"An Inside Perspective"

June 2010


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! As the Lord leads, there are times in our lives when we have to take a good long hard look at ourselves. That is where I am at right now in my walk with the Lord. I am doing an honest introspection of Philip through the eyes of the Holy Spirit. Such was David’s prayer in Psalm 139:23-24.
It is written, “Search me, oh God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts; see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Notice in the above verses that David used the word “me” four times and the word “my” twice. He was focused on himself, and not on others, with an eye toward the improvement of his personal walk with the Lord. In light of that, I choose to ask myself hard questions and I demand equally honest answers from myself. I ask, “Philip, are you really full of the Spirit? If not, what hinders you? Are you doing the best you can in your calling and with your duties, or are you spiritually lazy? Do you have integrity that pleases God? Are you really intoxicated with Babylon while professing holiness? Are you in any area a hypocrite in the Lord’s eyes?

The last time I preached here on Sunday morning I told the congregation that I had lived among them as a hypocrite for the last three years. Jaws dropped and mouths hung open as the murmur faded to a hush over the congregation. I then immediately took out my false tooth and smiled with a big gaping hole in the front! I said, “See, this is what I really look like! I have been a hypocrite before you in that I wear a false tooth to deceive you into thinking my nice smile is true. But my smile is not true; it is a lie.” As I smiled a big smile and put my tooth back in, suddenly everyone understood clearly what a hypocrite was. The Lord railed exceptionally hard against hypocrites, beloved, and we don’t want to be found as one.

It is very easy to get into a rut spiritually. In the natural, a rut is an area of indentation made by the persistent use of others such as with tires on a dirt road. A car will easily go into a rut because it is easier than blazing a new trail. Getting out of the rut is not always as easy. There is resistance caused by the sides of the rut that have been built up from so many years of similar use. To turn up and out of the rut may cause the car to have a quick violent shaking.

Spiritually, it is easy to fall into the rut of the crowd. A rut is usually well- blazed and easy to tread because the work has already been done by others. For instance, it is easy to read The Daily Bread in the morning and then to deceive ourselves into believing that we have had our devotions. If others ask, we would say, “Yes, I’ve had my quiet time with the Lord,” when in fact, we have had none. In truth, we have simply walked in the rut along with millions of other professing Christians and allowed someone else to do the work for us. Yes, we may get a “nugget” or a “word of encouragement,” but have we really spent time with the Lord? I think so; the Lord thinks not.

When we are intoxicated with Babylon, we find it easier to watch a three hour baseball game than to spend an hour tunneling around in God’s word. When we are in a spiritual rut, we anticipate the next “Dancing with the Stars” more than we do the answering of our prayers. The television remains a spiritual cesspool and yet the Body of Christ drinks from it daily and that, with much delight! Beloved, these things ought not to be. Why is it that no one seems concerned while the whole world follows after the beast, and to the anguish of the Lord, the Christians in their train! Now that is a rut!

Is it possible that we have relegated the Lord to the back burner and given His place of honor to these worldly habits? Of course we would never fully reject the Lord, right? After all, we can’t “lose” our salvation, now can we? I am convinced more than ever that there is a rude awakening coming at the judgment seat of Christ for many professing Christians. Have you ever heard of wood, hay and stubble? They could be your worst nightmare!

Interestingly, the men and women of God in the Bible usually walked alone, apart from the rut. In fact, careful study will reveal that they were almost always found speaking God’s word directly to those who were themselves stuck in the rut! Beloved, the world is pressing in on us at an alarming rate. You can’t get out of a rut unless you admit that you are in one! Have you done a spiritual introspection lately? Do you ask yourself hard questions and demand honest answers? Perhaps you are very happy in your little rut; I pray not. If you want out, there will be resistance. If you don’t want out, beware that there may be a quick violent shaking of your circumstances by the Lord to bring you out! Beloved, be not . . .