Mastery of the Details of Life, No. 1

BD10-02

We are considering what constitutes being a mature Christian.  We have found that there is a way by which we may receive the mind of God, by which we may receive right information by grace, by which we can all build a spiritual IQ.  Nobody hindered in the extent to which he can develop that IQ.  Not limited by human capacities.  And we have found that on the basis of doctrine that we have received, and toward which we have responded with a spirit of being a doer of the Word as well as a hearer, that there is built up a foundation upon which we can erect a spiritual maturity structure in our souls. 

We have found that this is strategic to the Christian because Satan has us zeroed in as a prime target for his attack.  The demonic world has a great deal of information.  It knows a great deal about you and me.  We are under constant surveillance by the demons, and we are constantly under the influence and direction of Satan and his agents.  The demonic world also knows that its time is short.  It has seen the fulfillment of prophecy rapidly building up in our day.  The Jew has returned to his homeland.  Jerusalem has once more fallen completely into the hand of the Jew.  The whole picture preceding the tribulation period has mounted tremendously, and the demons are putting two and two together.  They know that their time is indeed short before Jesus Christ returns to this earth.  Therefore, you and I have become increasingly the targets bearing the brunt of satanic attack.  The whole demonic world is in a hellish frenzy in these days as never before.  Now the only protection we have against this as believers is the spiritual maturity in our souls. 

So we say that the first step, the first facet, of being a grown up Christian, and not a little baby any more is to be oriented to the grace of God.  We looked at 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.  Old things are passed away, and behold all things have become new.”  We have found that the believers in the church age are a different kind of being because of the grace of god.  This word “new” refers to new in the sense of a new species or a new breed.  And “the old things” that it speaks of here are the old things or the days when we were spiritually dead.  This spiritual death condition has been neutralized.  It does not mean that we make ourselves a new breed because we reform our personalities or because we reform our conduct.  Now being a Christian and being born again will reform your personality and it will change your conduct.  But you are a new creature if you never make a change one bit.  You are a new breed because of the grace of God. 

Then in Romans 8:28, we found again a dramatic example of the grace of God, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God; to them who are the called, according to His purpose.”  The “all things” in this verse refers to all the sufferings and all the trials and all the difficulties that come into the life of the Christian.  And the word “work together,” the Greek word “sunergeo,” means that God takes all these bad things and mixes them together and it comes out good, and the word “good” here is the Greek word that means “good in itself,” intrinsic good—like gold, it’s good no matter where it is.  God takes things which in themselves are unpleasant and distasteful, and tragedies in our lives, and real failures, and real weaknesses, and mixes them altogether into a good fashion. 

One lady came to me this week and said, “That was a very apt illustration on baking a cake because when you stop and think of it, you put vanilla in a cake and vanilla tastes terrible.  You put flour in a cake and it tastes awful—terribly powdery.  You put shortening in and that’s really a thing to eat.”  And she listed all the things that you put into a cake, none of which are pleasant in themselves, but out comes a delicious product.  That's what God says He does. 

So the dramatic thing is (and I’ve had some people who have found it’s a little shocking to believe this, and they kept coming up to me this week and asked me if they understood correctly) that no matter how you mess up your life in frustrating the grace of God during your carnality; no matter how you try to frustrate the grace of God, you cannot ultimately make your life turn out bad.  Now you’ll have unpleasant things that come in, but ultimately God makes your life come out for good.  So here are two foundational verses that establish for us the facet of the grace of God. 

Now the second facet we’re going to look at this morning on being a mature Christian is that which reflects the divine viewpoint concerning the details of our lives.  That is, what is slavery, a state of slavery, and how to overcome it.  The second facet is the mastery of the details of life.  Life has some permanent values.  When we use the word “mastery” we’re talking about controls, or victory—command of, basically a right mental outlook.  When we speak about details we’re talking about the things in our lives that are of lesser importance.  These are the lower priority items in the totality of our life. 

Now everyone here in this auditorium has a set of values in mind which motivate you to varying actions and varying degrees of actions.  Not everybody’s list of priorities in this room is the same.  If you’re operating on viewpoint, there are certain things that you will discover are very big priorities in your life.  These things are things are way up at the top, and if you look back, and the way to test yourself, is kind of look back, not too far back, but over the last few weeks, over this past month, and say, “What have I been doing?  Where have I been going?  What have I been spending my money gone?  Where has my time gone?  Where has my energy gone?  Where have my mental capacities been invested?  And you’ll get a little bit of an indication as you tell yourself honestly the answers to those questions where your priorities lie. 

