Think of a rough, swaggering Harley rider and you’ll see my friend, Kenn. As a young man, he’d made poor choices; the state of Kansas incarcerated him at age fourteen. By the time we met, however, he had already accepted Christ several years previously. Nevertheless, Kenn stayed passionate for Jesus. Just like the woman in Luke 7, God forgave Kenn much, and Kenn loved much, in return.
One weekend, our church was camping on a mountain in Western North Carolina. I was driving back down the narrow roads to pick up supplies. I rounded a switchback only to brush painfully close to Kenn as he was riding his motorcycle up the mountain. When I returned to camp, Kenn was the first to greet me. He said, “Preacher, you’re supposed to lead me to Jesus, not send me to meet him!” Fortunately, he was smiling.
At Odds with God
On that nearly fateful day, I made an assumption that the road was clear. But a close call on a treacherous mountain road is nothing compared to suddenly finding ourselves barreling down a path that is contrary to God. Can I be so wrapped up in my opinions and desires that I collide with God’s way and His will? How would I know? At least four times in the Scriptures, we find a telling phrase.
“Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts.” (Proverbs 21:2 NASB).
The phrase, “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,” represents one of the most dangerous meditations of the human heart. Is it possible to assume that God shares our opinions and thoughts rather than us sharing His? Though nothing can separate us from Christ’s love, (Romans 8:35), presumption can easily outrun His grace.Though nothing can separate us from Christ’s love, presumption can easily outrun His grace. Click To Tweet
Grace for correction
Doing what’s right in our own eyes forges a hardened heart and blinds spiritual sight. In several instances, the Bible describes dramatic interventions when individuals passionately followed their own ways. The Pharisee Saul imprisoned and killed Christians, stubbornly convinced he was doing God’s will. Consequently, Jesus confronted him on the road to Damascus, (Acts 9). King David impregnated Uriah’s wife and had him killed to hide the sin, (II Samuel 12). David continued with “business as usual” until Nathan the prophet told a veiled parable. Finally understanding his sin against God, David records his repentance in Psalm 51.
“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.” (Psalm 51:3-4 NASB).
Humility for direction
As a young Christian, I had strong opinions regarding every topic imaginable. I’ve learned that aside from proclaiming the Gospel, my passionate views often betray attitudes that are turned contrary to God. It’s only in quieting my opinions that I hear of the thoughts and ways that are higher than my own.
“But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:6-7 NASB).
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