9/30/18 “Life Hack Series: The Struggle is Real”

I’m going to do a series in Proverbs entitled “Life Hack Series.” It’s a life hack series, and you know that’s really big right now with the millennials and the twenty- and thirty-year-olds. Life hack basically means a skill or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency in all walks of life. They even have health hacks, where you can hack your health and hack your body (really, it’s not a hack, it’s just how your body is designed).

Through the book of Proverbs, I’m going to talk about how we can “hack” life in a good way, life hacks that can be productive and can really help us, and that is going to be, obviously, using wisdom. The title this morning is “The Struggle is Real.” What is that struggle? To obey the voice of wisdom. It is very real. It is very difficult. It is very challenging.

So I want you to think of something. Commit today to obey the Word of God regardless of feelings, regardless of circumstances, and regardless of the advice of others who oppose wisdom. The struggle is real to either obey God’s Word or drift away, to do what God’s Word says or to do what I want to do. The struggle is real, and it’s a daily struggle. I would submit to you that this happens daily, that we have choices to make in whether we’ll obey God’s Word or not. That struggle is real for us, and it’s real in our children. But wisdom helps us keep decisions in check. Does anybody want to make sure they’re in the will of God?  Do you want to make sure your decisions are lined up with the will of God? That’s what wisdom is for.

Here’s why wisdom is so important. Wisdom is actually God’s voice of truth, saying, “Here’s the way to walk in it. Choose life and not death. Walk in this way.” Wisdom is basically what God has clearly outlined for us in His Scriptures, in the Word. Proverbs 1:1 is where we’re going to start:

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel.  (v. 1, NKJV)

Solomon is writing the book of Proverbs. I’m not going to go through Proverbs verse by verse because that is very challenging, very difficult. Two verses it’s here and in the next verse it’s way over here, and it doesn’t really allow a person to go through it expositionally. It’s more of a topical book. But we’re going to start in Proverbs 1 because the first chapter does give us a lot of good information.

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

 To know wisdom and instruction. (vv. 1–2)

 Now here’s where we make mistakes. This isn’t just to know intellectually; it’s actually to apply.

To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding. (v. 2).

As you look to God’s Word, as you’re filled with wisdom, you begin to perceive the words of understanding.

To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity; (v. 3)

We need that today. Justice, judgment, equity. Equity is just moral uprightness. There is something solid to it.

To give prudence to the simple.

Do you consider yourself stupid like I used to when I was younger, and not really smart, not up there, not mighty and noble, like the Bible says, “Not many mighty, not many noble are called, but God uses the foolish things to confound the wise”? Maybe you didn’t do that great in high school. Anybody not go to college? Kind of simple? This is for you, because the Bible says it will give prudence, it will give wisdom and learning. I believe a person without a college degree can be smarter than one with a PhD. I’ll leave it there. Possibly not in the particular topic or in their field of interest. I’m not going to go and argue against a cardiologist and think I can do heart surgery better. Obviously, I can’t. I wouldn’t even attempt that. But when it comes to the profound things in life, when it comes to wisdom and knowing what is true, your children can know more than those with doctorate degrees.

To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
A wise man will hear and increase learning. (vv. 4–5)

This means they’re always wanting to learn. They have a teachable spirit. We want to learn, we want to listen, we want to grow.

And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel. (v. 5)

 He will look for wise counsel. It’s a good test this morning: Do you look for wise counsel? Because I know a lot of people who are not really concerned with what others say. They are going to do what they want to do. You might say, “Well, Shane, you said earlier not to listen to the opinions of others.” Right—if they oppose wisdom, if they oppose truth. But those who are hungry for more of God, who want to make sure they’re on the right path, will go to those who can offer godly counsel, and they will ask them, “What do you think of this? I’m wanting to learn. I’m wanting to grow.” I can’t tell you how many times that has helped me and given me a different side to this.

I actually asked my wife’s thoughts this morning on what I shared with you earlier about what’s going on in our nation. I told her, “I’m struggling. I don’t know what to do with this.” And we have to look to others because it’s good to bounce things off of them.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction. (v. 7)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. The fear of the Lord is a very good thing. It’s a very good thing, because when you fear God you treat others differently. You act differently. You have respect and reverence for God, for the house of God, for worship, for the Word of God. There’s a reverence and a respect.

