Summary: There are some characteristics of even those who are Christians that will cause the Spirit of God within to be ineffective.
DEAD FLIES IN THE OINTMENT
By Rev. James May
Ecclesiates 10:1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor.
THE DEATH OF A TREE
IT STARTED AS A SEEDLING ON THE SLOPES OF THE MOUNTAINS AND FOR OVER 100 YEARS THE GIANT TREE STOOD TALL AGAINST THE ELEMENTS. IT HAD OVERCOME THE GREAT AND VIOLENT STORMS OF LIFE, LIGHTNING STRIKES DID NOT DESTROY IT EVEN THOUGH IT BORE THE SCARS OF THE CONTEST. WINTER WEATHER WITH 60 FT SNOW FALLS AND BLIZZARD CONDITIONS DID NOT BRING IT DOWN. AVALANCHES AND ROCK SLIDES COULD NOT DESTROY IT, THOUGH AGAIN, IT BORE THE SCARS OF THE BATTLES FOR ITS EXISTENCE.
WHAT FINALLY DESTROYED THE GIANT TREE?
A HORDE OF BEETLES ATTACKED IT. AND LITTLE BY LITTLE, FROM THE INSIDE OUT, THE LIFE OF THAT TREE WAS SLOWLY EATEN AWAY AS THE HEART OF WAS CONSUMED AND DECAYED. FINALLY, AFTER ALL IT HAD ENDURED, THAT GIANT OF A TREE CAME CRASHING DOWN AND BECAME NOTHING BUT A HEAP OF ROTTEN, USELESS, DEAD WOOD. IN THE END, IT DIDN’T MATTER WHAT IT COULD HAVE BEEN, OR HOW GRAND IT WAS AT ITS HEIGHT OF EXISTIENCE. WHAT MATTERED MOST WAS THAT IN THE END, THE WOOD OF THAT TREE WAS FIT FOR NOTHING AND SERVED NO PURPOSE AT ALL
What do the dead flies in the ointment and the dead wood of the tree have in common? They both began as something very useful, but because of the little things that were allowed to become a part of their lives, they became useless for anything.
I have a simple message for us all tonight. It’s nothing profound or something that will make you shout the house down, but it’s something that we all need to hear.
There are a lot of people who begin living for Jesus and for a time they run the race very well.
But like Paul said in Galatians 5:7, "Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?" And then in Galatians 5:8-9 Paul answers his own question by saying, "This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."
This isn’t just talking about the backslider; but about the ones who are drawing back from the call of God upon their lives, and to those who have lost their great zeal for the things of God.
When most people are first Born Again, you can just see and feel the excitement from within their hearts. They are so full of the joy of the Lord and sensing their newfound freedom, that they can’t help but tell others about Jesus and what the Lord has done for them.
But after a while that zeal begins to dim for many; and for some it even goes away and they go right back to their old way of life, forsaking the things of God and embracing again the things of the world.
What brings this process about? How can we go from being so full of the joy of the Lord one minute to down in the dumps and overcome with temptation and sin the next?
It’s all about the dead flies, or like the tree, the little beetles that we allow into our hearts!
The road to becoming a precious ointment are laid before us as we climb that hill to success and it always begins at the foot of the Cross. There Jesus saves us and cleanses us from the smell of death and sin, making us into a pure ointment to be used in winning souls to the Lord.
The heart and attitude of someone who is excited and on fire for God is a wonder to behold. Like the apothecary, the expensive perfume that you can find at the best shops, their spirit spreads to everyone around them. It’s a joy to be around someone who truly loves God. That’s all they want to talk about. You’ll find the fragrance of their life spreads the Word of God like a sweet smelling perfume. It just brings pleasure to everyone around.
Repentance for sin has filtered out the things of this world that would destroy the fragrance of their heart. Forgiveness comes forth to bring peace to everyone around. It’s just a wonderful feeling to be around the man or woman of God whose heart has been made pure and clean by the blood of the Lamb. There’s no worry of pretention, no concern for deception, they are as transparent and beautiful as any can be.
But as time goes on and the storms of life come, the battle scars begin to accumulate. First there are the attacks of the devil that come to make him doubt his salvation, and fears that what he has is not real. There are storms of sickness, troubles and trials; and in one of those storms, if he doesn’t keep his heart right with God, the dead flies can begin to gather.