Lean Not Unto Thine Own Understanding
Down through the years, many cliches' have been used to signify that something or someone has missed the mark. We were handed down lines like, " A miss is as good as a mile", and " Close, but no cigars." I'm sure that as you read, you can think of many that are not listed here, for it seems that every generation had their own sayings. Yet, there are some things that we should purpose in our lives to not miss, at any cost, and the most important being Eternal Life.
Proverbs 3: 1-7,
My Son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
Many Sons and Daughters of God today, like the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus's day, are missing the mark. And many are missing the mark, by "Eighteen Inches."
In this day and time, there are schools of theology and divinity, which many servants of God are prompted to attend by their religious structure, in order to be recognized by the church. In so many cases today, one heeding the call of Christ would have to have credentials from an up-standing institution of higher Christian learning even to be accepted in certain Christian circles. Very few of our churches and religious organizations truly recognize the calling and anointing of God as our qualifier to preach or teach the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Fewer even remember that, " God doesn't call the qualified, God qualifies the called."
Then there are also many, who are or have become seasoned in the word of God. Servants who have been " in the way" for long periods of time.
The problem being, that far too many have begun to lean on their own understanding, and have begun to use their command of rehearsed and remembered scripture to make themselves appear as wise or knowledgeable in the ways and the will of God. Many would much rather be seen and held in the high esteem of man, by their knowledge of scripture, than to actually do what the word says, and be found pleasing unto God.
Let Not Mercy and Truth Forsake Thee
Let's talk briefly about " Eighteen Inches."
Eighteen inches is the approximate distance from our heads to our heart.
Eighteen inches is what keeps us entangled in religious pomp and circumstance, and keeps us from following after the divine will of God as Dear Children.
What I'm saying is this, There are far too many Christians praising, worshiping, and honoring God with " Head Knowledge", and far too few, who come do the will of God from "Heart Knowledge."
Jesus said in Matthew 23: 23,
" Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."
Eighteen Inches will be the determining factor that keeps many Saints from being at eternal rest in Christ Jesus. We have succumbed to being Men and Women of God, who endeavor to impress other Men and Women of God, with our Head Knowledge.
During a spring revival held at our church, one of the visiting Pastors, upon coming to the close of his sermon, told our congregation and those in attendance, " I know all of the scriptures in the bible, from Genesis to Revelation." They call me a " Walking Bible." That's Head Knowledge. I would have liked to hear him say that he was known for having a Heart after God. Not just being a walking bible, but rather, living a life that's a testimony.
We are following all of the old laws and statutes, but we have forsaken justice, mercy, and faith. There is no true and real compassion on display between the Children of God, one for the other.
For it is by Grace that we are saved, yet we fail to extend grace and mercy to others.
Eighteen Inches, the distance from our heads to our hearts, is going to cause many who thought that going through the motions of Christianity, or dressing like a Christian, and speaking with the proverbial thy's, thou's, thee's, and thus's was going to ensure them a place in God's kingdom, to realize on that day, that they came short. They came short by Eighteen Inches.
Jesus said, when he comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, he will sit in heavenly glory. And all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the PEOPLE one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
Then He will say to those on His right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father, receive your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
" For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. And they asked, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink ? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and cloth you ? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you ? And Jesus replied, Whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me."
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, admonishes us, To forget not the law, but to keep the commandments with our hearts, in honor, love, and mercy. Solomon says, " Trust in the Lord, and Lean not unto your own understanding."
Don't be caught short by " Eighteen Inches."