I shared last night—and I’ve told you this before, but maybe some of you are new and have not heard this—but when I was in construction business, I ran heavy equipment, and in doing so, you dig underground, which means you have to have a lot of reverence and respect for what is buried underground. You’d be amazed at what you’re driving over, from storm drains to fiber-optic cables. Southern California Edison has, right off Avenue S and the freeway, I think it’s a 42-inch, might be a 36-inch, gas main to Texas. You know how big 36 inches is? It’s about this high. It’s a big circle. When we were drilling holes over there for that park-and-ride many, many years ago, we had to have the gas company there with us every day. Any time we’d turn on a piece of equipment they had to be there. Why? Because there’s reverence and respect. And I don’t think he was joking when he said, “If you guys hit that, we’re all dead within a few blocks.” See, it’s going to change how I operate the equipment. It’s going to change how I treat that jobsite. There’s a reverence. There’s a respect.

Same thing regarding the fear of God. That’s what’s going on in our culture. That’s what’s going on in the state of California. There is no fear of God. They could care less. They say there’s no God, and if there is a God, He’s a cosmic ball of love. He just loves us, and He doesn’t care what we do because God is within and we are gods. So there’s no reverence, no respect. Do you want your neighbor to fear God? Why? We know. Because it is the beginning of wisdom and the beginning of knowledge. It’s the beginning of everything.

Now it’s interesting here, the Bible goes on to say, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” To really know if something is true (knowledge), you have to fear God. Then it says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The difference is that knowledge is knowing and wisdom is doing. There are people in the church who are so knowledgeable, but they’re very foolish. They know, but they don’t do.

I see this in Christian marriage counseling—it’s why marriages are falling apart. They’re just falling apart; let’s just leave it at that. People will quote Scripture: “She just needs to come back home and submit to me.” Knowledge—and that’s even out of context many times. You know it, but you have to apply it—wisdom, walking in humility and gentleness. I don’t remember who it was, and I probably won’t get this right, but I was reading a book written about 150 years ago, maybe 1850s or closer to the 1900s. A man, a very famous preacher, was asked by someone who started explaining his marriage problems, and he was saying, “It’s this and it’s that.” And the guy looked at him, and he said, “I don’t know you, and I don’t know your wife, but I can tell you almost always that humility will fix it.” Same thing goes out to us today, that there is a way to fix a lot of our issues if we would just humble ourselves and submit to God.

And if you’re already saying in your heart or in your mind, “But…” then you’re already off the course of wisdom. There’s no but. When God’s Word says something, we can’t add a comment and but. “I know it says this, but…” Get rid of the but. That might be a good sermon title: “No More Buts.” Hashtag no more buts. We’re going to stop saying “but” about God’s Word.

So know how to apply equity and justice. It says you will know how to apply equity and justice. Equity is the spirit of the law, the spirit that is behind something, the reason why. For example, I mentioned last week the First Amendment. One of the benefits of reading the founding fathers in the founding era and their original writings (not what people think they believed) is you begin to see the spirit of why things were written. And you hear about freedom of speech and freedom of the press. It would’ve never been designed to protect pornography and things like that. The spirit behind it was not that. The spirit behind it was to give people a voice and not be under tyranny again. So that’s what equity is. You will know the spirit behind something. And justice, you will know the application of it, what is right and what is wrong. That’s why we should desire godly men and women on the Supreme Court, godly men and women running for office, and godly men and women in our local courts and as our police officers. In all areas we should want men and women who love God and love justice—what is truly fair—not partiality but what is fair, not judging skin color but what is fair.

Then he goes on to say, “To give prudence to the simple.” Again, I clarify that. The simple would be someone who doesn’t have a degree. I’m not against degrees; I think you should get one if God has called you to do that. I think it’s fine to do that. You might want to have a degree if you’re going to perform surgery. Not a bad idea. Some jobs actually require it. You have to know what you’re doing. But for many people, God’s Word will give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. This month, in September in 1536—take your mind back there, almost five hundred years ago—William Tyndale, who simply translated the Bible in the common tongue of the people, was executed in Belgium by strangulation and then burned at the stake. He said, “I defy the pope and all his laws. If God spare my life, I will make a ploughboy know more of the Scriptures than thou dost.”  He said, “If God gives me the breath and the time and energy, I will make a plough boy”—one of the simplest people back then. A farmer knew nothing. They were usually illiterate, didn’t even know how to read. He said, “I will make that man wiser than the papacy, wiser than the pope”—if you can just learn the Scriptures.

