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Chapter 12 - Taking a Wrong Turn
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. - Revelation 2:3-4
The letter to the Galatians was written to an entire group that was taking a 'wrong turn'. Here the Ephesians also had started to become inert. We can see in the life of King David an early passionate love of the Lord only to see later in life he became so distant from the Lord that he had a man killed so he could have his wife.
When he was young David was on the run trying to save his life because King Saul wanted him dead. That intensity of experience is reflected in many of his Psalms. However, after he was king and lived long in comfort, he lost his passion. As the voice of the Lord became more distant, he acted more and more in accordance with his own fleshly thinking. He, his family, and his country paid for such dereliction.
For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. - Psalm 73:27
We first begin to get off track when we no longer see or acknowledge God in our routine daily thoughts. Slowly the busyness of our routine masks the reality of Godís presence, provision, and protection. We create a vacuum that begins to be filled with fleshly concerns and desires.
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. - Galatians 5:13-16
Someone who becomes seduced by the desire for riches or inflated with a sense of self-sufficiency can be taken so far off track, there is little hope of returning. Since we all are vulnerable to being deflected from the path the Spirit would have us walk, maintaining a humble heart is critical to detecting when we have deviated.
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. - Luke 21:34
If we examine ourselves in truth, we can begin to see where we fall short and how we might recover.
I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. - Psalm 119:59
A man might walk past a rope and see it as clutter or an inconvenience. In a different circumstance, for example when he was downing, he might see the same rope in a much more favorable light. The things we value determine the direction in which we walk.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. - Matthew 6:21
Since the industrial revolution modern life has become increasingly hectic. A day can become so filled with 'necessary' activities that less and less attention is given to eternal matters. We seldom come to a point where specifically we decide our best interest lies in a walk away from God. Our diversion is usually subtle and almost indiscernible
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. - Galatians 5:9
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