Don’t Fall off the Bridge 14: Don’t Be Awesome and Unawesome!

Ben Stiller's Walter Mitty Daydream | Studio 360 | WNYC Studios

The picture above is of Walter Mitty. His movie is called the Secret Life of Walter Mitty – and I am writing this blog to encourage you as a Christian to not have a secret life.

The reason people live a secret life is that they want to please other people, not God, and we do not have a choice in this – the Bible is clear – Paul said – if I pleased men, I would not be a servant of Christ (Galatians 1.10). If we live for the praise of men, we displease people.

By becoming a pastor, I displeased my parents. But I decided to honour God and live like a servant of Christ. Following Christ has displeased several people I know, but I want to be a servant of Christ.

Sometimes to live for Jesus you will have to upset someone, go contrary to their opinion, and just do what pleases Jesus! Your parents might want you to marry an unbeliever – because he is kind and wealthy. Don’t do it. Please Jesus!

God is not fooled by your double life, by the way. He spots it. Men might be impressed with you on the outside – to them you look awesome, but if you are living a double life, you are decidedly unawesome before God. Men might be impressed with your car, God isn’t. We need to live as servants of Christ, pleasing God, loving God, putting God first to make God see us as awesome. He loves you no matter what you do, but we should make good choices and not use His kindness and love as an excuse for us to be selfish!

It amazes me that people will say almost anything to be awesome to men, but will take no time to be awesome before God. I know people who are in so much debt to have nice things – their purpose – to impress others, to look awesome to others. Others pretend to behave in certain ways.

Let me tell you two things: you cannot be fruitful pretending to a life to impress others. I would never have the fruit in my life that I have if I was concerned about impressing others.

Secondly, when you stop living to impress others, it is a wonderful freedom that comes. It’s so much peace. I didn’t spend the money on awesome cars, I spent it hiring awesome staff, and creating awesome TV programmes that are on all over the world. Because I genuinely have no desire to be thought of as awesome, I have had so much freedom that some of my peers sadly have not had.

There is no need to impress anyone, build character, build a walk with God and over time people will realize that this is the real awesome. It takes time to do it this way, but it is better.

Never be awesome on the outside and falling apart on the inside – you are working on the wrong thing, and it will not lead to longevity or a great place.

Don’t Fall off the Bridge 13 Don’t Be Loyal and Disloyal

When a pastor appoints deacons, they must according to Scripture not appoint someone who is “double-tongued” (1 Tim. 3.8). This is because every single church has people in it who have not one but two tongues. One speaks nice things, the other speaks nasty things.

Charles Wesley wrote a song about wanting a thousand tongues to sing God’s praise. but every pastor is glad their people do not have one thousand tongues. We want everyone to have one tongue – a good tongue. We don’t want people to have forked tongues like snakes.

People complain about their pastor behind their back and then tell him to his face how much they loved the sermon. Double tongued! Make sure they do not become deacons and elders and pastors! Do not appoint them to leadership.

If you have a double tongue, it’s time for you to have a tongue-ectomy and have the nasty tongue removed. The one that accuses the brethren day and night, the one that sounds like satan. It’s time to have it surgically removed!

I know people who worship God, they sing loudly, they sing above everyone else in the room, but they are so petty, so critical, so rebellious. They have two tongues. God told the Israelites that their sacrifices were an abomination to them (Isaiah 1.13) because they had a secret other tongue that was ripping people apart. So many people use one tongue to say “I love you Lord”, then use the other tongue to say “I hate you, and you, and you and you and you!” Some men praise Jesus then lie to a woman in church to seduce them and use them. Outwardly the people love Jesus but their second tongue does not!

Hosea says that their goodness is like a morning cloud, by the afternoon it is gone (Hosea 6.4). If you spend enough time with these people you would know they are evil, but they can manage a Sunday morning most times. The family would know, the neighbours would know. The colleagues at work might or might not know.

Their goodness and niceness is temporary and only used to get along in church. We must not be those who have two tongues, or two faces.

We need to get control of our tongues. We need to repent of gossip, slander, and talking behind people’s backs. It’s not right, and it is one of the things that will cause you to fall of the bridge, fall right out of your destiny, and fall right out of walking with Jesus.

If you want a tongue-ectomy – you need to do two things. Firstly, admit you have a problem. Don’t lie with your tongue, don’t blame “them” – admit you have a problem. Then you yield to God – you speak out loud “Sin, you do not control my tongue. I will not yield my tongue to sin, I will use my tongue to glorify God and only that”.

It’s really simple to do, but you need to be strong in this, choose to keep speaking words for God’s glory.

Go for it – praise HIM!

Don’t Fall of the Bridge 12: Don’t Be A Childish Adult

10 Signs That You're Dealing With an Emotionally Immature Adult |  Psychology Today

Every pastor knows what I mean when I say a childish adult. It’s someone who tries very hard to act grown up, it’s someone who should be grown up, but they still act in very childish ways. The Bible says the purpose of the fivefold ministry is that we “be no more children” (Ephesians 4.14) and this is vital that all of us grow up.

