I would have to agree with Beth Moore, when she says in her book "When Godly People Do Ungodly Things", that we are living in a time of escalating evil.
Just comparing the following verse to our world today proves our peril.
"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
For men will be lovers of themselves,
lovers of money,
disobedient to parents,
despisers of good,
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
having a form of godliness but denying its power."
~ 2 Timothy 3:1-5 ~
I look at that list and my heart breaks, for the evidence of those things are all around me.
Lovers of self ~ divorce, moral disregard
Disobedient to parents ~ today's children who will be tomorrow's adults
Unforgiving ~ division in the church, divorce
Without self-control ~ rampant addiction
Lover's of pleasure ~ this generation
Paul goes on in verse 6 to say, "And from such people turn away!"
Okay Paul, but what if I look at that list and my heart breaks, for the evidence of those things are also in me?
What if I am a lover of self, lover of money, proud, unthankful, unloving, unforgiving, without self-control among other things?
What if I have a form of godliness but deny it power?
Oh, how that last one scares me!
I'm not sure who I am supposed to stay away from, because as I have said before, the peril of darkness is walking around with me in my own shoes. But for Christ, I would be overtaken by it, totally bound. So, I can not and will not point at that darkness in another.
We just recently learned of a godly couple whose marriage has disinigrated. No one saw it coming. But then again, one hardly does anymore. It's subtle like that.
That sneaking self and enemy of our soul in cahoots together to bring us to ruin.
The very first verse Mrs. Moore brought to light in her book was 2 Corinthians 11:3 ~
"I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ."
She points out that Paul is describing those who are seriously dedicated to Christ, not carnal believers, marginal Christians, but those who are wholeheartedly following. But how can this be? I thought that my devotion was a safeguard! Paul says earlier in 1 Cor. 10:12 "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall!"
Then who is immune to ruin? Maybe not even I and my lovely life. Not if I get proud. Not if I don't fear God first. Not if I am oblivious to the enemy within and without. Not if I give up my watchfulness.
A certain story in Beth Moore's book was an eye opener... A woman owned property on which she raised beautiful miniature ponies. They were her love. Her property backed up to an exotic wild-life reserve. She never knew she had a weak spot in her fence until the day she looked out the window to see a lion tearing up her favorite pony. True story.
And so true for us. There is a lion prowling, looking for our weak spots.
"Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour.
Resist him, steadfast in the faith,
knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world."
~ 1 Peter 5:8-9 ~
~ 1 Peter 5:8-9 ~
Beth Moore goes on in her book to say that one of the main safeguards against falling (after guarding our fence!) is for us to live see-through lives. To find those who can keep us accountable to the standard of the Word. Oh, the joy when you find someone who knows your weaknesses and yet extends grace to you in spite of them. We really do need each other ~ husband and wife, followers of Christ, believers together ~ why do we fight each other?!
Oh how my heart aches for this couple and for others like them. It only makes me fall to my knees and ask my Saviour to make good of all the messes we make. To save us from ourselves. Only Jesus can. Only Jesus has.