A wise man will hear and increase learning.

A man of understanding will ask for wise counsel. Again, the struggle is real. Are you hearing, are you increasing in knowledge? Not everybody—I’ll just share this with you—not everybody was happy that I reached out to a black pastor and am friends with him and that we’ve talked and had unity events. I know the heart of some people is good, and there’s not that many people against it, but the thought is, “Well, why are we wasting time in that? It’s not a big deal. There’s bigger fish to fry. I don’t see the point of it.” Actually, the point of it is to learn and to see from the other’s perspective. Unless you put on their glasses, you’re not going to see from their perspective. You don’t know where they’re coming from. A wise man will actually sit down and listen and see where they’re coming from, trying to understand their perspective versus always wanting to be right, always wanting to get the last word in, always wanting to prove their point. It’s part of wisdom to listen to those you disagree with. Can you sit down with a Muslim? Can you sit down with somebody of a different skin color and hear why they don’t agree with you about Kaepernick and Nike? Can you listen? It’s wise to listen and understand and grow from that.

Boy, it’s silent this morning. Maybe I’d better pull out a different sermon for the second service. I’m kidding, of course. We need to hear this. I’m still upset about my first point. I want to keep going back to that because I’m just appalled at what our nation has become, and we need wisdom.

We need to go back to verse 8:

My son, hear the instruction of your father.

How many young adults are in here? Make your kids listen to this part. Take the CD. We have at least two hundred kids now signed into the children’s ministry, who call Westside Christian Fellowship home. I’m hoping we can get them to hear at least this part. The Bible says:

My son, hear the instruction of your father,
And do not forsake the law of your mother;
For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
And chains about your neck. (vv. 8–9)

 “My son, hear—hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother.” Let me tell you why. Every young adult, hear me. Hear me loud, hear me clear, whether it’s today, whether it’s in the future, nobody cares for you more than your parents—especially if they’re Christian parents, I should probably clarify. Nobody cares for you more than your Christian parents. Nobody. Here is why you don’t get along sometimes. Me too, with my kids as they get older. We see what is lurking ahead. We see where these choices are going to lead you. We see what could happen. Been there, done that, right? So we offer godly counsel. We say, “Hey, here’s where this is going. Be careful.”

“Oh, Mom, Dad, you just don’t want me to have fun.”

“No, it has nothing to do with fun. I don’t want you to ruin your life.”

Probably not a month goes by that my son doesn’t want to go climb on the roof of the house. “Dad, can we go get the big ladder…?”

“No, you can’t get on the roof.”

“Why? You don’t want me to have fun.”

“Can we go down this big hill on our bikes?”

“No, no. There are cars turning the corner at thirty miles an hour.”

“You just don’t want us to have fun.”

Or as they get older, “Son, daughter, we love you. We want what’s best for you, but that person you’re dating will hurt you.”

“You just don’t understand.”

“Oh no, I understand.”

Be careful, because they love you more than anyone else. They see where those bad choices are going. They see you crying on the phone a year from now, realizing you married the wrong person. They see how that anger of that boy can turn into hatred and physical abuse, and they want to warn you. Listen to the voice of your fathers and your mothers because they see. God’s given them the gift to speak life into you.

And that’s another concern of my culture. We raise kids on pornography at ten years old. They act it out, they can have sex with a prostitute in a videogame, and then we blame society or we blame the church or we blame political parties, when it starts in the home. Home. Moms, dads, teach your children. The struggle is real. Most problems between Christian kids and parents are because the parents see where these decisions will lead them, and they want to warn them. They want to guide them. They want to teach them how to be proper godly men and godly women, growing up. There will always be this. You can’t avoid that. And I’m not sure a parent should be their kid’s best friend. That’s a toughie. They have to be what God’s called them to be, mentoring them and leading them. But I also believe we need to be careful to not force too much of God’s Word down their throat until they get sick of it, and all they see is us throwing Bible verses at them and not listening and not loving. It can really turn them away.

So, kids, remember that. Hear the instruction of your father and your mother, not the dope dealer down the street who wants your money, not the person who wants you to try this new pill or this new drink, not this person who has something on their phone they want to show you. Be careful. Those are the wrong things to follow.

