Tag: arrogance

Class in a Church Bathroom

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(Originally posted as “Troubled Waters”, 3/20/2013)

Lots of life’s lessons happen when we least expect them.

It all happened about 30 years ago, early one Sunday morning.

As usual, I arrived at our church around 5:30 in the morning. I enjoyed having extra preparation time, time to pray and worship God, and time to relax a little before Sunday School classes began.

You see, I saw myself as God’s servant, full of faith and power; God’s man for the hour. Superman!

Some simply referred to me as the pastor.

Our church wasn’t very old at this point, maybe 4 years, and we met in a 30’x40′ metal building that used to be a laundromat. The building had a sanctuary which seated 65 people, 2 classrooms, a hallway, and a unisex bathroom. The bathroom was beautiful, having a marble-like sink, nice big mirror, decent linoleum floor covering, and an average toilet.

The toilet. The place it all happened, early one Sunday morning.

Before I continue my story, I need to explain a thing or three.

First, stuff happens. To me, to you, to whoever. It just happens.

Second, the greater one thinks he is, the greater the pain when he comes face to face with an important truth: “I’m not as great as I think.

Third, to learn such an important truth, embarrassing situations beyond one’s ability to control sometimes must occur.

It was to be my first time having class in a bathroom.

Okay. I had a morning ritual not unlike most people, which consisted of spending some time on the bathroom throne with some good reading material. Of course, on Sundays my reading material happened to be my morning sermon notes.

I really must interject one important point here. I usually preached between 45 minutes to an hour. Meaning what, you ask? I had a lot of notes to review…(I have since learned length of sermon doesn’t equate to degree of anointing)

Just about the time I was finishing up with both tasks (multi-tasker that I am), I decided to trip the handle on the toilet for a “pre-flush.” Thinking everything was fine, I continued reading and making mental notes while the water swished and swirled beneath me. I was “the man of God” and would dazzle “my” congregation with my ability to “rightly divide the word of God.” I was somebody special and my “Kingdom Stock” was rising.

My “stock” wasn’t the only thing rising.

I suddenly “sensed” something happening that brought me back down to earth; specifically, back to the classroom.

I was feeling water where water shouldn’t be felt!

That’s when things really began to happen. I quickly stood up (wouldn’t you?), turned around, reached for the top of the toilet tank, while keeping my eye on the whirlpool below me. I tried to reach the water shutoff valve while removing the tank top and guess what? I dropped the top onto the floor.

As it hit the floor, I witnessed it breaking into two halves. Nice!

Well, with water rising, me in a precarious position, toilet tank top in pieces on the floor, I finally got the water turned off. Great! Now I can get things cleaned up and get back to my “superman” mode.

I turned back around, preparing to take my rest for a bit longer, while I finished my interrupted job. I sat down and happened to glance at the floor. To my chagrin, I saw brown spots on the floor where I had just been standing. Little spots, trampled spots, lots of little, trampled spots – all over the floor.

And, on the bottom of my shoes.

You know what?

At that point, I forgot all about my sermon and becoming the next spiritual Clark Kent! All I could think about was getting the mess cleaned up before people started arriving.

That “classroom” experience gave me a whole new appreciation for Proverbs 16:18 – “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” (NLT)

Or, “Pride Goes After The Flush.”

“Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”(Romans 12:3 NLT)

Educated Fool

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I’m really not out to make anyone mad with this post. Honestly, I’m not.

I’m not anti-education. I’m not anti-school, anti-learning, or anti-study.

I am anti-stupidity, anti-ignorance, and anti-anything that would hinder someone from a genuine walk of faith.

Faith in Jesus.

Some folks don’t get it. But it’s nothing new. It was that way in Jesus’ day.

“About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. The Jews therefore marveled, saying, ‘How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied'” (John 7:14-15 ESV)

People couldn’t figure out how Jesus could have understood so much. After all, He hadn’t gone to their fine, elite and expensive school.

Thank God for schools! It’s great to develop good study disciplines, and the school structure helps people build those habits into their lives.

But there are many things we need to learn that can’t be taught in a school. 

Faith, hearing the voice of God, spiritual gifts and manifestations, prayer and intercession are just some of the things you’ll never master in a classroom setting.

Of course the principles regarding the aforementioned topics can be taught, but the real learning comes by putting the Word into practice.