Now if you’re operating on human viewpoint, money will be a big priority with you.  This is a detail of life.  The detail of what you possess will be top priority in your life.  Your friends will hold a priority in your life.  Being popular will have a very governing control over your activities.  Pleasure, success, your health, sex, your loved ones, what you consider (to be) status symbols, your prestige, your education—these are all details of life. 

They are things of secondary importance, and on human viewpoint, one, two, or several of these become top priorities in your life, and everything revolves around your achieving this goal.  You’re aiming for that prestige.  You’re aiming for that little position of honor.  That little speck of recognition.  You’re looking for that popularity.  You’re looking for that acceptance.  You’re looking for that success.  You’re looking for this motivation among your loved ones. 

Now divine viewpoint has a different set of priorities.  When you are under divine viewpoint there is one priority that is top, and that’s Bible doctrine.  Everything else is mere detail, though they may be necessities.  Don’t misunderstand.  We’re not saying that these things are not necessities.  We’re just saying they’re details of life. 

Now the Word of God lays this principal out in Matthew 6:33, when the Lord Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”  Now the “these things” that He refers to, you will find listed as you run your eye back through this chapter beginning at verse 25.  You will discover that “these things” have to do with food, drink, clothes, and so on, these details of life.  The kingdom of God and His righteousness that we are to seek above, in higher priority than these details of life is the Word of God and the grace system of perception in order to erect a spiritual maturity structure. 

Mary and Martha

In Luke chapter 10 you have the example of Mary and Martha, of the contrast of one woman who had a divine perspective on her priorities of the details of life and the other who did not.  In Luke 10, beginning at verse 38, “Now it came to pass as they went that He (Jesus) entered a certain village and a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, and she also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His Word.”  Now that’s what you’re doing this morning.  You’re sitting at the feet of the Lord Jesus.  Through the local church, and the means of communication through a pastor-teacher that He has established, you are hearing the Word of God explained.  What you are receiving is the Word of God.  You are in the identical position that Mary was. 

She had to make a decision, as did Martha.  (It’s the) same decision you and I constantly make toward the Word of God.  “But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to Him and said, ‘Lord, dost thou not care that my sister has left me to serve alone.  Bid her therefore that she come and help me.’  And Jesus answered and said, “Martha, Martha.  Thou art anxious and trouble about many things, but one thing is needful (one thing is top priority).  And Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her. 

What did Mary choose?  Mary chose Bible doctrine.  What did Martha choose?  Hospitality.  (Are) any of you ladies real crazy about hospitality?  Any of you ladies get a little edgy and feisty because some other lady in the church has begun to run some parties?  And suddenly you begin to run some parties?  I’ve noticed sometimes we don’t have any parties around here.  Then all of a sudden somebody runs some parties, and then everybody’s running parties.  And I begin to wonder who’s inspiring whom? 

Now it’s necessary to eat, and it was necessary to show hospitality to the Lord.  This was a necessity, but it was nevertheless a detail of life.  And Martha gave higher priority to her hospitality and to her meals and to her eating than she did toward the Word of God.  She gave such high priority that it made her bitter toward Mary, and she expressed her bitterness to the Lord Jesus.  Whereas Mary’s attitude was that expressed by Job 23:12.  Job, who knew how to suffer, but who could say, “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips.  I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.  He calls it my “necessary” food, but it is my necessary food, a detail of life.  “And I esteemed the words of His mouth greater.” 

So we are not extreme in saying that Bible doctrine is the top priority of a Christian’s life.  Or else, he is a slave to the details of life.  In the book of Ecclesiastes 5:14 (we read), “But those riches perish by evil travail, and he begetteth a son and there is nothing in his hand.”  Any detail of life can be removed in an instant.  You can spend your life struggling to get wealth.  Then you pass on and you leave it to your inheritors, and they squander, it and it’s gone.  And there isn’t anything to show for what you’ve put your effort in, the effort of your life.  The details of life are things which in an instant can be taken away from you.  What you need is something that’s permanent. 

