Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth (Revelation 3:10).
In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Paul the Apostle said, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” It says many will defect from the Faith. Why would this happen? In Judges 7, when God wanted Gideon to go fight the Midianites, God assured him through the angel that he (Gideon) would defeat his enemies.
Gideon thought he’d need an army; so, he gathered his soldiers. But God said to him, “If you go with so many soldiers, you might think that you won the battle by yourselves. Tell everyone who’s afraid to go home”; and the Bible says twenty-two thousand of them went home (Judges 7:3). Then God said, “I want to test the remaining ten thousand soldiers. Bring them to the stream and tell them to drink water. You’ll retain only those who watch out for the enemy while they drink.”
And the Bible says only three hundred of them passed that test (Read Judges 7:4-6). They didn’t even know they were being tested. Also, in Jeremiah 9, the Bible says the people accustomed their tongues to lies. They were so false that even a brother couldn’t be trusted. Because of this deceit and hypocrisy, and lying, God said, “...Behold, I will melt them, and try them…” (Jeremiah 9:7). This is going to be happening in these last days. A great test is coming, and it has already begun, because God must separate those that are real from those that aren’t real; those who were never true with God.
If this weren’t serious, Jesus wouldn’t require to intervene on behalf of the church in Philadelphia, as read in our theme verse. If your faith in Christ is genuine, it’s going to be tested: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7). Let Jesus Christ and His Kingdom be all that matters to you in this life.
I’m deeply rooted and grounded in Christ. I live to fulfill God’s dream, His vision of Kingdom expansion, and world evangelization. I’m focused on things above, and not on the transient pleasures of this world. I remain steadfast, unmovable, doing the work of the Lord with joy, as I look forward to His appearing.
FURTHER STUDY: Job 23:10; Colossians 3:1-2; Revelation 3:9-10 CEV
1-YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN: Mark 4:21-41 & Leviticus 16-18
2-YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN: Matthew 16:1-12 & Exodus 1
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3).
The Amplified Classic translation puts our theme verse in a clearer perspective. It says, “Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance….” It brings to mind the confrontation between the Prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18.
Some have studied that portion and ran off with the idea that what Elijah did was to project himself for others to applaud, but that’s not true. The prophet challenged King Ahab to gather the Israelites and the prophets of the false gods—four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and four hundred prophets of Asherah—at Mount Carmel. They were to prepare a sacrifice, and call down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice. The one who succeeded would be revealed as the true prophet. Each group prepared a bull on an altar and called on their god to send fire from heaven.
The prophets of Baal called on their god and cried and cut themselves, but there was no response from their god. When it was Elijah’s turn, he drenched the sacrifice with water; then he called to God and God sent fire from heaven. The fire completely engulfed the sacrifice. Read Elijah’s words in 1 Kings 18:36: “…LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.” He was following the guidance of God’s Spirit. That confrontation wasn’t a show of his sense of self, or self-importance; it was solely based on the Lord’s guidance.
Observe the result: the Israelites lost faith in Ahab and followed Elijah’s guidance in trusting and recognizing God’s sovereignty. What Elijah did glorified the Lord God of Israel before the people.
Whatever you do for the Lord shouldn’t be out of selfish ambition or conceit. It should be for His glory. You must learn to follow the Spirit in the Word, by the Word, and through the Word just like Elijah did. And your works, and your ways, will glorify the Lord.
Dear Father, your Word is the light that guides my thoughts, plans, decisions, and helps me navigate through life in glory. I follow your guidance solely, and my heart is devoid of conceit. Through your Word, I receive direction, illumination and insight into the mysteries and realities of the Kingdom, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
FURTHER READING: 1 Kings 18:30-39
1 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Mark 1:1-20 & Leviticus 6-7
2 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Matthew 14:11-21 & Genesis 45