The Apostles of old were recognized as ignorant, uneducated, common men. Yet they astonished the educated elite of their day because they not only knew more about things which truly mattered; they knew God!

And it left the others speechless.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition.” (Acts 4:13-14 ESV)

It’s not a sin to be educated. But don’t trade your childlike faith for it.

Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote:

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:25-29 ESV)

Paul was one of the most educated men of his day. Yet he learned that all of man’s wisdom isn’t worth a plug nickel compared to the wisdom which comes from God.

Paul didn’t throw away all he had learned prior to coming to faith in Christ. But he knew that whatever he learned by the spirit of revelation must take precedence over everything else.

Long, long ago, hundreds of years before Christ, there lived a young Hebrew man named Daniel. He was part of the group King Nebuchadnezzar took to Babylon after he conquered Judah.
Old Nebuchadnezzar didn’t want to waste good talent, so he set aside the nice looking, educated, cream of the crop young men for extra schooling to “teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.” (Daniel 1:4 ESV)

Daniel’s keeper, the one responsible for his education and overall well being, had been instructed by the king to give the Hebrew young men the same foods to eat as their captors. Which, according to God’s word, was strictly forbidden.

It wasn’t as though Daniel was turning up his nose at the plate full of pork ribs, saying, “I don’t like that!”

Daniel’s faith was being challenged. 

He asked his keeper to allow a test, letting him and his Hebrew friends eat foods compatible with their faith. The keeper agreed to a ten day test.

“At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

“As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king. And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom.” (Daniel 1:15-20 ESV)

Ten times better. Because Daniel kept his faith perspective, and didn’t cave in to the world’s pressure. 

“Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.” (Psalm 119:97-100 ESV)

God’s not against you going to school and learning all you can.

But whatever is not of faith is sin. So, whatever you spend time and money learning, keep faith in God and His word as your mind’s gatekeeper. Let it help you use your newly attained knowledge.

Don’t be an educated fool. 

The Anointing Is Missing 

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Something’s missing. 

I realize people may think I’m a goofball for saying this, but I’ll say it anyway.

Something’s missing.

When I tell you what it is you may try and correct me by telling me I should have said “SomeONE” is missing; because the Spirit of God is a Person.

What’s missing? The Anointing of God. 

The Anointing is missing!

The Spirit of God isn’t missing; He’s here and will be for some time. But His tangible magnificence, the kind that changes lives, breaks addictions, and destroys all the works of the devil is, by and large, missing.

It’s not God’s fault.

It’s our fault. 

It’s the church’s fault.

It has nothing to do with a politician’s sin, or Planned Parenthood’s ruthless and unconscionable practices.

It’s not the result of liberalism creeping into the church. And yes, liberalism is making great inroads into the church.

But that isn’t why the anointing is missing.

If the anointing was evident, as it was in the early days of the church, hell would be rocked back on its heels, trying to find some way to put out the flame of God’s Spirit. 

But for all practical purposes, the flame’s extinguished.

It’s missing.

Why?

It’s not because pastors wear jeans, drink coffee, or have a piercing or tattoo.

So why isn’t there as much evidence of Heaven’s power today, as in days of old?

Well, primarily because we, the church, don’t need it.

We’ve developed better ways to reach the masses and build our churches.

We really have a much better understanding of life’s difficulties than say, a hundred years ago.

There’s really no need to humble ourselves before God any longer.

We’ve got it all figured out.

And that’s why the anointing is missing.

Yes, God has always had a remnant. There have always been people who don’t have any qualms about taking God at His word.

And there are people like that today.

But before you pat yourself on the back, or high five your deacon board, ask yourself this:

Are we experiencing ALL God has? 

If you believe you are, then I’m sorry for you. Pride and arrogance have found their way into your heart.

But if you believe there’s more, as I do, then the next step is the step of faith and humility.

He fills those who are emptied of self and are hungry for His ways.

And He is STILL able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all we can ask or even think.

And THAT is what we need.

Here are some words to a little song I wrote years ago, along with a few supporting scriptures.

“There is an anointing,

Your precious anointing,

It heals the broken-hearted, 

And sets the captives free.

It’s like a river flowing,

The lowest places filling,

Yielded hearts receiving,

Your precious anointing.

