Eternal Perspectives

A Farmer’s Insurance commercial states, “We know a few things because we have seen a few things”. To that I say, “Amen!”

That statement applies to my own personal life as well as my experience working with people for over 35 years trying my best to help them find and fulfill their God-given eternal purpose.

I must confess that I have no grid for Christians who are still wondering what their life is all about, all the while wandering around in lives that do not match what they have testified to me they believe God has called them to be and do.

Solomon said this in Ecclesiates 3:11 – “He [God] has put eternity in their heart.”

With this being true I often ask people, “Do you live with eternity in view or your immediate felt needs in view?” This is usually the point in the conversation they tilt!

I believe a large portion of the “Christian” population lives in and for the immediate moment rarely ever thinking about how the decisions they are making in this moment will effect their eternal purpose.

For instance, Paul the apostle wrote this to his spiritual children in Corinth. ” 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?  3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?” [1 Corinthians 6]

“Judge the world”?

“Judge matters of this life”?

“Judge angels”?

If Christians do not step into their calling to judge this world they disqualify themselves from ever being called upon to judge in the world to come!

If Christians do not step into their calling to judge this life they disqualify themselves from ever being called upon to judge in the next life!

If Christians do not step into their calling to judge the church they disqualify themselves from ever being called upon to judge angels!

Most Christians believe we have no business judging anything or anyone. I mean didn’t Jesus say, “1 Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can  you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” [Matthew 7].

He did say “do not judge”, but the context of that statement is don’t look past the log in your eye to cast judgment on someone else. In other words, it takes a lot of time, energy and focus to even find a speck [minute problem] in the other person’s eye you are judging. How can you do that and not see the log that is in your own eye? Or, how can you see that speck with that log in your eye?

The context is not about making no judgment. It is about making complete judgements. And it is also about not being a hypocrite judge by being so focused on the insignificant problems in other people’s lives you pretend you do not have anything in your life that you need to address.

Also, Jesus’ next statement after the “do not judge so that you will not be judged” is, “for in the way you judge, you will be judged.” Do you see that His point is the way we judge, not do not judge at all?

“Judgement begins with the household of God” [1 Peter 4:17], and it is supposed to begin with the individual temple [believer] of God. The individual Christian is, and the corporate Body of believers are, the temple of God.

Christians who do not believe we are called to judge do not know the Word of God, or do not believe the Word of God that they know!

If we are to judge the world, this life and angels we need to work on removing logs out of our purview so we can live with a clear view of eternity!

God’s people get involved with people, places and things that in no way are contributing to His eternal purpose for their lives. Needing human companionship, they meet with and in some cases marry people who will never help them find, walk in and fulfill their eternal purpose and potential.

Or, they get involved with people or activities where they have to walk away from [apostasy] their own personal revelation and experiences in God. They have not made a right judgment about their own current call from God [this life] so they will never be called upon to judge the world, angels or the next life.

This is a travesty and great tragedy!

These “believers” say, “I have not abandoned Christ. I totally believe in Him.”

My question to them is, “Then why have you turned away from the Christ [anointing, mission, mandate, message, methods and ministry] that He revealed to you and in you?”

Jesus is denied all the time by people who do not believe the God they say they believe in!

You may believe He provided you a way to get into heaven but you have abandoned His eternal purpose for you to get heaven into earth. My friends, by getting heaven into earth is how we judge the world.

The Lord knows I know too many people who have chosen a spouse, career, job position or promotion that was not equally yoked with them. I know the Bible tells us not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever [2 Corinthians 6:14], but how many believers have married unbelieving believers who drag them down and away from their own revelation and experiences in God. And how many have taken a position, even in a ministry, that caused them to “deny” the Christ that called them into the ministry?

Trust me, no spouse is better than the wrong spouse! There are a lot of married single Christian people! And that position, promotion and paycheck in ministry is not worth losing our position as judge in the Kingdom of God.

The words “matters of this life” in our 1 Corinthians 6:3 text literally means, “to spend the life, to spend your existence, time, resources, possessions.” In other words, what do we spend our life on? What do we invest our life in? Who do we invest our life in? To make the wrong judgment in these “matters” will make all the difference on if we get all of the life God purposes for us in “this life”, and the next life!

Speaking of judgment and having an eternal perspective, let’s look at what Jesus said to Nicodemus, a teacher of Israel.

16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

I want to address a few of the important truths found in this text.

  1. Verse 17 – “God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
  2. Verse 18 – “Those who believe in the Son is not judged, but those who do not believe have already been judged because they refused to believe in the name [nature, character, call, mission, mandate, methods and ministry] of the only begotten Son of God.”
  3. Verse 19 – “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”
  4. Verse 21 – “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

Do you notice how Jesus was not sent into the world to judge the world but at the same time His coming into the world brought judgement upon the world?

Do you notice how there can be no salvation apart from judgment?

Do you notice how those who practice truth come to the Light so that their deeds [works] will manifest [come into being and into the view of the world] and be revealed as the works of God? Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16]

In this verse Jesus clearly connects light to good works and God being glorified in them!

Do you notice how the lovers of darkness do not come to the Light?

Where do you stand in relation to Light and darkness?

Have you come to the Light [Jesus Christ]?

Are you manifesting your good works to prove they are wrought by God [God’s works]?

Are you afraid of the Light and being exposed by the Light?

Do you love darkness, and if you do why do you love it?

If you have experienced the Light why on earth would you dare venture back into that which is not Light?

Is your perspective temporary or eternal?

It really is that black and white!

