Bonners Ferry Baptist Church
The Purpose of This Page
The Purpose of This Page
To say that we are living in a busy world seems like quite an understatement. The tools that we have to make us more efficient seem to have only convinced us that we can do more than we are truly able. In this very busy setting there is also a great deal of noise. I'm not referring to physical sound so much as I am the abundance of "voices" competing for our attention. Traditional media, social media, the entertainment industry, the special interests industry, political movements, even Christian institutions just to name a few. In the midst of all this noise the Holy Spirit of God seeks to gain our attention, and because He is not so demanding as the rest, He is often altogether unheard or given His place at the back of the line.
It is not my desire to add more noise to anyone's life, but hopefully and prayerfully the Lord can use what is written on this page to help someone shut out distractions and hear from Him through the Scripture.
A blind spot is an area of vision obscured from our view because of our particular vantage point. The term is often used figuratively to speak of some area in the life of another that is apparently concealed from their view because of their poor judgment in that particular sphere.
In the spiritual realm we are prone to have blind spots. The Lord is well aware of our predicament and has graciously provided tools to aid us in our limited view. As in the physical world we use mirrors to reveal those areas we cannot naturally see, so God has provided us with spiritual mirrors for the same purpose.
I find two mirrors in Scripture that the Lord has provided for our use.
1. The mirror of his word James 1:23-25 “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (See also Heb. 4:12).
2. The mirror of other men Proverbs 27:19 “As in water face [answereth] to face, so the heart of man to man.”
Because of our limitations, blind spots are inevitable. However, we have been provided with the tools necessary to expose to our view, that which would otherwise be hidden. We would be wise to see ourselves honestly from the pages of Scripture. We would also be wise to realize that what we observe proceeding from the hearts of other men is often a reflection of our own.
Remember that, if we want to see what is in our “blind spots”, we must regularly check our mirrors.
“It is Better for Me”
“It is Better for Me”
In 1Samuel 27:1 we find David running for his life from King Saul. He had just spared Saul's life for the second time because of his conviction that it would be a sin to lift his hand against the Lord's anointed. In 1Samuel 26:10 under pressure from his friends to kill Saul, David declared his faith in God to ultimately deliver him. Somewhere between 1Samuel 26:10 and 27:1 that confidence had waned because he made the following statement "there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines". As I read this passage I cannot help but see a correlation between his circumstances and our lives as servants of Christ. Like Saul, our flesh is relentless in its pursuit to be king in our lives. Though in our hearts we know that the flesh is corrupt and will end in ultimate defeat; like David we can come to the place where the pressure of dealing with the fleshly opposition brings us to the conclusion that it would be better to retreat to the world where the pressure isn't as great, than to stay centered in God's will and wait for his deliverance.
As we look through the Bible we find that David wasn't the only one who came to the conclusion that retreating from God's will was "better" than remaining in it.
In Exodus 14:12 the Israelites declared that it would have been "better" for them to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness. This statement was made when they were seemingly trapped next to the Red Sea. Many a young convert feels trapped between their old life of sin and the new life of obedience to God. They see the fleshly impossibility of the new life but haven't yet learned to rely on the the power of God to accomplish it. In this moment the will and ways of God appear to be deadly and the temptation is to return to the old life. The solution is to move forward in obedience and trust God to enable his own will for our lives.
In Numbers 14:3 the Israelites declared that it would be "better" for them to return to Egypt than to fight for Canaan. God had promised them an abundant life through conquest of the idolatrous inhabitants of Canaan. Upon seeing the size of their foes they chose to believe their own natural reasoning over the clear promises of God and concluded that returning to the old life of bondage in Egypt was "better" than confronting their foes. The problem was that they had more confidence in the strength of their enemies than they did in God. How many a Christian will not engage in spiritual conflict for the same reasons and resign to living defeated lives when a life of victory has been promised (1Cor. 15:57; 1John 4:4; 5:4).
In Jonah 4:3 and 8 Jonah declared that it would be "better" for him to die than to live as he was. Jonah made this statement as a bitter servant of God. God had been kind and merciful to his enemies while he was suffering personal discomfort and disappointment. Because Jonah was more interested in his own way and his own comfort than he was in the deliverance of others, he concluded that dying was "better" than living as a living sacrifice.
Finally, we find a similar statement from Paul In 1Corinthians 9:15 with an entirely different meaning. Paul stated that it would be "better" for him to die than for his glorying to be made void. In short, Paul was convinced that it would be better to be dead than to live a life that would dishonor the Lord Jesus Christ and discredit the truth of the gospel.
Undoubtedly, the final statement is where our hearts and minds should be. However we must have Paul's perception and perspective if we are to have his conclusion. The Israelites in the wilderness, David, and Jonah all had something in common. Their focus was on their difficulties, danger, discomfort, desires, etc. In contrast, Paul was focused on the Lord Jesus Christ. He was confident in his righteousness, mercy, grace, power, and worthiness to be served. If we are to finish our course we must look "unto Jesus" and "consider him" not look unto ourselves and the strength of our opposition.