You fill the hungry with good things,

The humble receive from Your hand

We acknowledge our need for Your blessing,

Fill up our hearts, heal all our pain,

We don’t look to ourselves, 

But call on Your Name…

We need your anointing,

Your precious anointing.

“For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” (Psalm 107:9 ESV)

“he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.” (Luke 1:53 ESV)

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” (Isaiah 61:1 ESV)

“how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38 ESV)

The Closet

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It seems like the world is all geared up for house cleaning. Do you know what I mean?

When I was a teenager, my little brother, who is nine years younger, had a messy closet. From time to time I had the chore of “helping” him clean it out.

You wouldn’t believe the things we’d find in the closet.

Toys, socks, books, more toys, and lots of miscellaneous articles of clothing.

By the time “we” were finished, the closet would be nice and neat, but the bedroom would be a wreck.

Kind of like today.

The closet is getting cleared out, but now the junk is everywhere.

Quite frankly, I think it would have been just fine for the closet to stay messy.

But that’s not how people are.

We like to think we know best about everything. We’re happy with our choices, especially if we can get everyone to agree with us.

So instead of peeking into our closet full of questionable and messy things, we take the closet door off its hinges so everyone can see what we’ve allowed to grow in the dark room.

Only now, and unlike my chore of years ago, rather than properly disposing of the junk and odd socks, people expect everyone else to applaud the mess they’ve made.

They parade their closet junk in front of everyone, just daring someone to tell them it’s wrong.

They want people to affirm their closet lifestyle as the norm.

But you know what? I’m not going to affirm the closet stuff as good, or normal, or the way God made them.

Why? Because it isn’t the norm.

It’s only the mess from the closet.

Drunk with Power (part two)

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Belshazzar, the king of Babylon, was drunk with power, and full of his own importance. But something happened to him when God gave him a message.

“Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lamp-stand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote. Then the king’s color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together. The king called loudly to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king declared to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation.” (Daniel 5:5-8 ESV)

His color changed, his thoughts alarmed him, he couldn’t control his arms or legs; in short, he was a mess. And though he didn’t know what the message was, it affected him like nothing else ever had.

He was probably close to wetting himself; he was so shaken.

Up to then, he had always been in control. Calm, cool, collected. Never a worry, never a concern. And if he was ever in a bind, there was always someone who could either take the blame or pay the piper for him. After all, he was the king. He was in charge. He could decree anything he wanted and it would be established.

He had the pen and the phone.

But all of a sudden, with the mysterious handwriting on the wall, he was completely undone. He didn’t understand its meaning, so he called his cabinet, advisors, press secretary, and even Psychic Suzy and her troop of troublesome tarot translators to reveal the coded message.

But God’s message can never be understood by using simply the brightest and the best, or by the consensus of a majority.

“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV)

So, finally, the king had to ask God’s man.

This scenario is coming to this nation; the United States of America. As I mentioned in a previous post, “Drunk with Power”, the handwriting is coming to America’s walls. A message that will shake the strongest of men. A word that cannot be understood by the king’s men and women.

The president will have to ask for help. The politicians will have to seek help from a group they’ve tried so hard to ignore, and have loved to demean.

Not the wimpy, weak-kneed church they’ve come to know and love, but the radical, God loving, Bible believing, faithful followers of the one known as Jesus.

And those who have spent time praying for the king and for all who occupy places of authority, will have a word in season; a right now message for the nation’s leaders.

It’s on its way. A message written on America’s walls. A message unlike any other, interpreted by people who’s beliefs are completely opposite of America’s leaders.

The people who pray for their leaders will hear the interpretation, and have access to the leaders ears.

They will pray over the message, over the leaders, over the nation.

And the ultimate fate of America will be in the hands of its leaders. America will either yield to the prophets of God, or become filled with rage and punish the messengers of God’s holy revelation.

Saints of God, pray for our “king” (president) and everyone else in authority…

Democrat, Republican, Tea Party, Independents; whatever. Every one of them need support through prayer.

Prepare your hearts. Let the love of God fill you. Set your mind on things above.

A shaking is coming to this land. With that, a message to be seen on America’s walls.

Be ready in season and out, for life turns very quickly. What you’ve prayed, prepare to preach. What you’ve preached, prepare to stand on it.

