“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” – Proverbs 14:12, NKJV
Today, many would say that we live in an enlightened world. In this world are a myriad of choices that we have to make each day, the idea of making a choice that is right may seem to be in question. In fact, lines are often so blurred, the idea of a right or even a best choice is often blurred into non-existence. (Jeremiah 44:17; Proverbs 30:12) This is compounded by the philosophy of relative morality, which says that ‘morality’ or ‘ethics’ is based on circumstances rather than principle. How many times have you been confronted with a choice looking for divine guidance, even praying about your choice? Did that choice work for you? I certainly hope that it did. Did that make the choice right or even the best for you? (“Delusion & the Tightening Noose of the Beast System“; “Deceptions of Ages: How People are Deceived” ; “Millenniums of Human Exploitation“; “Trust YHWH, Not World Leaders“)
People make choices for all kinds of reasons, usually with the idea that the decision will somehow better their life. What are the true roots of that choice? The choice may have been easier. The choice may have looked more prosperous. The choice may have appeared as the thing to do. As you well know, life doesn’t always work as you hope, even with the ‘best’ information. Life has trials to be certain. Strongholds in life often delude you into making choices that are blind at best and dangerous or deadly at worst. To compound matters, you don’t live life in a vacuum. Your life is clouded by the decisions of millions, if not billions, of other people around you. Many times, you learn to listen to the opinions of others around you or what you are spoon-fed as reality. (“YHWH: The Choice to Stay Loyal“; “Video: What is Idolatry?“)
The way that seems right may offer many options and require few sacrifices. Easy choices should make a Christian take a second look. Why is the choice right? Does the choice keep me in my comfort zone? Does the choice allow me be lazy? Does the choice allow me to depend on someone else instead of myself? Does the choice seem to make me independent? Does the choice reduce the need for moral restraint? Does the choice involve more hard work? The bottom line to each question should be where your trust is placed. Who are you listening to?
Often, we are deluded by what we see in the world and where we place personal trust. (Psalm 49:18) We can be falsely reassured that a certain path is right based on political or societal encouragement, even based on pride. (Luke 18:11; Revelation 3:17; Psalm 10:6; Matthew 7:21-23) This can happen for decades or even for your entire life. You may even feel grounded in your own entitlement. (Deuteronomy 29:19; Luke 13:25-26; Jeremiah 5:12; 2 Peter 3:4) How many times do we know that choices that seem right can end in disaster? (Luke 12:16-21; “The Modern Life Culture Crisis“; “Culture: Prompting Falsehood Through the Lie“)
For example, how many Christians, including Christian leaders place personal trust in a morally bankrupt banking and investment system before it nearly collapsed in October 2008? How many have bought into a system of worldly prosperity as their source of hope and trust? (Psalm 30:6; Hosea 12:8; Luke 12:17-19; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11; “Foundation of a Global System of Greed“; “Modern Mammon: Power of the Fractional Reserve“) Almost everyone was comfortable with the system in place and built life and limb around it. All of a sudden, millions have awakened to the fact that they had been deceived by thieves and fraudulent characters on multiple levels. Before that time, even Christian leaders firmed placed their trust in the system of investment gambling that had long prospered America as “God’s system of prosperity”. (Matthew 7:22-23; 25:11-12; Luke 13:24-25) Some have pulled back their agreement and moral investment with the system. Still, little has changed. Money and the lifestyle that goes along with it is still king. This is a long-overdue warning sign. Have you learned anything? (“News: Wall Street Greed Creates Hunger“; “News: Investment & the Black Horse of Famine“)
When you are a Christian, where do you place your trust? Are you looking at your friends, your church, your government, a source of money for your trust? The fact remains that this is exactly where most Christians look. In the Madison Avenue advertising-based world that we now live in, your choices are usually sold to you as the best for you. You are no longer thinking or living for yourself, much less using your own judgment. You are manipulated or deceived. What you say you believe in may not even be your own or best for you, but the agenda of someone else that is benefiting from your choice. You are listening and living for someone else that doesn’t have the least bit of interest in you or what you believe, much less what is right before your Heavenly Father. Even more powerful is the fact that trust becomes a habit. Jeremiah uses a powerful illustration. The person who trusts in human beings will end up like a shriveled bush, while the person who trusts YHWH will be like a tree that has its roots sunk deep beside a stream. (Jeremiah 17:6,8; “Mind Control of the Beast“; “The Man of Lawlessness“; “The Image & Mark of the Beast System“)
