14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
The need to come out on top fuels a lot of evil in this world as people lift up their god and crush all who oppose. They cannot rest until they have imposed their will onto others, and they love to do evil and violence so much it is as if they eat it up.
As mentioned in previous Proverbs writings, mankind has many gods. The gods of mankind provide their own idea of heaven on earth, and the gods of mankind have their proverbial prophets who go around perpetuating the teachings of their god and deceiving many. The gods of man have their doctrines, wherewith the ways of Jesus are overshadowed and overturned.
As Christians, we should not allow the teachings of Jesus to become overshadowed by anything. Unfortunately, it is easy for us to get so caught up in matters of politics, social movements, and even matters of debate over Christian doctrine that we neglect what matters most. We forget that the name of Jesus is upon us, and we behave in a manner that speaks evil of His name instead of bringing honor to Him.
Of course, we can deceive ourselves. We can believe that we are doing God’s service when we tear people apart. For the sake of position, a person will do much. Whether it is position of doctrine, position politically, or position within the church or the Kingdom in general, a person will destroy another human being and they will use to word of God to do so very often.
Remember what Jesus said about His word: it is sharper than any two-edged sword and a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Of course, Jesus sees the heart. The way we use His word reveals our hearts also. Why do we suppose that Christians can read the same bible and argue over it? When we argue, we are almost always arguing over a to-the-letter understanding of scripture. When we argue, we are almost always neglecting the spirit of what is written. When we argue, we are almost always dividing over secondary issues while we neglect the weightier matters: the commandments of Jesus which are love towards God and the brethren first and foremost.
From slander to sewing conflict among believers to beating people over the head with scripture in order to humiliate them and show them how wrong they are, the manner in which we sometimes behave for the name of Jesus supposedly is very un-Christianly.
We do not beat our fellow servants (Matthew 24). That cannot be stressed enough. We might then say, “who is our fellow servant?” Consider the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10). Who is our neighbor? Who is our fellow servant?
Does a Christian have to be of our denomination before we can accept them and do good to them? If a person claims to be a Christian, then they are a Christian. It is up to Jesus to search out their hearts—and He does. He already does, and I tell you, the way we use His word has much to say. Thank God for His mercy. Thank Jesus for His blood that was shed to forgive us of our foolishness. Let’s not take that for granted. Let us consider together. We can do better than this.
Our job is not to accuse one another as we exalt our gods of doctrine above Jesus. Our job is to search for Jesus more earnestly together and to build one another up. We all have room for growth and there is much we do not understand. Jesus will lead us all to better understanding if we truly put Him first. He will show us what His word says in spirit, and we will no longer argue.
Jesus must come first—and we must learn not to deceive ourselves into thinking He is first when He is not. We all have room to grow in this.
Remember what Jesus said: The light of the body is the eye. If your eye is single, your whole body shall be full of light.
If we look to Jesus above all else, we will continue to shine brighter and brighter until that perfect day when Jesus returns. This can apply to each Christian individual and this can also apply to the Christian whole. If we could lay aside our differences, truly put Jesus first, and come together as one—even as the Son and the Father are one—imagine what a difference we could make in this world.
As wonderful as that sounds, it is also a terrible thought. Why? Because man inevitably corrupts all. Inevitably, the person we would place as the head would be our downfall, and someone would rise to that rank eventually even if we began without such a person. The only One who can assume that position faithfully is Jesus Himself.
One day He will, and even though we may never see the sort of Christian revival that I dream of (and also fear), we can see Christian revival on an individual level—and that is the only way to such a revival in the first place.
The way of the wicked is darkness—and there are many ways of the wicked. The ways of the wicked can be summarized as an overthrow of Jesus and His ways.
It is a sad thing when Christians participate. We lead us to our own demise, and we bring the demise of our nation and of our world whether we want to admit that or not. We bring persecution to our people, and why should it be any different when we persecute one another now? We do not see how badly we stumble.
We do not see how badly we stumble when we behave as the world does. We do not see how badly we stumble when we trust in worldly powers in place of Jesus. We do not see how badly we stumble as we hate our brethren, accuse them, and bring division among the body of Christ. We do not see how badly we stumble when we think God is on our side as we bring shame to the name of Jesus.
That is why I focus primarily on Christian issues that need repenting of rather than focusing on the sins of the unbelievers. The worldly will behave wickedly. That is to be expected. Those who carry the name of Jesus should not.
Judgement begins at the household of the faith, as it is written. Even the book of Revelation begins with judgment against churches.
Yet, though He is angry with us, He will not remain so. He will turn us to Him. He will show us a better way. Those who cling to their habits of destruction and craving for power will be taken by the deceit of The Destroyer, and we will band together of necessity as a means of survival during persecution—even persecution that we bring because we will not repent. What is written will be fulfilled no matter how effective those of us who know better become.
Even so, we need to “get our own house in order” before we can worry too much about the problems of this world. We need to understand that the problems of this world exist because we did not “occupy until He comes” properly.
What about myself? Getting my house in order is priority. I work to have a more upright, Jesus serving home. I work to get myself in order so that I can be fit for His purposes, whatever they might be. How is it that I write about Christian issues? It is because I have lived these things. There is no thing I can write about that I have not done in some measure, but Jesus is merciful and He shows me a better way. If only I were a better example. Maybe then what He shows me would be taken more seriously. At least by a few. So, I work towards that goal.
We should all work towards that goal. If we want the world to take Jesus seriously, then we need to take Him seriously. He must come first.