The “king” will someday summons God’s prophets into his throne room. He’ll seek to find the believers, not the doubters and naysayers; for he will recognize, supernaturally, that the word of God brings light, and gives understanding to the simple.

“The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand.” (Psalm 119:130 NLT)

A lot of changes are on the way…

The Man Who Would Be King

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Once upon a time in a world much like our own, lived a man who had only one ambition.

He wanted to be king.

It didn’t matter to him which nation he ruled; he just wanted to be king. As far back as he could remember, he wanted to be king.

Each night before he went to bed he’d brush his teeth, floss, and stare in the mirror for five minutes repeating his narcissistic mantra.

“I will be king, for I was created to be king. I will rule over others for that’s why I was born. It is my destiny, it is my rightful place in this world. King Mamba Carob. Yes, I was made to be king.”

Mamba was an only child; the son of a man with an explosive temper, and a woman who lived to please her man; whichever one she had at the time. Yes, he was merely a child when the idea of becoming a king began to consume him. And watching his mother interact with her “men” helped shape Mamba’s worldview; become king, gain servants, keep people under your thumb and never have to answer to a soul.

His mother wasn’t exactly what you would call beautiful. Poor thing. She was however quite intelligent, except where it came to men.

As for the men in her life, if you’d line up ten of them, with all but one having great jobs, wonderful people skills, plenty of savings in the bank, and faith in God, and tell her to pick one of the men to date; she’d pick the one loser in the bunch. That’s just how she was.

As Mamba’s mother bounced from man to man, from one abusive relationship to another, Mamba saw his mother sign up for one government program after another. She called it surviving; he saw it as his due. She was thankful for the help. He believed he deserved more.

After all, why should so many have so much when he had so little.

Oh, but that would change. Yes, indeed.

All through the years of his youth, and on into his young adult days, Mamba kept his dream, his destiny, alive and thriving. Nothing and no one mattered as much as his kingdom. His very own kingdom.

It didn’t matter what he had to do, who he must walk on, or whether he needed to fabricate a lie just to get past a particular line of questioning; he was ready for the task. Conscience? A luxury he couldn’t afford to have if he was to be king.

And he WAS going to be king!

“A king can’t afford to be close to anyone”, was one of his favorite phrases.

Nothing meant more to him than the kingdom; Mamba’s kingdom. And he had learned “kingdom philosophy” from some of the best teachers in the land. His parents.

The dads lived for their own pleasure. His mom behaved like a groveling sycophant who was afraid of her own shadow. Be the king of your own life, your own little domain. Control how others think and behave. Don’t be answerable to anyone but yourself.

And he came so close. So, so close.

But he never made it. You see, there can be only one king. Only one. And no matter how much you want it, or how many people you trample into the ground while attempting to secure your own kingdom, it simply won’t work.

Oh, sure, you can rule your little world and force everyone around you to bow before you three times a day. You can succeed in fooling everyone into believing you are something wonderful and grand. But there’s someone who knows who you really are; your fears, your flaws, and your foolish beliefs about your self importance.

No matter how big you are, there’s someone bigger.

Regardless of your intelligence, there’s always a person who is smarter.

And you may be the richest, best dressed, most powerful person in your world; most generally, that’s how we all like to see ourselves.

You may have had a better childhood than Mamba, or you may have had to fight and scratch, beg borrow and steal for every little worldly treasure. Some may believe you have the bull by the horns and are sitting in the catbird seat.

But there’ll always be someone you must answer to.

Always.

So why not start now?

Yield to the only one who has the right to be king. King Jesus.

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11 ESV)

The Pen and The Phone

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This morning I was sitting in the neighborhood cafeteria, waiting for some friends to arrive; ink pen in my pocket and phone in my hand. While I waited I watched a little bit of MSNBC, something I don’t do very often.

The topic of conversation was President Obama’s new phrase, “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone. That’s all I need. I’ll sign orders and rally support.” The commentator explained the president was talking about the tools he can use if Congress doesn’t give him what he wants.

“These are the only tools I need”, said the president.

That’s an amazing statement, and though it’s true, it’s an example of a major issue that’s destroying this once great nation.

And in case you’re preparing for an all out “bash the President” blog, just cool your jets; it isn’t going to happen. It’s not his fault! Nor is it Bush’s fault! It’s America’s fault!