But what does it mean by “For they will be graceful ornaments on your head and chains about your neck”? Well, I like what GotQuestions.org says. It says:

Like fine jewelry, [wisdom is] often obtained at a great cost. Jewelry has a history, value, and can even be passed along to future generations. Further, those who actively use the wisdom of their parents will see it reflected in their lives. Other people notice the wise choices, the wise behavior, and the wise words, just as someone will notice the fine jewelry a person puts on.

That’s what he is saying. They’ll notice that. As a word of encouragement, parents, if you’ve not succeeded in this area, run to the cross. Whether your kids are old— “Shane, it’s too late now”—I don’t know if it’s ever too late. I think if you commit your works to the Lord and say, “Lord, I’m sorry. I blew it in many areas,” I believe God can give you that place of leading and helping your children again. They’ll look to you for advice, they’ll look to you for wisdom. And if they’re still in that young shapeable age, begin now to commit your life to God’s Word and to be good examples.

And then we read in verse 10 that enticement pulls against wisdom. Here’s why the struggle is real. Wisdom says this, but enticement says that. So you have a struggle—did you ever do tug-of-war? Did I ever share that I used to do that at the fairgrounds? Many years ago, I was 25, and it was bodybuilders against the farmers, and we never won. This farmer would get out of his truck, and he’s like 350 pounds, 6’ 5”, and he’s the anchor. My Lord! But it was a four-minute struggle, and I almost passed out from heat exhaustion and pulling a rope that hard for four minutes. Try it. It’s not easy.

So the struggle in the Christian life is real. Wisdom says this, enticements want that. And you live in that struggle often. Paul said, “Wretched man that I am. Who will free me from this body of sin and death? For what I want to do I don’t do, and what I don’t want to do I do.” There’s this struggle that happens, but the Bible offers much wisdom here as well:

My son, if sinners entice you. (v. 10)

Entice you. Entice you—it always is enticement. If it doesn’t look good, taste good, or feel good, we wouldn’t do it, correct? Who’s struggling with eating too much broccoli right now? Chocolate? Donuts? Coffee? Alcohol, for some? Marijuana? It’s big now; it’s legal. Guess it’s fine. I won’t go there. I got chewed out in a store about six months ago from a lady about this issue, and I totally get it on medicinal purposes, but that’s like 1 percent of usage—1 percent is for medicinal, the rest is to check out. And these people are checking out and then getting in their vehicles. California is just…we just need to go forward in Proverbs here.

My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait to shed blood;
Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
And whole, like those who go down to the Pit. (vv. 10–12)

This seems a little extreme, and he is giving an extreme example. What they would do is they would wait and rob people. They would kill them and take everything they have.

We shall find all kinds of precious possessions. (v. 13)

Enticement is interesting. Things like this—sin—will always promise something without the work. That’s why you have to be careful of money marketing schemes. Have you ever heard that word, pyramid scheme? Peole will tell me, “Shane, you can make $10,000 this month.” Run. Run, run, run, run. Because God blesses hard work and diligence. But enticement will always relate to that easy way, always. It wants you to take the easy way.

We shall fill our houses with spoil;
Cast in your lot among us. (vv. 13–14)

In other words, “Let’s go, let’s do this. Come on, let’s just join in.” I want you to notice the steps here with enticement: it looks, feels, or tastes good. Whatever wisdom says, the opposing view, the opposing force, is going to look good, taste good, feel good. Will it not? For example, what does wisdom say about financial success and being diligent financially and working hard? Wisdom says that the enticement is pulling us in the other direction, telling us to take the easy path. Also, it shows you the benefit, the profit, and not the cost, not what will eventually happen. That’s where the word enticement comes from. It entices—that lure looks really good to the fish as he’s swimming, but what happens? He ends up on the boat and in the skillet. See, it’s always enticing: “That looks good.” But wisdom keeps us from taking the wrong bait.

And then, three, there is continual nagging. That’s how temptation works. It often won’t just tap you on the shoulder once. It’s a “come on, come on, come on, come on, come on.”  It wants to wear you down. Then you say, “All right, all right.” Let’s go back to when you were younger, for some of you. “All right, all right, just one. All right, all right, just this time. Just this time. All right, I know I shouldn’t watch that movie, but let’s go. Let’s go.” See, it’s a nagging—Delilah. That’s how temptation works. Often, it’s pretty easy for most Christians to say, “No, I’m not going there. I’m not going there.” But then that sin begins to nag, and a lot of times what happens is our thinking starts to diminish. We are initially so strong in our thinking: “No. No. No.” And then as it nags, we lose our resolve.