Ecclesiastes 5:15 says, “As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labor which he may carry away in his hand.”  You can’t take anything beyond this life.  In the book of Luke, chapter 12 you have the story of the man who decided that he was going to major in this detail of life of his security.  So he built himself bigger barns and set things up for his old age, to take care of all the crops that he had.  But Luke in 12:19-20, he had said to his soul, “Thou has much good laid for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee:  then whose shall those things be, which thou has proved?” 

The details of life can be removed in an instant, and they’re gone.  And the thing that counts cannot be therefore these things which can be removed.  You are not a spiritually mature Christian if you are majoring and giving top priority in these details that can be removed from you.  When you become a grown up believer, you find one thing about yourself:  the details are not very important anymore.  They’re essential, but you hold them very very lightly.  You never go around making big speeches about how the details of your life are being threatened.  You never make drastic rash moves because you’re going to protect some detail that you’ve given top priority.  The only thing that holds number one in your life is the Word of God.  Doctrine, doctrine, doctrine.  It is the Word, and the Word, and the Word. 

Then, Matthew 6 says, all these other things shall be added unto you in your legitimate necessity and in its proper timing to your need.  Now that’s good doctrine.   And that’s the only way you can work and not be a slave of the things of life.  It has to be something permanent in the soul that’s not subject to removal because we get disoriented or because death comes along and removes them from us. 

Job, you remember, was a man who underwent some very drastic experiences of having details of life removed.  In Job 1:13-19 we read that in one day Job lost the detail of his cattle, the detail of his camels, the detail of his servants, the detail of his sheep, and the detail of his children.  What was Job’s reaction to losing these details?  Job 1:20 says, “Then Job arose toward his mantle, shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground and worshipped.”  He expressed his grief and he turned to worship God, and said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb.  Naked shall I return there.  The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.” 

Because this man had divine viewpoint, he saw all these losses for what they really were:  the loss of details.  And nothing was more important to him than doctrine, and his positive response toward what he knew was God’s point of view.  So from the Word of God he had received, the only way you can receive, divine perspective.  The details can be lost, but, as Job found out, they can also be replaced.  But you leave with God their replacement as you leave with God their loss.  You major in top priority, the Word. 

And these things were returned for Job, but not until his troubles had even deepened beyond this.  He had the breakdown of his health with the excruciating painful experience of the boils.  His comforting friends turned against him, and said, “Job, you’ve done something wrong.  Why don’t you confess?  Own up to it.  Stop trying to hide.”  His wife came along and she had a cute idea.  She told him to solve it all by suicide, and make a clean (break from) the whole thing.  Job 2:9 says, “Then said his wife unto him, ‘Dost thou still retain thy integrity?  Curse God and die.’”  This was a sharp-tongued wench.  You can tell by reading.  She came up and said, “(Are) you still true blue?  Old Job?  Jobie boy?  Are you still true blue?  Do you still have your integrity?  I suggest you cut your throat, and turn blue, red, and white, and go out in a blaze of glory.” 

Job, because he had his affections on things above, and because he had divine perspective, he was not a slave of the details of life, (he) knew how to answer this woman.  Verse 10 says, “But he said unto her, ‘Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh.  What?  Shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil?  In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”  I don’t know how you feel, but when I read a verse like that, I always want to stand up and cheer Job and give him a great (hand).  I always want to clap at this verse, the way he told off this gal.  It takes a real godly man to tell off his wife, where to head up down the right track.  Most men are not godly enough to do that.  They’re more concerned about being able to live with their wives than they are about their wives being able to live with themselves.  When I read a verse like this, you can just see how God says, “In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”  You can just see the satisfaction and the glow of God over his man over whom Satan was pointing the finger and saying, “Look at that.  How do you like that one?  How do you like that one?”  And Job was standing up to this woman who told him to just end it all with suicide.  I think we ought to cheer Job every time we read that verse. 

He had a lasting spiritual maturity structure, and he had received it the same way you receive it—from the Word of God that he had learned and accepted.  In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we have those famous verses, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (that’s why it’s authoritative), and so it’s profitable for doctrine (for God’s viewpoint), for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect (and that word ‘perfect’ means ‘grown up’), thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”  And Job was grown up as a Christian.  What content he had lost in the details of life never affected him in his stand on doctrine.  As Colossians 3:1-2 says, his affections were set on things above. 