There was a time God used a pen to convey his message to his people, and take the necessary action. It was what the people called for, loud and clear, by their actions. The people practically mandated him to act; and finally, reluctantly, he did.

“The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with the point of a diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of your altars.” (Jeremiah 17:1 NKJV)

The mighty, diamond tipped pen was an instrument used to proclaim the nation’s long overdue judgment. They had given themselves over to idolatry, worshipping anything and everything except Jehovah God! Their favorite thing to worship was their own wisdom, cunning, self-importance, and the great name they’d made for themselves. “Who needs God?”, they’d ask, mockingly. “We can write our own marvelous future. We don’t need someone like him to foul up our success!”

God’s reply, with pen in hand, was:

Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited.” (Jeremiah 17:5-6 NKJV)

Like a shrub in the desert. Is that today’s America? Even when good comes, the shrub won’t see it. Is that what we have to look forward to?

America, as a nation, has placed itself under the “cursed” heading; the dubious reward for trusting in, and only in, self. America as a nation has allowed its “heart” to depart from the Lord.

Even our nation’s currency has lost its value as a result of its departure from God. The loss is two-fold: the money isn’t backed by a gold standard, nor is the slogan “In God We Trust” meaningful any longer.

But America keeps on flaunting its arrogance and pride before its Creator!

The President has a pen and a phone, which he uses. But that won’t bring about the real change this country needs.

God has used his pen, but offers us his phone.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:6-8 NKJV)

He calls to us, you and I; to whoever will dare listen and believe. A promise of water, fruitfulness, and total blessing belongs to those who will trust in the Lord.

His promise to a nation. His promise to America.

May we humbly respond, using the Lord’s private line to acknowledge our need for him.

He’d rather not have to use his pen.

You!

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You.

No one stronger, weaker, sadder, or happier than you. You know you can do everything you set out to do, until you come face to face with those pesky limitations only you are aware of.

It isn’t easy being you, is it? I could never be you! I wouldn’t know where to begin.

You can see other’s weaknesses much better than I can. Especially my own. And you’ve been a great help to me in this matter.

If there were more people like you, this world would be like Heaven on earth.

You can discern other people’s motives, reading between each line they utter. You have a gift for getting to the heart of the matter with just the raise of an eyebrow or a slight clearing of the throat.

You make a difference.

Not everyone appreciates you, but you probably know that. There are some who won’t have anything to do with you because they think you act haughty and boastful; but I’m certain it’s just jealousy on their part.

I have never heard you ask anyone for help. I’m glad you haven’t asked me, because I am thoroughly convinced I am way below your league. I couldn’t possibly be able to help you.

Thank you for your suggestions on how to raise my kids, train my dog, and empty the litter box. I’ll never forget your words of wisdom. Oh, and the helpful tips about friendship evangelism almost bowled me over! So right on!

I’m praying for you, not that you need it; I, however, do need the practice. I’m praying for you to find just that perfect spouse, the ideal pet, the church that teaches everything you believe, and someone who is righteous enough to speak into your life.

I imagine it’s kind of lonely being you.

I’m glad I’m not.

Lord of the Flies

20131007-210521.jpgIsn’t it funny how some thoughts seem to hang around for days without you knowing why? Well, here’s something that’s been buzzing around my head for a bit.

When’s the last time you thought about flies? You know, those pesky little critters with wings and big eyes. The ones that always have to fly in front of your face, instead of staying on the far side of the room. The nasty things that are attracted to stink and rot! Yuck!

Have you thought any lately about The Lord of the Flies? Remember that old movie? When I was in seventh grade our class had to watch the 1963 version of the film.

It definitely was a strange movie!

Its storyline went something like this: during WWII, a group of young British boys were shipwrecked on an uninhabited island, without any surviving adults. They had to figure out how to survive until they could be rescued. Some of the boys felt they should establish laws to govern their new civilization, build homes, and work for the betterment of all. Others, however, decided that playing, hunting, and living without rules was what they wanted to do. So there became a split in leadership, and opposing factions were formed. Eventually, and before they could be rescued, the lawless became the hunters and hunted the other group; even to the point of murder.

The “lord of the flies” was symbolized by a wild boar’s head, placed on top of a bloody pole, with swarms of flies covering it completely, inside and out. Nice mental image, eh?

Basically, the author of the book, William Golding, was trying to say that people, left to themselves, will not get better; only worse.

