Wednesday, February 6, 2013

THE LOVINGKINDNESS OF THE LORD

“Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:14). We all are enticed by our lusts, every one of us with no exceptions!

James then adds: “When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin” (James 1:15). He is speaking here of the birth process. In each of our hearts is a womb of lusts and every sin we commit is born from that womb. Just as no two babies are alike, no two sins are alike. Each person produces his own kind of sin. Over the years, many Christians grow comfortable with their secret sin and, like Lot, they become blind to it and begin to take it lightly.

I think of many such examples within the body of Christ. We wink at the sin of seeking the praise of others or lusting for position. We wink at the sin of pride over our spiritual roots, our biblical knowledge, our consistent prayer life. We may see ourselves as humble, kind, teachable—but we are not.

God does not take any of our sins lightly. I learned this the hard way. Today, as I look back over nearly fifty years of ministry, I cringe at those times I was deceived by the sin of pride.

I remember being the featured speaker at a particular ministers’ conference. I thought, “The Lord has blessed me with such great revelation. I'm not impressed by any of the big-name people here. God set me apart from birth as an anointed preacher.”

Not long after that, I ended up under the Holy Ghost’s searchlight and it shone directly on my pride. If I had not clung to Paul’s exhortation to put the former things behind me, I would have fallen into despair. But God showed His mercy to me and I thank Him for His grace and long-suffering toward me, then and now.

Today, my heart-cry is, “Lord, I know I’m not the humble, unassuming minister I've always thought myself to be. I’ve been cocky, self-assured, driven. Now I realize any anointing I have is because of your lovingkindness!”