Most people do not consider Samson ruled over Israel for over twenty years. You have to be fairly mature to do that, to rule a nation for years, you need some wisdom, some character, some backbone. Samson was lustful, foolish, saw prostitutes and so on, but at the same time he was in ministry – in the same position for twenty years – leading a nation. He was both immature and mature.

Samson was sometimes mature, and sometimes immature. Sometimes he looked mature, and other times he behaved like a total child. He caught three hundred foxes and tied their tails together. That’s pathetic in how stupid it is. There are other ways to set a field on fire, but Samson did it in the way a child would do it.

I know a lot of Christians who are childish adults. They adult in some areas, they know the Word well, but they act like babies, they tantrum when they cannot get their own way, they trip up all the time, they are still dealing with baby things. They are still self-obsessed. They still scream and shout.

Have you ever met a Christian who is a perpetual wanderer? They wander from one church to another, when they are in your church they might turn up and might not, they never turn up on time, they never settle, they never contribute, they never get involved. Sunday morning they are in your church, next Sunday they are in another church. You can never build with them, they never make a difference in the kingdom, church is for them and they are consumers and if it fails to please them they take a few weeks off. They are unsteady, unstable babies. But they can quote Scriptures and so on like an adult. These people are confusing because you expect better from them.

I recently heard a sermon by a Christian evangelist, it seemed so wise, so thoughtful, so mature. Then I realized who was preaching it – it was someone who used to be in Tree of Life. It was someone very unstable, very immature, he has been to about four different churches since he left the Tree. He preached a great message, but is a child unable to belong to a church. There are modern day Samsons in the world, don’t be one!

There are people who are at Bible College who get hurt so easily it shocks me. One of the signs of maturity is you do not go into a room to get attention, but to pay attention. But childish adults cannot do this.

We need to be adults across the board, in all our relationships. It takes being an adult to settle down and become a one-woman man, there are many very lovely ladies out there, but a mature man picks one and commits and walks in love and peace. It’s the better way to live. That’s why deep down people respect married men. A child cannot settle down, a man who cannot settle down is not a man, he is a childish adult! He is a boy!

Why not take the time to work on the areas in which you are most childish! Sometimes if we are honest it is obvious we are childish in certain areas – we name call, we blame, we tell petty lies, we need to be the centre of attention, we bully others. All behaviours that should have ended when we left primary school. Children cry and get mad and pout – adults should not. Children blame others when things go wrong – adults solve the problem. Children lie to get out of trouble, adults face the truth and are reliable. Children call names, adults seek to understand. Children eat all the sweets, adults exercise impulse control. Children interrupt, adults listen to the end. Children need attention, adults give attention. Children ignore their mistakes, adults fix them.

It’s great when a child acts like a child, but when we mature, we should all leave childish behaviour behind. Let’s not be modern day Samsons, let’s press on into maturity. Learn adult skills! Feast on the Word and believe it and live it.

Next week we will talk about people who have two faces and therefore two tongues. I can’t wait!

Don’t Fall Off the Bridge 11: Don’t Be Carnal

Word carnality made from wooden letters

Did you know that the Bible says that the carnal mind is an enemy of God (Romans 8.7)? Last week, we looked at Samson, and we found out he lived a double-life. He was carnal but gave off the impression of being spiritual.

There were times the Spirit of the Lord moved on Samson and gave him remarkable abilities, but in his heart he ws still carnal, and was seeing multiple women. He flowed in the Spirit in public, in private he was selfish, carnal and a playboy.

I have known several pastors and travelling ministers like this. Powerful ministries, powerful flow of the Spirit, powerful gifts, but then you find out they are sleeping with women in the church, they are sleeping with women when they travel, they are sleeping with women in the Bible School where they teach. They can move you with their ministry, but they are playing around.

There are other people who can sin in the most outrageous ways then walk into church like nothing has happened. They will worship with their hands raised and praise the Lord like they are spiritual. They have the long hair of Samson but the heart of Samson. Not a good combination.

Samson was a judge in Israel for twenty years and always had a double life. He was strong and weak at the same time. When a weak person comes to me for help, I can help them. But when they trun up looking all spiritual, flowing in the gifts, pretending to be mighty what can you do? We had one man prophesying and praising God in our church and flowing powerfully in the gifts, while he had got two different women pregnant! How could I help when he pretended to be strong when he was in fact very weak.

If you are weak but pretend to be strong, you are preventing yourself from getting set free. When you appear strong, no-one can help you – and that is the tragedy. Samson was a mighty minister operating in power, but in private weak. He was strong in public and weak in private. He carried a set of giant gates on his shoulders – he was really strong. He was not weak in ministry. But he was weak before Delilah! She beat a strong man because he was also a weak man. Do not be strong and weak – become strong and strong.

Do not be strong and weak. A lot of politicians are strong and weak. In public they look very respectable, then you find out about their private lives and they are really weak. They have no strength in private, they have no moral strength.

If you are weak, and things are beating you, you do not have to tell the world, but you need to tell someone, you need to speak to your pastor, your mentor, your close friends and get help. Get strong and strong, not strong and weak!