Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18(KJV)
So far we have seen that lack of vision (divine guidance) produces perishing (lacking direction or purpose). Alice in Wonderland had no idea how to get out of the hole in which she’d fallen. Considering she had no direction, Wonderland became Wander-land…an aimless moving from one fascination to the next.
The Proverb writer was saying that’s not humanity’s goal, and in order to grow into what we were created for, there must be discipline. And even if we don’t understand the why we must still comply, because God is sovereign and we are the creation of His hand.
A second reality we bump into with this wonderful verse is:
SPIRITUAL FAMINE IS WORSE THAN PHYSICAL FAMINE
Chaos in the physical realm is bad; for instance not having any discipline in a diet to restrict food intake (in my case) will result in a porky preacher in the pulpit. Chaos in the political realm is also bad; for instance not having a government to restrict criminals. But chaos in the spiritual realm is the absolute worst!
Why is it the worst? Prove it, you say? Glad to.... Just how long will your physical life last? How about the politics here on earth? How long will this old world be around? Scripture says that the grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God shall stand forever. (Isa 40:8).
I can say with conviction that spiritual famine is worse than physical neediness, for the simple fact that the life we live on earth is short, and eternity beyond this life is long. Simple arithmetic at this point should tell us that you do better to invest for the long term, and not the short haul.
A four year-old child would tell you in a heartbeat that if there is ice cream to be had you shouldn't spend your money on okra! But even if that child were educated on the relative down-side of ice cream, that it is filled with cholesterol, sugar and fats, as opposed to the health benefits of okra, which is filled with vitamins and non-fat iron, chances are a child will still, 99% of the time, choose a double scoop of chocolate fudge! That's because a child is immature; he is a child big on natural desire and small on healthy discipline. An adult, on the other hand, MAY choose more wisely! Maybe!
See the same thing in the spiritual sense. A spiritual infant starved of Bible Study and regular worship makes the same mistakes...only they are mistakes that affect his eternity!
Here is an example (one among many) of spiritual immaturity in the Old Testament. Led by Joshua, God's people were conquering the Promised Land. There was a man among the soldiers named Achan. God had told them that in their victory they were not to touch a single bit of the conquered enemy's possessions...it was all holy to the Lord. This one man, Achan couldn't understand why God prohibited it, and disobeyed. He had no strong faith, disciplined to believe that God knew what He was doing when He said not to take any of the spoils of the war. Achan took some, hid it in his belongings, and God judged the whole nation for one man's sin. Achan's spiritual famine cost thousands of lives, the defeat of Israel at the hand of a much inferior army, and eventually his own life.
How many churches today have Achans stunting their growth? Spiritual famine is far worse than missing a meal or two.
At what point does your spiritual discipline break down? And does it have the ability to affect others in your family, neighborhood, workplace, or church?