"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Obadiah: Will I Not Destroy The Wise?

In the day of pride birthed by successes, the proud tend to enjoy the support of the mighty. The mighty accept the proud into their alliances, and when you're accorded that privilege and recognition, it adds more to your success, and more to your pride. 

But such alliances of the proud serve only to initialize your downfall, warns Obadia the prophet of God, because alliances like that eat your spiritual life to the bone like gangrene--without you detecting it. The whole thing is a curse from God. 

Thus, Church alliances never end up with the one glorious church of Jesus Christ. They have been around for years, decades, perhaps centuries, but they never rallied churches to fall in behind the banner of the King of kings and Lord of lords as the completely one church of Jesus as he prayed in John 17. 

Alliances eventually only end up with the powerful using the smaller allies, eating them up, and the smaller allies merely serving the designs of their mighty allies, without the former detecting it, until it's too late.

Why all this undetected downfall? 

Because God, in that day, destroys the wisdom of the proud, men of understanding in the mountains of Esau [verse 8]. God also destroys the wise men who side and support the proud. You lose wisdom and discernment the moment you begin to take pride in your successes.

What should you do with your successes, then?

"Your successes" is really a figment of the imagination. No one is successful. The "successful" men and women we've been honoring throughout history are only tools or instruments through which God channeled his great wisdom, knowledge, technologies, and provisions. Until we learn the truth that God alone is to be praised and honored, pride in our imagined successes will cost us true wisdom and discernment.

No wonder that no Christian denomination today desperately pursues after the  true and complete unity of believers. They all think it's okay the way things are--that having denominations and alliances is enough. They've lost wisdom and discernment due to pride.

Success is really the time God's enabling grace created an opportunity and worked out a solution for a problem using our instrumentality. It was God who did it, making everything possible from start to finish. We contributed nothing, whatsoever. And we should make everyone know that the success was God's handywork alone. That's what we should do with our success.

Paul did say that we should give honor to whom honor is due, but what they do in most churches today is something excessive than mere giving due honor. Real men of honor in Christ, when given recognition or citation, will hasten to stress that they are nothing and what accomplishment was done was really done by God. It was all by his grace and mercy. They will glory in their weaknesses, insults, persecutions, and difficulties, all for the sake of Christ's glory and power [2Cor.12.9-10].

Men of the flesh will accept all praises to them and glory in their ego--though with a little "Praise God" later in their speech. This system of recognition encourages a corrupt flattering attitude that boosts the self and caters to opportunists.

Of course, there will always be blind people, even in church (or, especially in church) who'd offer sacrifices to us with bulls and wreaths (or give us recognitions), as the folks in Lystra did to Paul and Barnabas [Acts 14]. But we should know better than accept them. We should re-direct all praises and honor to God alone. But most times, this is easier said than done, even in churches.

Most church people and leaders eat and devour flattery accorded them. They live on them.

That's why lots of churches today are forming alliances with the wrong people once they start getting successful. And then God destroys their wisdom and discernment so that they never notice their spiritual downfall. I've seen churches where people praised and rewarded each other to the highest heavens, honoring this and that person, worshiping their denominations, and only thanking God later as a matter of lip service. After the recognition service they all swelled with pride, the ego feeling good.

And not a single person among them had the wisdom and discernment to see what's really going on.

The reason many churches today terribly lack spiritual wisdom and discernment is because of pride in their imagined successes.

Only Jesus is truly successful.