Trinity 8 2019
In this morning’s Collect we read:
“O GOD, whose never-failing providence ordereth all things both in heaven and earth”
and the Epistle warms our hearts when it says:
Romans viii. 12. BRETHREN, we are debtors
(we owe,) not to the flesh (of which many live their life)…
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:
but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live
And the Gospel warns “BEWARE of false prophets”
and it is upon these words that I will focus this morning.
“Ordereth all things” reflects upon our ability
and our will
to take control of our lives.
“Led by the spirit” but which spirit…
“False prophets” what and who are they?
In Acts of the Apostles (20:29, 30 29) we read:
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves (temptations) enter in among you,…
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise,…
to draw away disciples after them.
In 2 Peter (2:1, 2) We are told that there were (and are) false prophets among the people,
even as there shall be false teachers among you,
who privily (as person to person) shall bring in damnable heresies,
even denying the Lord that bought them…
2 And many shall follow their pernicious (their harmful ways)…
In 2 Corinthians ( 11:2, 3, 13-15)
we read as Paul speaks of the Lord…
2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband,
that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin (THE CHURCH) to Christ.
And going all the way back to Ezekiel we hear (Eze 13:1-10, 22-1)
Hear ye the word of the LORD;
3 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit…
Being Ordereth, and led by, false prophets –
how are these related and what impact do they have on our lives?
Time spent with our Lord is time that we are not spending with those people, things, or events which draw us away from Christ.
We can live our lives at the mercy of this world, spinning and turning and going where the world leads us,
or we can take control of our lives and point it to where it revolves around Christ –
the choice is ours.
We cannot change our lives overnight,
but we can begin to take control of our lives
we don’t have to spin out of control within a world which has lost the goodness of which God created.
Ordereth all things – our order of things should reflect what we seek.
If seeking things of this world,
a fancier house or a new car or the latest fashion,
then yhen this our will be.
If the thing we seek is God,
then we must create an order of balanced revolving around God,
often in the Eucharist (thanksgiving,)
Morning and Evening prayer,
and quite time for personal prayer,
and all of these require time –
We must all commit to a lifestyle that allows for such –
not denying God the time to talk to us.
Led by the spirit…oh yes, the spirit.
We all battle with a spirit seeking self-satisfaction, of self- reward, of self- joy – the spirit of me first.
This self-centered spirit is in contrast to a spirit of service towards God and His Will – and His Word, Christ Jesus.
These two spirits, make no doubt about it, are at war within each of us
this battle began in the Garden with the Fall of Man and continues within each of our hearts, souls, and minds.
This spirit within us is of upmost importance because it leads us.
Of false prophets we are warned often In Acts of the Arostles (Act 20:29, 30)
“… shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”
We are warned of being “drawn away.”
Our youth face this on a level that I have never seen before,
even to the point of questioning their own sexuality, even inventing new ones,
as addiction is not only to drugs, sex, and alcohol,
but now to electronics and (electronic games) which take the youth away into another realm,
another place far removed from a Creator God who loves them and cares for them,
to a place of violence, instant gratification, and false pleasures.
Our young adults can get locked into the Me First crowd which places themselves above others.
Instead of being with God and the things that God approves,
they establish a routine that places their own happiness above all else, even their family.
Activities, sports, taken to extreme are not healthy.
And even the elderly can be moved into a self- absorption –
sometimes by their pain or loneliness.
Giving into self pride, trusting no one because they had
rather rely upon a very American attitude of
“I can do it on my own.”
Instead of Christian charity being allowed to blossom, a self- concern can take over.
Young, middle aged, and even the more mature
all have false prophets to fight as things, attitudes, people, and places take control.
My beloved friends, all of us have work to do in the ordering of our lives,
following the correct Spirit,
and denying things, people, and attitudes that pull us away from God.
What are some things that we can do?
First of all, we must place, and keep, God as our utmost goal –
above anything else.
Only when we do will we begin to develop a roadmap of life which supports the top priority in our life – God.
This is easier said than done.
When times are good we often think of our perceived happiness
and when things are bad our sadness can place a cloud between us and God
and in both these scenarios God has not moved –
He is as always, but it is our emotions and motivations which have moved.
Jesus is eternal and we must be remain focused on Him.
Identifying His Spirit and walking within it
Does your Spirit seek a new car or nice clothing
or it is within Christ,
and His life which He gave for us,
and the example He lived for us of how we are to live.
Christ is within our fellow man, especially those in need.
If you see Christ in those suffering and those who hurt and move towards that Spirit to help others
then you will feel it within your heart and you will learn that this is Ture Happiness.
Only by walking within God’s Spirit will you find a happiness that does not rust nor fade away.