Mastery of the Details of
No. 1 -
are considering what constitutes being a mature
We have found
that there is a
way by which we may receive the mind of God, by which we may receive
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
And we have found
the basis of doctrine that we have received, and toward which we have
with a spirit of being a doer of the Word as well as a hearer, that
built up a foundation upon which we can erect a spiritual maturity
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
The demonic world
that its time is short.
It has seen the
fulfillment of prophecy rapidly building up in our day.
Jew has returned to his homeland. Jerusalem
has once more fallen completely
into the hand of the Jew.
picture preceding the tribulation period has mounted tremendously, and
demons are putting two and two together.
They know that
their time is indeed short before Jesus Christ returns to
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.
only protection we have against this as believers is the spiritual
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
grace of God.
We looked at 2
5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new
Old things are
passed away, and behold all
things have become new.” We
that the believers in the church age are a different kind of being
the grace of god.
to new in the sense of a new species or a new breed.
“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
It does not mean
make ourselves a new breed because we reform our personalities or
reform our conduct.
Now being a
Christian and being born again will reform your personality and it will
But you are a new
if you never make a change one bit. You
are a new breed because of the grace of God.
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
“all things” in this verse refers to all
the sufferings and all the trials and all the difficulties that come
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
is the Greek word that means “good in itself,”
intrinsic good—like gold, it’s
good no matter where it is.
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
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,
vanilla in a cake and vanilla tastes terrible.
You put flour in
a cake and it tastes awful—terribly powdery.
put shortening in and that’s really a
thing to eat.”
And she listed
things that you put into a cake, none of which are pleasant in
out comes a delicious product.
what God says He does.
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
mess up your life in frustrating the grace of God during your
matter how you try to frustrate the grace of God, you cannot ultimately
your life turn out bad.
unpleasant things that come in, but ultimately God makes your life come
So here are two
verses that establish for us the facet of the grace of God.
the second facet we’re going to look at this morning on
being a mature Christian is that which reflects the divine viewpoint
the details of our lives.
That is, what
is slavery, a state of slavery, and how to overcome it.
second facet is the mastery of the
details of life.
Life has some
When we use the
we’re talking about controls, or victory—command
of, basically a right mental
When we speak
we’re talking about the things in our lives that are of
These are the
lower priority items in the
totality of our life.
everyone here in this auditorium has a set of values in
mind which motivate you to varying actions and varying degrees of
everybody’s list of priorities in this
room is the same.
you’re operating on
viewpoint, there are certain things that you will discover are very big
priorities in your life.
are things are way up at the top, and if you look back, and the way to
yourself, is kind of look back, not too far back, but over the last few
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
Where has my
Where have my
mental capacities been
you’ll get a little bit of
an indication as you tell yourself honestly the answers to those
where your priorities lie.
if you’re operating on human viewpoint, money will be a
big priority with you.
This is a detail
The detail of
what you possess
will be top priority in your life. Your
friends will hold a priority in your life.
will have a very governing control over your activities.
success, your health, sex, your
loved ones, what you consider (to be) status symbols, your prestige,
education—these are all details of life.
are things of secondary importance, and on human
viewpoint, one, two, or several of these become top priorities in your
and everything revolves around your achieving this goal.
aiming for that prestige.
aiming for that little position of
That little speck
looking for that
looking for that
looking for that
looking for this
motivation among your loved ones.
divine viewpoint has a different set of priorities.
you are under divine viewpoint there is
one priority that is top, and that’s Bible doctrine.
else is mere detail, though they
may be necessities.
not saying that
these things are not necessities. We’re
just saying they’re details of life.
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
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
of God and the grace system of perception in order to erect a spiritual
Mary and Martha
Luke chapter 10 you have the example of Mary and Martha,
of the contrast of one woman who had a divine perspective on her
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
received Him into her house.
And she had
a sister called Mary, and she also sat at Jesus’ feet and
heard His Word.”
that’s what you’re doing this
sitting at the feet of
the Lord Jesus.
Through the local
church, and the means of communication through a pastor-teacher that He
established, you are hearing the Word of God explained.
you are receiving is the Word of
You are in the
that Mary was.
had to make a decision, as did Martha. (It’s
the) same decision you and I constantly
make toward the Word of God.
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,
Thou art anxious
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.
did Mary choose?
Mary chose Bible
did Martha choose?
any of you ladies real crazy about
Any of you ladies
little edgy and feisty because some other lady in the church has begun
some parties? And
suddenly you begin to
run some parties?
we don’t have any parties around here.
Then all of a
sudden somebody runs some parties, and then everybody’s
And I begin to
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.
Martha gave higher priority to her
hospitality and to her meals and to her eating than she did toward the
She gave such
high priority that it
made her bitter toward Mary, and she expressed her bitterness to the
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
commandment of His lips.