Try fasting. (Back to the broccoli issue, right?) You say, “I’m doing this.”  I mean everybody can fast after a big breakfast. They commit to, anyway. “All right, starting tomorrow, I’m going to fast.” Oh, that sounds so great, but then come tomorrow. That’s how enticement works. It begins to nag at you. It begins, like these guys, “Come on,” and that’s what we should warn our kids about. The other kids will do that: “Come on, come on, it’s no big deal. Come on, it’s no big deal. Others are doing it.” Oh, ok, that should make it ok then. More often than not, if the culture is going this direction, kids (and adults), you should be going in the opposite direction.

So there’s a nagging that happens. It’s night and day sometimes. It’ll nag on us until we cave in—or you can bring it to the cross and resist the devil, and he will flee. Resist those things and say, “No, this is what God’s Word says.” Sometimes you have to go back to the promises of God. Here’s why it’s so hard. We often don’t feel like going back to the promises of God. But God says do it regardless of how you feel. Jesus defeated Satan with the word of God: “It is written, man shall not eat bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  It is written. See, He was hungry. How do you know that, Shane? The Bible said after forty days and forty nights, which is usually when the body resorts to real genuine hunger, or you’re going to die. It begins to consume itself. Believe it or not, it can last for a while as it’s fueling off your fat storage, your adipose tissue. Ketones and ketogenic diets and all that, that’s really where they get all that from. Your body is fine for a season, but when it’s time to eat, your body will tell you. The Bible says Jesus became hungry, He hungered, and the devil said, “Now that’s my opportunity.” So when He said, “No, I’m not listening to you,” He went against His feelings, even though He felt like eating, He felt like giving in.

So when it comes to wisdom, you often have to go against how you feel and do what is right, and then the feelings will come later, the feelings of peace and enjoyment, because self-discipline has taken place. So rarely will you feel like obeying God’s Word all the time. I shouldn’t say rarely because most of us do, we feel like it, but there will be challenging times where the Word of God won’t feel good to you—at least obeying it and forgetting the promises and “I’m just a mess. I’m going to cave in.” Don’t do it. That’s the time to strengthen yourself.

Verse 15:

My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your foot from their path;
For their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed blood. (vv. 15–16)

Again verse 15, “My son, do not walk in the way with them.” So he’s saying, “Don’t even walk in the way with them,” and the picture I get is that person who says, “No, I’m not going to do that with you guys. I’m not going to participate.”

“Ok, would you at least walk with us down the road? At least come with us, at least walk with us. I know you’re not going to do it, but would you walk with us? Would you just go with us?”

“Of course, I can do that.”

He’s saying don’t even do that, because that’s one step of compromise. You don’t negotiate with sin. You don’t negotiate with enticement. When I read this, Psalm 1:1 came right to my mind:

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly.

You don’t walk with them.

Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord.

That’s why I think a lot of Christians get in trouble. They say, “I’m not going to do it, but I’ll walk with you.”

I don’t want to say too much here in case this person listens. They don’t go here. They don’t even live here, but a friend I knew from high school was sober maybe four months, and they took a trip somewhere. He said, “Yeah, I’m not drinking, but I’ll go with you. I’ll go with you on the trip.” Well, who’s going to be the stronger person on that trip? And he fell back into it again. Now his wife is filing for divorce. “I’ll go, but I’m not…” See you can’t. That’s compromise, and the devil says, “Ok, that’s just one step closer. That’s one step closer to where I want them to be. We don’t have them yet, but…” Read C. S. Lewis’s book, The Screwtape Letters.  It’s interesting how the devil works.

So you’re walking with them, you’re participating with them. But people might say, “But how do you minister to people then?” Well, take it to the Lord. If you can walk with them and minister to them, and they’re not going to pull you down, of course, by all means. But we know those certain trigger points. We know those areas we can’t walk with just yet. We know there are areas in our lives where we’re not strong enough. We have to use wisdom. We have to say, “No, I can’t go down that path.” Don’t even stand on the path. Have no relationship with the unfruitful works of darkness.