When you get occupied with these details of life, they will crowd out the things of the Lord—your sense of perspective.  Luke 8:14 says, speaking of the seed which fell among thorns, “And they when they have heard go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.”  Now the details of life and how you respond to them is tied to your mental attitude. 

I want to make it clear that the possession of the details of life are not sinful unless the Bible calls them sinful.  So if you drive around in a Cadillac, don’t have any guilt complexes over the thing.  If you live in a very palatial home, don’t have any guilt complexes over the thing.  No matter what you possess.  This is not sin unless the Bible says it’s sin.  The thing that makes it sin is your mental attitude toward that Cadillac, you mental attitude toward that home, and your slavery to the details of life. 

You know how people who have a modest little car that’s got a few scratches.  They drive it around.  They just enjoy it.  And you get somebody who’s got a brand new Cadillac, nice and shiny and brand new, and they’re afraid to let you come up too close because you’re going to breathe on it and destroy the chemical balance of the paint.  They just can’t enjoy the thing.  They’re always worried about driving it, and they don’t want to shift it, and they watch the kids and don’t let them touch anything, “Keep your hands off the windows.”  It’s a detail and they just can’t enjoy it because they’re slaves to this thing.  It’s your attitude of mind, not the fact that you have it. 

Money

Now there are some thing that the Bible very clearly sets out—details that people have a problem with.  One of them certainly is the matter of money.  1 Timothy 6:10 (reveals) one of the primary problems.  “For the love of money is the root of all evil, which while some coveted after they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”  The lust for wealth is the sin, not having wealth.  Having wealth is not a sin, but the lust for it is.  The desire to have a lot of money is going to bring you into grief.  It will bring you to many foolish and hurtful lusts and drown you in destruction and perdition.  It means it’s going to bring all kinds of problems and grief into your life because you set out and establish as your goal to possess a lot of money.  Consequently this money becomes the Christian’s idol.  When this happens, he’s drawn away again from the Word of God. 

In Matthew 13:22 his priorities have once more been disrupted.  Verse 22 says, “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word (he knows it; he’s learned it), and the care of this age and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word and he becomes unfruitful.  But if you ignore this doctrine concerning the mastery of the details of money, and if you refuse to learn how to hold your money lightly while being a good steward, you will receive divine discipline.  1 Timothy 6:9b says, “They that will be rich fall in temptations snare.”  The latter part of the verse says, “They will fall into many foolish and hurtful lusts and drown men in destruction and perdition.”  And the latter part of verse 10 says, “They have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 

This is talking about the discipline that God brings upon those who do not learn how to master the detail of money.  For this reason we say never make a move in your Christian service on an economic basis.  Never make a geographical move on the basis of economics. 

We have thousands of Christians today who are roaming around the country being moved by corporations from one place to another.  Their moves are entirely economic.  This is monstrous.  This is unbelievable, what Christians will undergo as they subject themselves to the slavery of the detail of a job.  Where they are, what their children are receiving, what God is doing for them, what God is using them to do, and where they are makes no difference.  If the company comes along and says, “Move,” the immature Christian says, “OK,” and off he goes and everything is left behind.  Now that’s what a slave does but not a man who is his own man in the hand of God.  You never make moves in your life on the basis of economics, if you want God’s blessing and direction upon it. 

In Proverbs 28 we have an edified attitude described toward money.  Proverbs 28:6 says, “Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness than he that is perverse in his ways though he be rich.”  “Perverse means all mixed up with human viewpoint.  The true riches, in Proverbs 8:19 is not the material things that you may possess, “My fruit is better than gold; yea, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver.”  Now the context of this chapter of Proverbs is wisdom, God’s viewpoint from doctrine.  It says that my fruit and revenue is profit from doctrine or from wisdom. 

The money that you may possess and the other details of life are not the things that make you genuinely rich.  Proverbs 13:7 says, “There is he that maketh himself rich yet hath nothing.  There is he that maketh himself poor yet hath great riches,” because he has the wisdom of God.  And if you don’t convey this to your children, you’re doing them a very grave disservice. 