Many Christians think of trust as faith, an almost magical force. If you can get enough of it, you will stay rich, healthy and live a happy contented life. Your life isn’t about ‘magic.’ Without faith, your personal trust, it is impossible to please YHWH. Without personal trust, you cannot be set apart to Him. (Galatians 3:1-5; Hebrews 11:6) Closer review of Hebrews 11 and the rest of the Bible does not reveal faith or trust as easy. Words and phrases like ‘persevere’, ‘endure’ and ‘do not lose heart’ loom large. Life on earth is still life on earth in an imperfect system of world control. Many people of faith in the past did not receive the promise that they sought after. Some were horribly persecuted and became destitute, hiding out, even living out horrible deaths. Trusting in YHWH doesn’t guarantee an easy race. The disciple must keep his or her eyes on the prize, despite temptations and selfish desires to let up. Hebrews 12:1 recommends that disciples throw off everything that hinders and to strengthen feeble arms and weak knees. (Hebrews 12:12) Life in this world is tough, which challenges faith and trust. Yet, evidence shows that by placing trust in anything, life on planet earth has few guarantees that a man or woman can count on. The history of mankind bears this out continually. (“Bible Prophecy and the Rise of the Corporation“; “Listening to the Holy Spirit“; “Serving for YHWH’s Glory“)
Most Christians and their teachers herald the ideal of faith and love to talk about it in general terms. While faith is often seen as ephemeral or hard to grasp or understand by many, faith can be clearly defined through the practical evidence of trust. Where you invest or place your time, treasure and efforts is what you trust. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15) Lifestyle equals trust. When you spend your time on yourself, other people, a career, in politics, in learning, you are placing your trust. The fact is that faith equals trust. Your trust is reflected by your lifestyle and how you spend your time. The personality quirks, flaws and strongholds that disciples and the rest of the world develop over time lend to the equation of trust. People often blind themselves through their own thinking, even taking the thinking of others as their own. Many see this response to the world as the right course of action and the only way to prosper. (“YHWH’s Track of Righteousness“)
The habit of trust can be very expensive, especially where the righteousness of your Heavenly Father is concerned. (1 Thessalonians 5:3) Where people place trust decides what they consider as their security. False security promises peace and long life. (Job 29:18) False security is ignorant of YHWH and truth. (Psalm 10:4; 50:21) False security trusts in falsehoods. (Isaiah 28:15; Revelation 3:17) False security is inconsiderate (Isaiah 47:7), prideful (Obadiah 3; Revelation 18:7; Amos 6:3; Ecclesiastes 8:11). In the end, the Bible declares that the refuge of false security is swept away, (Isaiah 28:17) overtaken by ruin. (Isaiah 47:9; Amos 6:1, 9:10; Jeremiah 21:13; Ezekiel 39:6; “Knowing Where You Stand on YHWH’s Threshing Floor“)
The importance in all these matters is where personal thinking and the heart really is. Your heart condition matters. (Isaiah 29:13; Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 6:24; 12:25-30) The root of ruin is a broken heart ravaged by the world and is evidenced by outward signs of conduct or fruit. (Mark 7:20-23; 7:15-17; Hebrews 2:15) Have you unknowingly rejected YHWH and His lifestyle because of the condition of your heart, through conditioned behavior and response, addiction, compulsion and lack of knowledge about the importance of negative life strongholds that Satan and the world attempt to foist upon disciples? (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) The world sees life as all about self-interest of the moment. The evidence is that life is at stake, both now and for eternity.
The miracle of the new man in Messiah is much greater than what much of Christianity is living today because so many of us ignore the roots of demonic strongholds grounded in sin and iniquity of the past. (Ephesians 6:10-12) The roots of sin matter if we can expect to effectively cast aside the dark kingdom (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) from personal lifestyle and actions. (Matthew 28:18-20) Rooting out sin and turning aside from that sin matters. Living in this world while breaking strongholds in mind, heart and body is what discipleship in Messiah is about. (Romans 12:2) It is time to live that instead of living in self-deception. (“Consenting to Fables of Men“)