A Minister friend was sharing that she visited a church recently, and the thing that hit her was the presence of notices everywhere, stating “DON’T DO” – Don’t stack chairs here, don’t use this area, don’t do this and don’t do that, and it made her think, if I was someone who was just visiting and trying to find out who God was, this kind of church shows God is all about the don’ts and not much about the do’s.
This beware is not a negative topic, but a lifesaving message of what to do, and how to get back on track when we realise we’ve messed up.
Something we have to address today as people of faith, is the trap to become self-reliant rather than relying on who God is in our lives. Beware of thinking you don’t need God. We don’t do that knowingly or deliberately, but in our humanness we need to remind ourselves that we are God’s people, we belong to Jesus, we’ve been bought with a price. 1 Cor 6:20
We belong to God and our belief shapes who we need to be and we behold the wonder of His hand and Glory and presence at work for us. We’ve become people on a mission for Jesus. We have to learn to be beware of thinking we can do this without a reliance on Jesus or God or the Holy Ghost.
Everyone – it doesn’t matter who you are, needs to be diligent, disciplined and dutiful, lest you let yourself down and everyone else around you who is counting on you become casualties of your failure.
1 Cor 10:1-13 The heading of this chapter is “Warnings from Israel’s history”. Vs 1-4 Paul reminding them that the lesson of the past was that everyone had the opportunity to experience God in who He was and what He did, to enter into His presence and step into covenant with Him. This wasn’t exclusive, everyone was part of it, everyone saw it, experienced it and lived it. Every one of them had the opportunity to live undeserved blessing. BUT – Paul is talking to the believers at Corinth – Today’s equivalent of Corinth might be Las Vegas, Hollywood, or the like – It was the place where self-discipline gave way to every kind of self-indulgence – the trap of self-indulgence. Beware, lest you become the instrument and the engineer of your own undoing. You can be one step away from what God has, to seek what life says you can have, and loose everything – because without God’s blessing, protection, covering, provision, and presence, where are you? Self-discipline keeps you from the trap of self-indulgence.
Self-indulgence is evident in three kind of ways. 1. We seek satisfaction without God, 2. We strive for success without God and 3. We strain for significance without God. Think of Jesus in His temptations in the wilderness in Matt 4 – Jesus you need something more to be satisfied, just turn these rocks into bread, you don’t need God – be your own God, do your own thing. Jesus you don’t need to go to the cross you can have instant success, there’s an easy way, then Jesus you can have all the world you don’t need God to be significant you can get it yourself.
1 Cor 10:13 This verse has to be read in the context of this passage which is – you can only handle everything that comes your way when you’re living in that ‘God space’ of blessing, provision, protection and promise. You’re in the crowd who walked in the cloud of God presence, blessing and protection Paul says…
Remember, to beware is not focusing on the negative, but rather, being wise, keeping watch and staying close to God where we are continually covered by His protection and promise.