And they make haste to shed blood. (Prov. 1:16)

Isn’t it interesting that it’s talking about shedding blood for a profit? That still happens today. Verse 17:

Surely, in vain the net is spread
In the sight of any bird;
But they lie in wait for their own blood,
They lurk secretly for their own lives.
So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain;
It takes away the life of its owners. (vv. 17–19)

Everyone who is greedy for gain—greedy, “I’ve got to have it,” selfish—you’re actually going to rob yourself of life. It may eventually kill you. It’s funny that he says here, “Surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.” In other words, these foolish sinners see the trap, and still they walk right in. They see the trap, and they walk right in.

And then verses 20 to 23, the call of wisdom. So now we have heard the bad news. Let’s look at the good news.

Wisdom calls aloud outside…

This is incredible.

Wisdom calls aloud outside.
She raises her voice…

See, it’s ok to raise my voice when I preach, if it’s wisdom. That’s what wisdom is doing. Wisdom calls outside. It’s calling to you.

She raises her voice in the open square. (v. 21)

The open square is usually where they would debate or answer questions. The king or the officials would be there, and they would handle legal matters. So it’s even that wisdom is crying out in the open square, she raises her voice, and then it says:

She cries out in the chief concourses. (v. 21)

Concourses, meaning the highest positions of authority in the land.

At the opening of the gates in the city.
She speaks her words:
“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning
And fools hate knowledge.” (vv. 21–22)

This is a wonderful picture. I still believe it’s for us today. Wisdom cries out, wisdom calls out, wisdom goes out everywhere. It cries out, “Look, turn back. Turn back to God. Simple of heart, those who have strayed, turn back to God.” Wisdom is clearly and loudly proclaiming the truths of God’s Word. But will we listen? It says, “How long will you not listen, for scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.” But then it says something interesting:

Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you. (v. 23)

There’s a promise here. You can take God to the bank on this one. “Turn at my rebuke.” Is anybody being rebuked during this sermon by the Word of God? That’s not too encouraging. But here’s the answer. “Turn at my rebuke.  Surely I will pour out my spirit on you.” What a reward. God says, “When you turn back to Me, I’m going to pour out My Spirit upon you. I’m going to have you feel peace and joy again.”

So how long? She calls, she raises her voice, she cries out. And that’s why preaching must include rebukes from time to time, because we are looking at the wisdom of God’s Word. It’s not just touchy-feely. It’s not all just loving grace and mercy. Thank God for those things. I need His mercy and His love and grace on a daily basis. We preach His mercy. We preach His grace. We sing songs about it. But sometimes the wanderer within needs to be challenged, saying, “Come back to the voice of truth.” He says, “Surely I will pour out My Spirit on you. I will pour out My Spirit on you.”

That’s what I spoke about last night on revival. I reminded everybody that God often revives those who are broken. God revives those who say, “God, break me, bend me, use me. God, I’m crying out. I’m giving you all of my life. I’m turning from this foolishness.” And God says, “I will fill you with My Spirit.” King David had the joy of his salvation renewed and restored when he turned back to God, and then the Bible says, “And then he will teach others the way of God.” That’s what God always does. He always does. He says, “You turn back to Me, and then you’ll be a voice to help others.” Believers, there needs to come from within a heart cry to be desperate for more of God. The Bible says, “One thing have I desired. One thing.” Is it a lot of money? A lot of success? “One thing have I desired,” David said, “to dwell in the house of my God all the days of my life. Though the enemies come against me, I will trust in you, Lord. I will trust in your Word. I will trust in wisdom.” You can take that to the bank.

Let me close in prayer and have the worship team come back up and close us out in worship. I’m wondering if there are any areas of life where we’re compromising, where anybody is compromising right now. Because it always starts small. Too busy for church. This has got my life now; I’m not in the Word of God anymore. I’m not putting worship on; I’m putting other music on that’s really not sending me in the right direction. My thoughts are beginning to become impure on a regular basis.

It’s small compromises. The small fox is one who begins to go after the grapevines. The big things we see. We see them. If Satan was red with a pitchfork, we know, “Ok, that’s going to cost me.” If we could see it, the enticement wouldn’t be as strong. So if there are areas this morning that you see the enemy is possibly working in, confess those, bring them to the light, and get back on track with wisdom.