Every year, there is the annual ant season. I get out the ant baits and liquid gel a friend recommended. In a few days, everything is back to normal. But before this happens, there is a time period when the ants come and take the bait. This morning, as I was checking to be sure things were flowing smoothly, my daughter asked me about how the ant bait works. I explained the process.
As I was explaining everything, I considered the plight of the ants. An ant grabs the stuff from the bait contraption and carries it back to his home. He shares this with his family and friends. Together, they fall. It’s a simple process that works each year during ant season. But it’s also a process that is played out with humans.
We, like the ants, can take the bad bait and carry it to our homes, which results in destruction. It is sad, but it happens often. We carry home our acts of sin. We carry home lies the devil has provided. We carry home false teaching. We carry home a lot of things that can cause problems. Today, take back your house. Consider what’s coming into your house. Is it right? Is it pure? Is it truth? Don’t allow the devil to get a foothold.
“Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.” – 3 John 1:11 [NLT]
My car recently had to be inspected so I was blessed to be able to borrow a friend’s car while mine was getting serviced. I found out when someone else was in my driver’s seat, that the seat itself is broken. It’s misaligned. It’s tilted. I was so accustomed to it that it went unnoticed. I only could see it after it was pointed out to me, and because I was driving a car with a properly aligned seat for a week.
There are areas in our lives where we might not be properly aligned with Christ. We might not even realize it because we are so accustomed to the way things are or so blinded by what is going on around us. Misalignment can cause us to falter. Misalignment can cause us to misinterpret the Word. Misalignment can cause us to walk away from God altogether.
It is so important to have an accountability partner, someone strong in faith who is not afraid to tell you the truth—the Truth. That means someone who will not tell you what they think—but what the Bible says. It is important as well to have a good church, a good Bible preaching church, that will provide you the support, the teaching, the encouragement, and the accountability we all need. With a good church and a good accountability partner, you will know if you are misaligned. You will be told. You can then readjust yourself just like that car seat of mine needs some readjustment. When you are aligned properly, life is so much better. Amen.
“I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.” – 3 John 1:4 [NLT]
In a world where people often do whatever it takes to get somewhere, we always have to be on guard and use good discernment. In 3 John, we learn about Diotrephes, a man who, as John puts it, “loves to be first among them” (v. 9). We all know those people, the ones who have to be in charge and usually have to be found right no matter the topic at hand. In the letter, John wrote that “the one who does good is of God” (v. 11). If we remember that, and use God’s Word as the measuring stick, we will make wise decisions.
A person who is first is not always right. We see this in politics with our governing bodies, with company leadership, and even on the school playground. Having a need to be seen above others, usually has less to do with being right, than it does about being in the spotlight. Note how often Jesus did not want the attention, but He was always right. He could have spent hours trying to show people how He was right, but that wasn’t His purpose. He was humble and focused. It was the people around Him that wanted to make Him king.
We are supposed to obey our leadership and respect their authority. This doesn’t mean that we allow God’s design for our lives to be negatively effected by those who wish to be first. When a person tries to be first, they forget one big detail—God is first. No one else can be first no matter how hard a person tries. As you live along side the Diotrephes of our day, those who have to be first and wish to toss around accusations and do whatever it takes to look like the top dog, remember Who is first. Remember Who you serve. As Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego showed us, if it goes against what God desires, do not bow down.
“Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” – 1 Peter 5:5 [ESV]