A couple of Sundays ago, our Pastor gave a message about "Doing Wrong When You Know to Do Right". Something that is heartbreaking and life destroying. He spoke of what it is like to counsel with someone who previously has shared the joy of salvation and has now chosen to pursue a sinful life. This of course, being completely different than a bad choice made, in haste, confusion, or just plain fleshly weakness, and quickly repented from (which means to turn away from and head in another direction). But, somone who purposes through choice, after choice, deliberately chosing to turn their back on what they know to be true, through God's Word to us. And instead turn towards and pursue choice, after choice the lie of moral relativism. You know, the thought process that is overtaking our society, where each person must do what is "right" for "them" in a given situation. Another term is "situational ethics".
This message was inspired because of a series of phone conversations he had been having all the previous week. With a man and his wife. The couple having been in ministry for some 30 plus years. The man at one time being a sometimes mentor to my Pastor. The man had been living a double life in the last year or so. And now everything had come crashing down around him.
I won't go into details. We have all seen the same sort of stories on the internet every month or so. Someone who was once steadfast for the Lord, now caught in adultery, financial tom-foolery, and sometimes even worse. I never cease to be grieved when I come across such a story. The stories themselves do damage. Then there is the person, who once having tasted of the sweetness of life in Christ, now has renounced it. Not all find their way back. What of the family members? What pain. Then there are the congregation members, some who are weak in spirit and this will prove more than they are willing to endure and they may become offended and fall away. Instead of clinging even tighter to the cross, even tighter to the Name of Jesus. Even tighter to the Word.
As I listened to the message, and prayed for the people I thought of involved in this specific moral car wreck, I felt impressed with this scripture, again Maria's paraphrase "Take heed. Take heed when you think you stand lest you fall." I felt a solemn stirring to seek God for strength to hang onto Him and not be distracted. To seek Him for wisdom as I assessed where I am right now, where could danger be looking? "Teach me Lord, show me your ways, teach me your paths."
It's been almost 2 weeks since that message and from time to time the phrase comes back to me in my spirit. I have felt compelled to share this with you, my friends. Let's take heed. Of course I did a word study. Here's some things to think of:
Thinketh (as in you think you stand) means "to seem" to be whether truthfully or uncertainly, to be accounted of or supposed to be of good reputation.
Heed means to watch, look, behold, consider.
Stand means to establish, covenant, to stand, abide, continue.
Fall means to fail or fall.
"11 Now these things befell them by way of a figure [as an example and warning to us]; they were written to admonish and fit us for right action by good instruction, we in whose days the ages have reached their climax (their consummation and concluding period). 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin]. 13 For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. 1 Corinthians 10:11-13 Amplified.