Summary: Avoiding Pitfalls in Spiritual Life
Intro: there is a commercial on television that is pretty good, it is the N.F.L. draft and the number one pick is called, he stands, smiles for the cameras, dose a Heisman trophy pose, then proceeds to fall down a flight of stairs. Falling is sometimes a funny thing: Chevy Chase made people laugh with his Gerald Ford routines of falling down. But in real life, falling isn’t funny, and even worse than physically falling, is spiritual decline. God gave Solomon good advice on how to avoid falling, but the wisest man in the world wasn’t smart enough, to keep from a spiritual freefall. Today, here are some keys to avoid falling.
Avoiding Spiritual Freefall
Background: Solomon was amazing, the smartest man in the world, the richest man in the world, the most powerful man in the world, all at the same time. He seemingly had it all, but there was one thing that changed everything, he did what God told him not to do. We see some things that we must guard against in our walks with God. Today, let’s look at some spiritual laws we must follow.
Here are the four laws:
Don’t go after anything that God tells you not to go after.
Don’t let anything in your life that God commands for you to keep out.
Don’t let your heart be turned away from God in any way.
Don’t let your heart be turned to anything that will become your God.
I. Don’t go after anything that God tells you not to go after—v. 2a
God wasn’t a killjoy, He had blessed Solomon with so many things that he was on the who’s who list of his times. He could have anything he wanted; God had blessed him to enjoy life to the fullest, with just one small restriction. Don’t go after the women of other nations.
a. Solomon having 700 wives and 300 concubines is probably the ultimate slap in the face to God. God tells Solomon to avoid marrying outside of God’s chosen people, and he goes out and takes not one, but 1000.
b. The daughter of Pharaoh, one of the great compromises of many Christians is desiring acceptance, influence and popularity in this world. It happened to Solomon, he was willing to disobey God, to be received by the world.
c. The devil always magnifies the few things that God commands to stay away from. Instead of enjoying all that the garden had to offer, Adam and Eve took the one thing that was forbidden. Today, always realize that the devil will glorify the things you don’t need, to the point you will think you need them.
II. Don’t let anything in your life that God commands for you to keep out-v.2c—it was bad enough that Solomon went after these strange women but what was worse is that he allowed them to bring their strange Gods with them.
a. Solomon fell into one of the biggest traps anyone can fall into and that is compromise. He let these wives set up idols in his house. Today, we live in a world of compromise, and because of compromise there are things in people’s lives that need to be kept out.
b. Here is a simple rule to follow, be careful what you see, be careful what you hear and be careful what you do.
c. Years ago I read an article called the visitor: it was all about this man that visited someone’s home, they would listen to him for hours, once in a while he would tell off colored jokes, sometimes he would bring in people who where not dressed properly, he would encourage the family to stay home from church, and sometimes tell the kids it was alright to be rebellious in their behavior. At the end of the story the visitor was identified as a television. As Christians, we must follow the warning of God not to allow anything into our homes or lives that God says keep out.
III. Don’t let your heart be turned away from God—v.2d
Solomon’s heart was turned away from God. Now I am sure that this didn’t take place the first day he imported all these wives and concubines. It was a gradual thing.
· Over your lifetime, Satan will bring people into your path to turn your heart away from God. No one is exempt from these trials and temptations. What is worse; is sometimes the people that will turn you away from God will be a family member, a work associate or even someone who attends church.
· Solomon got distracted: at first he wanted to build God a temple, he wanted to see God’s kingdom go forward in the world. But all the power, pleasure and things in this world distracted him from those spiritual goals.