Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool,
And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.
(Proverbs 10:23 NASB)
God views godliness as wisdom and wickedness as foolishness. A fool enjoys doing wickedness, looks at it like a contest – he’s always trying to be more wicked. A man of understanding enjoys acting wisely, being godly, and always seeks to be more wise and godly.
When we sin, we act foolishly. We enjoy sin because we’re fools. If we had understanding, we’d delight in being godly. Find delight in acting wisely.
God expects wisdom. But much of what we enjoy is sinful, wicked, foolish. When we forget what God expects of us, we look on our sin as a good thing.
Pray that God will help you find joy in godliness, in seeking Him, growing in Him. Each of us needs a fundamental heart change – a change in the things that naturally delight us.
Only by the grace of Christ can our hearts be changed so fundamentally.
I have become estranged from my brothers
And an alien to my mother’s sons.
For zeal for Your house has consumed me,
And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.
When I wept in my soul with fasting,
It became my reproach.
When I made sackcloth my clothing,
I became a byword to them.
Those who sit in the gate talk about me,
And I am the song of the drunkards.
But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, at an acceptable time;
O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness,
Answer me with Your saving truth.
(Psalm 69:8-13 NASB)
God protects His children. The obedience He expects is enough to make us the objects of ridicule, reproach, and persecution. If we are His children, if we obey Him, we are under the protection of His great lovingkindness. But we must we willing to trust Him enough to truly be obedient.
Have you ever trusted God enough or been obedient enough to Him to be the object of ridicule, reproach, or persecution. Or have you always been disobedient?
He protects us. We can trust Him.
When we forget this, we become afraid and hopeless when facing ridicule, reproach, or persecution. Or perhaps, if we are not obedient, we feel falsely confident and comfortable. We are called to obedience. We are called to zeal. We are called to faith.
The grace of Jesus is the source of faith, and His lovingkindness is the source of our protection.
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NASB)
God’s grace is all we need. Let’s glory in our weakness, be content in it, even when we suffer or face persecution. When we know we’re weak, when we stop pretending to be strong, we can rely on His strength to truly make us strong.
God’s power is best displayed in us when we’re weak, when we’re humbled. When we admit our weakness, His strength takes over.
His grace provides everything we need.
Pride keeps us from truly experiencing the power of God. So, embrace weakness. Acknowledge it. Be content in it. Boast in it.
That’s when God’s power dwells in us.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
(Romans 10:17 (NASB)
He gives faith. He gives the word that creates faith. Faith comes from truly hearing (heeding) the Gospel, and the hearing itself comes from Christ.
God is ultimately in control of our hearing and heeding the Gospel. Therefore, He is the source of our faith and salvation.
We owe everything to God. I really don’t control anything.
If we truly hear the Gospel, God will give us faith.
We need God to give me even the most fundamental of spiritual things, even the ability to hear Him.
When we truly accept this truth, we become dependent on God for everything. We have real faith.