“It’s a knife set, isn’t it?” said the protégé. “No! It’s a command for your life! Hold fast to it, as many have failed to do that and as a result have plummeted to their spiritual deaths,” replied the sage.
This is a straight-out chilling and vicious warning for anyone on the road to spiritual—and therefore living—freedom. We start off on the right track only to have the tendency to wander into the gullies, swamps and creeks where nothing lives. This is exactly what the New Testament book of Hebrews was all about—backsliders in one word.
It’s a Y.E.T. (a.k.a. your eligible too) for both you and I. And if we doubt for a moment the veracity of this advice let’s go straight to a perfect biblical illustration:
“Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command.”
—1 Kings 11:10 (NIV).
Solomon started out so well; he had the admiration of all—human and Divine. Yet, along the way he lost focus. He was tempted away. In his clamouring over the many wives and concubines he had—many of which were detestable to the LORD, being that he’d commanded the Israelites not to intermarry—he lost spiritual focus, trashed the statutes of the Lord his God, and continued a flawed tradition of kingship that was only to carry through the ages to come. (Perhaps it’s a theological and human reality that no one, except Jesus himself, could keep perfect obedient rule.)
If Kings David and Solomon, men with the spiritual stamina of lions, could come under the spell of evil, how is it that we think we can’t or won’t? It defies logic that we think we’ll be immune—indeed, it’s the trick of pride.
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.”
—Mark 13:32-33 (NIV).
That hour is now! I know that Jesus meant mainly the time to come, but just as important we must be watchful, vigilant and sharp—right the way through the journey.
Too many once-pious people (and I mean ‘pious’ is the purest sense) have wandered ignorantly off track through the way they’ve lived their lives—they’ve become anachronisms of the kings and have blatantly failed the LORD they’re supposed to faithfully and obediently serve. It’s just not good enough to falter on the home straight.
Yet, to any extent we all falter, even minimally. We best remember, however, the best friend of such a sinner is our Father God, through Christ Jesus our Lord.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.