It's important to understand just how easily we often fall. Sadly, a season of intimacy with God can become distracted and not end well. When we move God off of the center point of our life, the end result is always movement in an unrighteous direction, as sin and unrighteousness is native to our flesh. It's the direction we will always head.
Charles Spurgeon gave this warning, "The raw material for a devil is an angel. The raw material for the son of perdition was an apostle; and the raw material for the most horrible of apostates is one who is almost a saint.”
Oddly, the "raw material" for complete rebellion against God often grows from someone headed in the right direction. When we begin to trust too much in our own knowledge, think too highly of our own words, crave the admiration of our peers, or arrive at the sketchy conclusion that our life is the epitome of righteousness, as if we were the standard, God is no longer the center point of our life. When we think it's more important for people to hear from us instead of hearing from God, we've slipped loose from our place as a bondservant of the Lord, and we're seeking to become the master.
Let our walk with God always be grounded in the humble knowledge that God doesn't need us...at all. Lets us always understand that we are to be humble servants of Christ, living in awe of His unrelenting love for our rebellious hearts, and clinging desperately to Him under the shadow of a cross that should have been ours.
Be careful that our journey toward God in life doesn't become a quest to become the God of our life. We should be aware of our weaknesses, never seeking praise from man, embracing a heart of humility, and understanding that Satan, at this very moment, is in pursuit of our very life. The closer our intimate walk with God becomes... the closer Satan's pursuit. To the true follower of Christ, sinful temptations and trials of every kind are sure to increase in volume and duration.
Be aware, and be careful not to fall…
"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
– I Corinthians 10:12-13 (NIV)
When those temptations present themselves, we should be aware that the escape is God and not ourselves or our own righteousness. That verse does not promise that God will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we can personally bear apart from His grace, mercy, and provision. Instead, it clarifies our complete dependance on Him in that our way of defeating temptation is through Him alone.
As we grow in Christ, the dangers to our intimate relationship with God increase. The road we travel becomes more treacherous, and temptations and trials increase, but God is forever faithful to stand with us through every season. Let us be sure that we're there with Him, kneeling humbly at His feet, in complete dependance on Him...surrendered to the reality that we need Him today more than ever before.
Keith Beatty is a Worship, Missions and Media Pastor living in North Alabama. He's excited and very humbled to be a follower of Jesus Christ!