05/07/17 - Pastor Young
There comes a time in life when one has to take a good long look at oneself in the mirror, and recognise the reflection as the biggest saboteur in the great fight of faith.
As Christians, you and I know that there is a great battle. We get derailed by the world’s values when it comes to money, sex, fame, whatever. We read the Bible and hear sermons, and we get our course righted again. There is an ebb and flow about our faith lives that looks suspiciously like the tide coming in to knock down the sandcastle of faith we’ve spent so much time building.
We’re at war.
I remember when I first read of a “wartime” living. John Piper, a pastor and theologian, was asked a question about the idea of living for the Kingdom of God, and he gave an illustration of a person’s life when there is a war going on, and how the person fights to stay on course, and to make life count toward winning the war. As it pertains to living for Christ, it is about making life count for the advance of the Gospel. It’s a battle against becoming weathered by the distractions of frivolousness in this world, and getting our priorities straight.
But in this war, there is a double agent of sorts at work. Someone who keeps leaking propaganda into our souls, polluting our desires for the Kingdom of God, and making our hearts clamour for an extra dollar instead of Christ.
The insidiousness of myself as a saboteur against my own faith is that it’s very easy to look externally for the enemies of our heart. Why would we intentionally hurt ourselves, right?
Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, pronouncing woes upon them in last week’s sermon from Luke 11. This week, in Luke 12, He spoke to the disciples in similar terms and about similar topics. Beware of hypocrisy, covetousness, wrong priorities, and being unprepared.
I want to look in the mirror with tears in my eyes, point at my reflection, and command myself to put my trust fully in God. I can’t will myself to do any better. I fall down in my faith, like any man does.
But I can dig the trenches, and prepare for the siege by equipping myself with the Word of God. I can remind myself constantly to rely upon the author and perfecter of my faith.
I can tear my eyes away from my own reflection, and put them upon Jesus.
Let’s put the First One first,