I have esteemed
the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.
calls it my “necessary” food, but it is my
necessary food, a detail of life. “And
esteemed the words of His mouth greater.”
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
Any detail of
life can be removed in an
You can spend
struggling to get wealth.
Then you pass
on and you leave it to your inheritors, and they squander, it and
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
What you need is
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
labor which he may carry away in his hand.”
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 his security.
So he built
barns and set things up for his old age, to take care of all the crops
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
details of life can be removed in an instant, and they’re
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:
are not very important anymore.
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
holds number one in your life is the Word of God. Doctrine,
It is the Word,
and the Word, and the
Matthew 6 says, all these other things shall be added
unto you in your legitimate necessity and in its proper timing to your
that’s good doctrine.
that’s the only way you can work and not
be a slave of the things of life. It
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.
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.”
this man had divine viewpoint, he saw all these
losses for what they really were: the
loss of details.
And nothing was
important to him than doctrine, and his positive response toward what
was God’s point of view. So
Word of God he had received, the only way you can receive, divine
The details can
but, as Job found out, they can also be replaced. But
you leave with God their replacement as
you leave with God their loss.
in top priority, the Word.
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
against him, and said, “Job, you’ve done something
don’t you confess?
Own up to it.
Stop trying to
came along and she had a cute idea. She
told him to solve it all by suicide, and make a clean (break from) the
Job 2:9 says,
“Then said his wife
unto him, ‘Dost thou still retain thy integrity?
God and die.’” This
was a sharp-tongued wench.
You can tell by
She came up and
said, “(Are) you still true
Old Job? Jobie
Are you still
still have your integrity?
I suggest you
cut your throat, and turn blue, red, and white, and go out in a blaze
because he had his affections on things above, and
because he had divine perspective, he was not a slave of the details of
(he) knew how to answer this woman.
Verse 10 says,
“But he said unto her, ‘Thou speakest as one of the
foolish women speaketh.
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
know how you feel, but when I read a verse like that, I always want to
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.
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
You can just see
the satisfaction and the
glow of God over his man over whom Satan was pointing the finger and
How do you like
How do you like
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.
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
we have those famous verses, All Scripture is given by inspiration of
why it’s authoritative), and so it’s profitable for
doctrine (for God’s
viewpoint), for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
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.
3:1-2 says, his affections were set on things above.
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
Now the details
of life and how you respond
to them is tied to your mental attitude.
want to make it clear that the possession of the details
of life are not sinful unless the Bible calls them sinful.
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
No matter what
This is not sin
Bible says it’s sin.
The thing that
makes it sin is your mental attitude toward that Cadillac, you mental
toward that home, and your slavery to the details of life.
know how people who have a modest little car that’s got
a few scratches.
They drive it
They just enjoy
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
balance of the paint.
enjoy the thing.
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
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.
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
the love of money is the
root of all evil, which while some coveted after they have erred from
and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” The
lust for wealth is the sin, not having
Having wealth is
not a sin, but
the lust for it is.
The desire to
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.
going to bring all kinds of problems and grief into your life because
out and establish as your goal to possess a lot of money.
this money becomes the Christian’s
happens, he’s drawn away
again from the Word of God.
Matthew 13:22 his priorities have once more been
Verse 22 says,
“He also that
received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word (he knows
learned it), and the care of this age and the deceitfulness of riches
word and he becomes unfruitful.
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
you will receive divine discipline. 1
Timothy 6:9b says, “They that will be rich fall in
The latter part
of the verse says, “They will
fall into many foolish and hurtful lusts and drown men in destruction
And the latter
part of verse
10 says, “They have erred from the faith and pierced
themselves through with
is talking about the discipline that God brings upon
those who do not learn how to master the detail of money.
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.
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
Where they are,
what their children are
receiving, what God is doing for them, what God is using them to do,
they are makes no difference.
company comes along and says, “Move,” the immature
Christian says, “OK,” and
off he goes and everything is left behind.
that’s what a slave does but not a man who is his own man in
hand of God.
You never make
your life on the basis of economics, if you want God’s
blessing and direction
Proverbs 28 we have an edified attitude described toward
says, “Better is
the poor that walketh in his uprightness than he that is perverse in
though he be rich.”
mixed up with human viewpoint.
riches, in Proverbs 8:19 is not the material things that you may
fruit is better than gold; yea, than fine gold, and my revenue than
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.
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.
he that maketh himself poor yet hath great riches,” because
he has the wisdom
And if you
don’t convey this to
your children, you’re doing them a very grave disservice.
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
God’s point of
If you have not
been able to
overcome the motivations of money, then you’re an immature
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
riches are those spiritual assets you have—your grace
system of perception, spiritual maturity, God the Holy Spirit who
your eternal life, your prayer.
of Ecclesiastes tells us a very interesting thing about people who do
master this particular detail of life.
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.
