Summary: This message deals with the way the Lord works with the inner motives of a man and how that ultimately all have to stand the test of time.


TEXT: Proverbs 16:2

Proverbs 16:2 KJV All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.


-The pursuit of this terrorist. Came about because of a tip the CIA received from a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay in late 2003, early 2004. Identified a courier named Al Ahmed Kuwaiti.

-After Bin Laden had escaped Tora Bora in 2003, he had stopped using a cell phone, satellite phone, and a computer connected to the internet. To communicate with Al Qaeda, a courier would bring information to him and they would use portable hard drives and jump drives to carry documents and videos to be uploaded to the internet.

-The CIA found this courier in Pakistan in 2011. He was slipping into a compound in Pakistan that had no electrical lines running to it, no internet capabilities, and so forth. But by watching this courier, the CIA picked up on the fact that Osama Bin Laden was there.

-After an intense discovery period that lasted only a few weeks, they went in on May 2, 2011 and took out the mastermind of 9/11/01. In addition to this, he had been the force behind much of the terrorist activities around the world for more than a decade.

-From the outside looking in, it appeared that Bin Laden was very secure in his position but what was not considered was the fact that there was something that became a liability to him. Seemingly out of nowhere came his takedown.


-Spiritual failures take place in the church and even those who are lost often think of their ways as being clean. Yet the collapse often exposes the darkness of sin.

• Reputations explode.

• Testimonies dissolve.

• Men believe they are doing right when they are doing wrong.

-It is only when the right time comes that the liabilities are exposed.

-What man did the wise man of Proverbs have in mind when he was writing this?

A. The Man Who Is Living in the Ways of the Wicked

-The wicked and sinful often find themselves in a place of total self-deception and they think they are clean in their own eyes.

-There are deceptions that they live under to create this self-deception:

• They give acceptable names to their sin. . . Called addictions, weaknesses, and imperfections.

• They think they are better than others and they make them much worse than themselves.

• They look for excuses for themselves to live as they do.

B. The Man Who Is Religious

-There is another kind of man who can fall into this trap. He is a man who seems to think that he is religious.

-He will come to church and to a certain degree will spend time with those who are serving the Lord.

• He pays his bills on time.

• He has a good name where he works.

• He contributes to social causes.

• He will occasionally help someone who is down and out.

• He speaks up in behalf of good political causes.

• He has an idea that he minds his own business.

-But the reality is that he has never really had a transforming work of the Spirit and the Word in his life. The Lord weighs those spirits and looks at the motives and discovers that a religious man is doing his best to save himself.

C. The Man Who is Worldly

-There are other men who are not religious nor outwardly sinful but he is not clean in the eyes of the Lord.

-He has a heart that is neither hot nor cold. He is just a worldly man. He doesn’t get too worried about his sin, in fact, he mostly is entirely ignorant of what the real definition of sin is.

• He has a secret life.

• He has a secret chamber in his heart (like the temple in Ezekiel 8).

• He has private and hidden indulgences that he wallows in.

• He has a mind that is centered on pleasure and pride but he covers it so well.

-The worldly man is a man who is so smooth you would never guess the depravity of his heart.

-The challenge for a worldly man is that he forgets the closet of prayer, the forgotten Bible that could show him the way, the forgotten priority of living for the Lord, and the forgotten but necessary engagement with the Church of God.

D. The Way of a Secure Backslider

-There is another man that the wise man of Proverbs was considering. He was thinking of a man who is backslidden and he has become so secure in his backsliding that he thinks nothing of it.

-He walks in a miry place:

• A decline in private prayer (Job 15:4).

• Sin gradually getting the upper hand (Jer. 15:10).

• Conversations have no trace of anything spiritual (Eph. 5:4).

• Very little time spent in the Word (Hosea 8:12).

• His heart has grown hard over time (Heb. 3:13).

-There is a foolishness in this kind of behavior but it belongs to the backslider.


-Give great consideration to your ways and turn to the Lord!

December 21, 2014

Philip Harrelson