I believe I see his point.

But let’s look at a different “lord of the flies” story; one from the Bible.

“One day Israel’s new king, Ahaziah, fell through the latticework of an upper room at his palace in Samaria and was seriously injured. So he sent messengers to the temple of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether he would recover. But the angel of the Lord told Elijah, who was from Tishbe, “Go and confront the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is there no God in Israel? Why are you going to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether the king will recover? Now, therefore, this is what the Lord says: You will never leave the bed you are lying on; you will surely die.’” So Elijah went to deliver the message.” (2 Kings 1:2-4 NLT)

The city of Ekron, located about 20 miles west of Jerusalem, had their own special “god” to worship: baal-zebub, which means “lord of the fly”. Seems kind of stupid, doesn’t it? I mean, worship the god of flies? Maybe their god WAS a fly. I’m not sure, but either way, it sure doesn’t make sense.

The king of Israel was in a very bad condition. He felt as though he was dying, and he was right. So he sent his messengers to the “Fly God” to find out if he’d recover or not. (The king was trying to get the latest “buzz” on the matter-ha!) Sounds wild!

The prophet Elijah was sent by Jehovah God (the fly’s Creator) to the king’s messengers with a special word; in question form. Again, wild!

Imagine the knuckleheads who would actually seek wisdom from a Fly God! Of course, that happened somewhere around 2500 – 2800 years ago. People were a lot more stupid, more gullible, then anyone today! We’d NEVER try and talk with a fly (unless we missed a few times), or worship a Fly God!

No, we’d rather try and seek wisdom and direction from more reliable sources. Today, our society prefers to listen to whoever Oprah touts as great. Or, we may rather read the section of paper which carries the syndicated horoscope column. You know, find out what you need to know from some “nearby” planet or star!

Fortune cookies “work” for some, while others are beholden to whatever “cosmic revelation” they receive while flitting around the universe in their “mind capsule”. I’ll say it again; WILD!

The Lord’s question to the king is relevant to us today. “Why are you going to everyone and everything else for the answer you need? Why not come to Me?”

I may be wrong, but I believe the reason the king DIDN’T ask the God of Israel for an answer is because he knew he would have to change his evil, selfish, rebellious ways.

You see, flies really don’t care what you believe, what you say, what you look at on the internet, who you “sleep” with, or what you put into your body or spend your money on. Flies just don’t care about anything but food, stink, and other flies.

And that goes for OUR “replacement god’s”, as well.

If you’ve been having more conversations with flies, the television, or the horoscope columnist than with God, maybe it’s time someone asked you the question Elijah had for the king.

“Why the Fly God?”

Arrogance

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Do you know anyone who seems arrogant?

Have you noticed anyone who has arrogance written all over their face?

In case you aren’t sure, here’s a definition of “arrogance”:

ar·ro·ganceˈer-ə-gən(t)s, ˈa-rə-
noun
: an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions

Examples
in his arrogance the president of the club made all the arrangements for the annual banquet without consulting the members

Origin: (see arrogant ).

First use: 14th century

Synonyms: assumption, bumptiousness, consequence, haughtiness, hauteur, high horse, huffiness, imperiousness, loftiness, lordliness, masterfulness, peremptoriness, pomposity, pompousness, presumptuousness, pretense (or pretence), pretension, pretentiousness, self-consequence, self-importance, superciliousness, superiority, top-loftiness

Antonyms: humility, modesty, unassumingness, unpretentiousness

I have been someone who, until tonight, believed the way to act around such people was to give them a dose of their own medicine. You know, act like them, strut like them, sneer like them and maybe they would see what they look like, and change.

Problem is, it doesn’t work!

But then The Lord showed me that the way to deal with, cope with, and minister to the arrogant is through humility!

Humility keeps my heart guarded while allowing God’s Spirit to work in the other person. It allows the love of God to be very real and tangible; His love never fails.

You and I cannot change the heart of anyone else. But God can melt even the hardest of hearts, and can capture the souls of the proudest of men and women.

Maybe things can change in other’s lives after all. Let’s not be so arrogant as to believe otherwise.

Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance (Proverbs 21:24 NLT)

“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.”

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good (Romans 12:20-21 NLT)

In other words, don’t yield to the same arrogant spirit; rather conquer it by being the opposite.

Amen?

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