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.
wondered why is it that that these people who write fantastically large
just at the drop of a hat, no problem at all, are yet so preoccupied
It has occurred
answer is here in Ecclesiastes 5:10, that people who proceed to love
to make this a dominant detail of their life never get to the place
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.
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
describes his experience on this detail of life binge says that he
all vanity (which means emptiness), and he found that vexation of
literally means feeding on air). So
Solomon’s life became a bore. When
looked back up on it, he found that it was a great disappointment to
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
years draw near when thou shalt say, ‘I have no pleasure in
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
the disaster that bored him, and when he got to the end it was nothing.
dear friend, if you want to grow up as a Christian,
learn to hold your money lightly, while being a good steward of what
you, instead of running around like a frantic miser who is all tied up
detail that God can slice out from under you in a moment of time.
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
(doctrine) that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein,
thou shall make thy way prosperous, and then thou shall have good
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
the Word and go positive toward it, so that it is in your Spirit where
night it’s available to use.
this is more than memorizing Scripture. There
is a group that deals with youth
conflicts which comes periodically to Dallas and draws considerable
and has some pretty good psychological techniques.
of the things this group teaches you is
meditating in Scripture in order to align your emotions and your will
mind with God.
Now the theory is
and the theory is right, but memorizing Scripture is not enough. It’s
Scripture that you understand.
Christians who can memorize, and
have memorized, vast quantities of Scripture, but they’re not
mature because they memorize they don’t understand, something
that they’re not
able to enter into in a useful way with.
memorizing Scripture is good to the extent that you have
had enough explanation to delve into the significance of what it is
Then you can
Other than that
If you want
success in the way that Joshua
speaks of it here, it begins with the Word of God.
we’re speaking about success here the way
the Bible speaks about success.
Psalm 75, you don’t have any success unless God moves you
to that point of success.
says, “For promotion cometh neither from the East nor from
the West nor from
But God is the
He putteth down
one and He setteth up
If you want real
maneuvering, and stop being pushy. We
always have Christians who decide they want to be successful in some
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.”
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.
25:17 says, “Withdraw thy foot from
thy neighbor’s house lest ye be weary of thee and so hate
don’t know how to not stay too
long as guests at your house.
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
Christians who have
these social-climbing ambitions, so they push themselves into certain
activities and of operations and of organizations in order to gain some
you’re a slave of a detail of life if you do that.
social life is one of the prime reasons
for the neglect of doctrine.
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.
going to have comradery with those
that you have common ground with on the Word of God.
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
may be the most disastrous thing that ever happened to you.
Corinthians 15:33 says, “Be not deceived. Evil
companions corrupt good morals.
righteousness and sin not, for some
have not the knowledge of God, and I speak this to your
delusion that socializing with
unbelievers is going to influence them for the Lord.
have some very prominent preachers who
like to convey the idea that if you will social with unbelievers, if
make common cause with the rejectors and the deniers of Christ and His
that they will be influenced for the Lord.
popular leaders have yet to demonstrate one liberal who has
been influenced for the Lord by making common cause which really
aided the cause of the liberal.
are willing to socialize in spite of your
spiritual viewpoint, dear Christian—not because of it,
because they reject what
An unbeliever or
Christian in time is going to draw you away from your firm stand on
detail of life that you will have to cope with is
learned his lesson here
says, “And I find
more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets and her
Whoso pleases God
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
bemoaning here is that part of the binge of the details of life that he
had to do with sex.
And he found that
was no substitute for fellowship with God.
relationship of the man with his right particular woman is no
for fellowship with God.
have teenagers who go running off attracted to somebody
that they pursue, and they sacrifice their contact with God and with
in the Word of God.
gives you the right perspective in this area.
It gives you
right perspective on waiting and keeping reserve.
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
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.
only means for permanent soul
satisfaction is the one that Solomon finally discovered.
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.”
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
because he knew that this would destroy their spiritual maturity. So
in his last book, Deuteronomy, he tried to
give some guidance on this.
8:4 says, “Thy raiment grew not old upon thee, neither did
thy foot swell,” in
reviewing what God had done for them.
verse 11 says, “Beware that thou forget not the Lord
thy God in keeping His commandments and His ordinances and his statutes
command you this day, lest when thou hast eaten and art full and hast
goodly and dwelt therein; when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and
silver and thy gold are multiplied, and all that thou has multiplied,
thine heart be lifted up and thou forget the Lord thy God who brought
forth out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage.”
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
covenant which He swore unto thy fathers as it is this day; and it
that if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God and walk after other
serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye
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.
ye first the kingdom of God and His
righteousness, and all these things (of the details of life) shall be
You will never
have to worry
about losing something that is of real value.
that’s permanent and that will affect your eternity is down
the inside of your soul where no man and nothing can reach it. The
details will leave you sooner or
This, the Word of
God, will stay
and last forever.
John E. Danish, 1971
to the Basic Bible Doctrine index
the Bible Questions index