Luke 12:15 says, “And he said unto them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”  Now this is good doctrine.  This is God’s point of view.  If you have not been able to overcome the motivations of money, then you’re an immature Christian.  We are constantly making major decisions in our lives, and we’re being guided by economics instead of by what is the move that God wants me to make in His plan.  The move that He wants you to make is the important thing.  The economics He will take care of and He will supply. 

True riches are those spiritual assets you have—your grace system of perception, spiritual maturity, God the Holy Spirit who indwells you, your eternal life, your prayer.  The book of Ecclesiastes tells us a very interesting thing about people who do not master this particular detail of life.  Ecclesiastes 5:10 concerning the detail of money says they never get enough, “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver nor he that loveth abundance with increase.  This is also vanity. 

I’ve observed in the occasions that I’ve had to be related sometimes to people of great wealth.  They live and they act as if poverty row and the poor house were just around the corner for them.  I’ve often wondered why is it that that these people who write fantastically large checks just at the drop of a hat, no problem at all, are yet so preoccupied with making money.  It has occurred that the answer is here in Ecclesiastes 5:10, that people who proceed to love money and to make this a dominant detail of their life never get to the place where they have enough money.  They can have the biggest bank roll in the world but they’re still phased in and psyched in to this habit of pursuing this as an enslaved position to this possession. 

One great example in the Old Testament was Solomon.  Solomon had doctrine and he had wealth, yet Solomon went on a big detail-of-life binge, and the book of Ecclesiastes which describes his experience on this detail of life binge says that he found that all vanity (which means emptiness), and he found that vexation of spirit (which literally means feeding on air).  So Solomon’s life became a bore.  When he looked back up on it, he found that it was a great disappointment to him.  So he gave the advice in Ecclesiastes 12:1, “Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth, while evil days come not nor the years draw near when thou shalt say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’” 

Here was a man who had doctrine, who went negative toward it, and got off on the details of life.  And we could spend the rest of the morning describing all the details he tried and the disaster that bored him, and when he got to the end it was nothing. 

So, dear friend, if you want to grow up as a Christian, learn to hold your money lightly, while being a good steward of what God gives you, instead of running around like a frantic miser who is all tied up with a detail that God can slice out from under you in a moment of time. 

Success

Another detail that faces us as Christians is success.  We are constantly being sold little books on how to be successful, and the world pursues this as a great detail.  Joshua 1:8 says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night (doctrine) that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein, for then thou shall make thy way prosperous, and then thou shall have good success.”  Now if you want success I’ll save you a lot of money on all those books you can buy.  The Bible says the way you become successful in life is by learning doctrine and being positive toward it.  When it says to “meditate” here upon the Word of God, it means to learn the Word and go positive toward it, so that it is in your Spirit where day or night it’s available to use. 

Now this is more than memorizing Scripture.  There is a group that deals with youth conflicts which comes periodically to Dallas and draws considerable attention and has some pretty good psychological techniques.  One of the things this group teaches you is meditating in Scripture in order to align your emotions and your will and your mind with God.  Now the theory is good and the theory is right, but memorizing Scripture is not enough.  It’s Scripture that you understand.  There are Christians who can memorize, and have memorized, vast quantities of Scripture, but they’re not spiritually mature because they memorize they don’t understand, something that they’re not able to enter into in a useful way with. 

So memorizing Scripture is good to the extent that you have had enough explanation to delve into the significance of what it is you’ve memorized.  Then you can meditate.  Other than that you cannot.  That’s bad doctrine.  If you want success in the way that Joshua speaks of it here, it begins with the Word of God.  And we’re speaking about success here the way the Bible speaks about success. 

In Psalm 75, you don’t have any success unless God moves you to that point of success.  Psalm 75:6-7 says, “For promotion cometh neither from the East nor from the West nor from the South.  But God is the judge.  He putteth down one and He setteth up another.”  If you want real success, stop maneuvering, and stop being pushy.  We always have Christians who decide they want to be successful in some segment of church activity or something else, and so they start maneuvering.  And they start getting pushy.  And I know all the signs and I know all the signals of a maneuvering pushy Christian.  The Word of God says if you want success then get oriented to grace and wait for your honor to come from the Lord.  When the honor comes, and when you have that success, God says in Proverbs 15:33, “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom and before honor is humility.” 