Keep HIS Faith! Keep HIS Passion! Keep HIS Purposes!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A Hisstorymaker

 

Devilish Distractions

The devil is not someone that should be feared or taken lightly. He roams around seeking those he “may” devour.

This means that he cannot devour anyone who does not give him access, permission, or substance to devour.

In the Garden God sent the serpent on his belly to feed his belly with dust. Dust can be a metaphor for our carnal, non Christlike behavior. If we do not provide him food he cannot feast on us. Remember, God formed man from the dust of the ground!

In the Garden man, who had been given responsibility by God to guard and tend it, lost focus on who and why they were. When they took their eyes off who God said they were and what God told them to do they sucked the serpent into their Paradise instead of confronting him outside the Garden.

What have you lost sight of that invited the serpent into your world?

There will always be “good reasons” to disengage, even for a moment, from what you are trying to accomplish in life. Look at what Paul says,

2 Corinthians 2:11

“. . . so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”

  • The context of this verse is love, forgiveness and restoration!
  • But we should always be aware of the strategies our enemy will employ to distract and detour us with the ultimate goal of destroying us, or what God has called us to do for Him.
  • ‘Schemes’ speaks to a language that I understand well. That language is the language of sports. Schemes can speak of a certain strategy and or plans that are used by a competitor to exploit any weakness that has been discovered through the various scouting procedures used.
    • The Greek word used means: The processing power of the mind that develops perceptions that are foundational in decision making. It has to do with the way we think, not just what we are thinking about.

Ephesians 6:11

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”

Notice that once we put this armor on we are never to take it off!

  • The armor of God is God Himself
    • Truth – “I am the truth”
      • “Your word is truth”
      • “The word became flesh”
    • Rightousness – “Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness”
    • Gospel of peace – “For He Himself is our peace”
    • Shield of faith – “Author and Perfector of faith”
    • Helmet of salvation – “He put on . . . a helmet of salvation on His head.”
    • Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God – “and the word became flesh”
  • Stand firm – Established, remain in place, remain in the place God places you, unwavering and not hesitant
  • Schemes – Deceptive tricks [using what looks like truth but isn’t, using what looks good but is really not good or beneficial], using circumstances to manipulate [maneuver] us off of our path to our purpose
    • The Greek word used in this verse is different than the one used in 2 Corinthians 2:11. This word means: The methods used in manipulation, the path travelled to accomplish an agenda that is at variance with what is considered correct, or right[eous], that which includes that which is false, absurd, or a distorted representation of someone or something
  • Devil – To slander, falsely accuse, mislead with untruths

The devil himself, “appears as an angel of light” to create chaos and confusion within the community of Light. He is the master at manipulating people and events to impugn God so that people will disconnect from, or never connect to, God.

Two ways the devil maneuvers people is through weariness and busyness [business]. Once he knows your weakness [where you will cave] he begins maneuvering to make and keep you tired and busy with business that is not productive to who you are and what you are called to do.

This can be in relation to your ultimate purpose in life or just a part of your life you are pursuing because God is breathing on it in this season.

I am too tired! I am too busy! I can’t! It won’t!

Where do you think these come from?

This must be one of our core values: “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me [who gives me His strength and ability].”

Paul, the apostle, is my hero on several levels. One very important level is the way he did not allow all of the adversity and opposition to his identity and mission mess with his staying on message in his ministry.

2 Corinthians 4

“17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Paul is saying he stays on course because he keeps his focus on what is eternal, not temporal. Once the devil knows he can trick us into taking our eyes off the eternal he continually offers that which is temporary.

I know way too many people who got sidetracked when they got stuck in something that was momentary believing it was an ongoing issue. Even a season of sin can be manipulated to convince you that is who you are. This lie can convince you there is no need for you to repent and return to the Lord.

Let’s take a look at some of the momentary and light afflictions that he pressed through.

2 Corinthians 4

“8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”

2 Corinthians 6

“3 giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, 4 but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, 5 in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, 6 in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, 7 in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, 8 by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; 9 as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, 10 as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet  possessing all things.”

2 Corinthians 11

“23 Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far  more labors, in far  more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through  many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 Apart from such external  things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without  my intense concern?”

All of these Paul called, “light and momentary afflictions.”

What excuses are you allowing the devil to feed you so that he can feed on you and eventually feed off of you?

What distractions have commandeered your call and or your career?

What weakness is the devil exploiting because you tipped your hand when you compromised out of what you believed to be convenient?

What inconvenience did you not press through and now you are finding it more difficult to overcome circumstances that you used to not even realize were there?

I tell couples who come to me for pre-marriage counseling who have been engaging in pre-marital sinful sex, “If you cannot say no to sex with each other now, knowing it is sinful, what guarantee do you have that when the opportunity to have sex with someone other than you spouse comes, you will be able to say no?” You should see some of the expressions I see!

If you cannot say no today you have nothing stable to stand on to say no tomorrow!

If you compromise today you have given place for the one who compromised in heaven to control you and your decisions today and in the future.

My advice to them and to you is this – Make a decision right now to stop doing what you know is wrong, and a compromise to Godly core values, so that you will have confidence that when confronted with options to compromise in the future, you won’t give it one thought because you have already decided how you are going to live.

Jesus said this, “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me;”

The devil is always “coming” to see where he can exploit us. Jesus said, “he has NOTHING in Me.” He has nothing in Me or on Me that he can use to manipulate Me to compromise who and why I AM!

Can you say, “He [the devil] has nothing in me?”

If you can’t then maybe you should evaluate the level of commitment to Christ you claim to have.

Stop providing the devil food to feed on you or to you!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A Hisstorymaker