Monday, April 29, 2013

Proverbs 18:1-2 Don't be a lone ranger!

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;

    he breaks out against all sound judgment.  
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,

    but only in expressing his opinion. (Proverbs 18:1-2)

We’ve noted before that Proverbs is filled with the theme of wisdom vs. foolishness. I decided to rest here today, because I like the particular way these two verses speak of this theme. There are people in this world who don’t enjoy the company of others. They would rather be alone for whatever reason. We have a neighbor across the street whom we have yet to meet in eleven years of living in this house. The rest of the neighborhood is very friendly, but this man has never acknowledged anyone on the street. In fact, when he pulls into his garage upon returning from work, he immediately closes the garage door while the car is still running. Frankly, I find it suspicious... :)

You don’t have to be that extreme to isolate yourself. You can stop going to church. You can make only superficial friendships, but go no deeper than greetings and small talk. Or you can just hide out in your home or cubicle at work all day. Some people, who actually suffer from agoraphobia, the fear of being in public places, can’t bring themselves to enter into the world. Some people just prefer their own company.

Proverbs says this person will not seek out wisdom, but will prefer his own opinions. This goes along with the second verse. The person who doesn’t seek wise counsel, will instead be led by his own heart or feelings over facts. And when we rely on our feelings for guidance, we are invariably led astray!

Our pastor has been stressing the importance of remembering that “the truest thing about you is what God says is true,” as he has led us through passage after passage that proclaims who we are in Christ. Yesterday he took us to Ephesians 1:3-14, in which Paul lists out the spiritual blessings that are ALREADY ours. He noted that there are many times when we don’t feel like we have these blessings - we don’t feel chosen by God, we don’t feel like we’ve been adopted as sons, we don’t feel like we’ve been forgiven, etc. But God’s Word says it is so. So what do we believe? Our feelings or God’s Word?

Satan loves to put seeds of doubt into our minds, and one of his favorites is that we have not been fully forgiven, and we think, “How could God forgive me of THAT?” Well, His Word tells me very clearly that ALL of my sins, past, present, and future were nailed to the cross, and it is FINISHED! I need to rely on His Word, not on how I’m feeling!

If you find yourself pulling away from the company of others, particularly of other believers, watch out. Take steps to get back into fellowship. We need each other! We need the accountability and the wisdom of godly friends. And they need ours! We need to constantly point each other back to God’s Word, where all wisdom and understanding lie. If you have been struggling with trying to do this Christianity thing all on your own, being good enough, read through Ephesians 1:3-14 this morning and delight yourself in all that is yours NOW!  

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