Friends

So take the humble position that you don’t have to maneuver and that God brings you success.  Your social life, your friends, is another detail of life.  Proverbs 25:17 says, “Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbor’s house lest ye be weary of thee and so hate thee.”  Some people don’t know how to not stay too long as guests at your house.  The same thing is true of Christians who don’t know how to avoid pushing themselves into the company of people they think are influential for their social advancement.  We have Christians who have these social-climbing ambitions, so they push themselves into certain orbits of activities and of operations and of organizations in order to gain some kind of status. 

Now you’re a slave of a detail of life if you do that.  Wrong social life is one of the prime reasons for the neglect of doctrine.  It’s better for you to be a loner and let God create the social life that you need.  Remember that your true and genuine friendships are always going to be based on doctrine.  You’re going to have comradery with those that you have common ground with on the Word of God.  You may think that it’s good to get in with a popular group, but you will find in time that getting in with a popular group may be the most disastrous thing that ever happened to you. 

1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Be not deceived.  Evil companions corrupt good morals.  Awake to righteousness and sin not, for some have not the knowledge of God, and I speak this to your shame.”  It’s a delusion that socializing with unbelievers is going to influence them for the Lord.  We have some very prominent preachers who like to convey the idea that if you will social with unbelievers, if you will make common cause with the rejectors and the deniers of Christ and His Word that they will be influenced for the Lord.  These very popular leaders have yet to demonstrate one liberal who has been influenced for the Lord by making common cause which really advanced and aided the cause of the liberal. 

Unbelievers are willing to socialize in spite of your spiritual viewpoint, dear Christian—not because of it, because they reject what you think.  An unbeliever or a negative Christian in time is going to draw you away from your firm stand on doctrine (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). 

Sex

Another detail of life that you will have to cope with is sex.  And Solomon learned his lesson here too.  Ecclesiastes 7:26 says, “And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets and her hands as bands.  Whoso pleases God shall escape from God but the sinner shall be taken by her.  Behold this I have found, saith the preacher, counting one by one to find out the account which yet my soul seeketh.  But I find not one man among a thousand have I found, but a woman among all those have I not found.”  What he is bemoaning here is that part of the binge of the details of life that he went on had to do with sex.  And he found that it was no substitute for fellowship with God.  Even the relationship of the man with his right particular woman is no substitute for fellowship with God. 

We have teenagers who go running off attracted to somebody that they pursue, and they sacrifice their contact with God and with instruction in the Word of God.  It’s doctrine that gives you the right perspective in this area.  It gives you right perspective on waiting and keeping reserve. 

So we sum this up by telling you that God is not against fun, and you’re not to have a guilt complex because you have some details of life.  But you can enjoy the details of life only when you put doctrine first in your scale of values.  If you happiness depends on things, people, or pleasures, you’ll worry about losing them.  If doctrine is secondary you’ll get bored and you’re going to be constantly trying to find something to satisfy your soul.  The only means for permanent soul satisfaction is the one that Solomon finally discovered.  Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter.  Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man.” 

There’s always a deficiency in the Christian who lacks doctrine no matter what he possesses of the details of life.  The ends of this are delusion, selfishness, greed, and unhappiness.  Moses knew this, and he tried to steer his people away from enslavement to the details of life because he knew that this would destroy their spiritual maturity.  So in his last book, Deuteronomy, he tried to give some guidance on this.  Deuteronomy 8:4 says, “Thy raiment grew not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell,” in reviewing what God had done for them. 

Then verse 11 says, “Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God in keeping His commandments and His ordinances and his statutes which I command you this day, lest when thou hast eaten and art full and hast built goodly and dwelt therein; when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold are multiplied, and all that thou has multiplied, then thine heart be lifted up and thou forget the Lord thy God who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage.” 

Verse 18 and 19 say, “And thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is He who giveth thee power to get wealth that He may establish His covenant which He swore unto thy fathers as it is this day; and it shall be that if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God and walk after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.” 

So if you walk after the details of life rather than be a master over them, you shall surely perish.  Now grow up, dear friend, as a Christian.  Get God’s perspective.  “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (of the details of life) shall be added unto you.”  You will never have to worry about losing something that is of real value.  The thing that’s permanent and that will affect your eternity is down on the inside of your soul where no man and nothing can reach it.  The details will leave you sooner or later.  This, the Word of God, will stay and last forever. 

Dr. John E. Danish, 1971 

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