delivered you from. Proverbs 26:11 says “as a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his own folly.” While dogs are very popular these days–that was not the case in biblical times. In fact, most of the time a dog is mentioned, they represent wicked men, (Psalm 22:16), noise (Psalm 59:14), along with laziness, being dumb and greedy (Isaiah 56:10-11). YIKES!!! All these horrible traits on TOP of the fact that a dog has a habit of vomiting up what did not agree with him —and then going back to eat it. I don’t know one person who likes to see or smell something they upchucked. UGH!!! To what restaurant would you go visit to order, pay for and EAT VOMIT?! Who DOES that?! Only a dog–and he’ll do that for free. UGH!!!!
Family, if God blessed you to escape a relationship (be it romantic or platonic) with this individual, it’s because they do not “agree with you”–who YOU are in Christ. It doesn’t matter that the relationship didn’t make you “sick” in the beginning or it only made you ill sometimes. When God says leave it alone, that is His way of protecting us from coming in contact with a potential situation that can wreak havoc on your system–your heart, soul and mind. And the recovery process and chastening that follows can set you back days, weeks, months and possibly years and in some cases, never.
Recall in Genesis 19, when God extended His mercy to Lot, his wife and two daughters as they escaped from the wicked city of Sodom, which was being destroyed by fire and brimstone. Among other requirements, God commanded them not to look back, or they would be consumed (verse 17). As the city burned, apparently, Lot’s wife could not resist looking back “at the vomit”and in doing so immediately became a pillar of salt. With God’s grace, let’s avoid vomit all together and trust that at the appointed time, He will send whoever (friend or otherwise) we are supposed to have in our lives. Amen?! Amen.
Before we end the podcast, I should tell you the ending of my story. While I agreed to lunch, the Lord was gracious enough to use Joshua 9 and Proverbs 26:11 to get my attention over a two-day time period (yep, it did not sink in right away). Once it did, though, I cancelled lunch and invited Bob to church. Strangest thing, though–he never did show up…
Well this concludes our time together! I pray this blesses and challenges you. If this post been a blessing to you, please give us a thumbs up, comment and share. God bless you always and until next time, #StayOnTheWall.