The God Plus Folly

February 19, 2014

The God Plus Folly

            It is unfortunate that some professing Christians find it hard to believe that Christ is all they need to find fulfilment in life.  The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  Peter also tells us in II Peter 1:2-3, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,   According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”

Many things that add to fulfilment in life are included in God’s will for us.  There are other things that obviously aren’t part of his will because they conflict with his will.  We do wrong by adding them.

Occult practices are sometimes accepted by Christians in hopes that they will add a new dimension to their life.  Biblical meditation is commendable.  Christians need to be warned, however, about the dangers of mysticism and Hindu cults.  The two most common in our day are yoga and transcendental meditation.  The promise they offer is that by means of meditation we can put our mind in rhythm with the mind of God, or that by them we can attain a higher state of consciousness.  It is dangerous to put our minds in neutral.  Satan can take advantage of it.  God promises perfect peace to those whose minds are stayed on him.  Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”  Christians who get involved in the occult are soon confused and defeated in their Christian life.

Another deviation from the Christian way is by means of drugs.  Immature and ill-informed Christians, especially young people, are sometimes promised relief from depression or anxiety if they will take a certain drug.  They may also be told that they will enjoy a state of ecstasy.   They think, “I guess there is no harm in trying it.” If they try it, many times they do find that it gives them what they were promised, so they keep taking it.  They don’t stop to think that they will soon be addicted to it.  They find, however, that they need to increase the amount they take of it.  Finally they have to start taking a stronger drug, because the one they started on no longer gives them the same reaction.  Sometimes these drugs are illegal, but often they are prescribed by a doctor.  When our problems are emotional, like stress or depression,   Christian counseling can often give the needed relief without the need of drugs.  God has promised to supply all our need.  (Philippians 4:19)  God doesn’t need drugs to meet our needs.  (See article: “The Impact of Drugs On Our Culture” under various themes)

There are two other drugs that Christians sometimes add that are detrimental to their health as well as to their relationship with God.  One is alcohol. It often starts with social drinking.  It can soon get out of control.  Those with integrity have no problem with declining by saying, “No thanks, I don’t drink alcohol.”   Even though it appears that people in Bible times drank wine, we have no need of it in our day.  Proverbs 20:1 warns us of the danger of it.  “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” We have an abundant selection of tasty, non-alcoholic, drinks that aren’t habit forming.  (See article: “Alcohol” under various themes)

Tobacco is another drug that is often added.  It is a dirty, habit forming drug that makes no significant contribution to our quality of life.  It cuts years off of our life.  If you are already hooked on tobacco, you can get off of it with God’s help.  You just need to claim the promise of Philippians 4:13.  “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Sometimes practicing Christians begin to feel sorry for themselves because living the Christian life conflicts with fun things they want to do.  Perhaps a friend at work asks a man to go with him and others on a hunting or fishing trip on Sunday.  He reasons, “Surely it wouldn’t be a great sin to miss church one Sunday.  After all, there is nothing wrong with hunting or fishing.” But then his friends invite him to go again and again.  Between going on those trips, and family picnics on Sunday, before long he is missing church regularly.  God says “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).

We read in the book of Exodus that our God is a jealous God. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” (Exodus 20:4-5).  God has reason for being jealous.  He loves us.  He wants the best for us.  He knows that if we add these things they will hurt us and our relationship with him.  They are a folly unto us.  Sanctify the Lord God in your heart. ( I Peter 3:15)  That means to give him a place of preeminence.

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