proceed-with-cautionIf you have been following my devotions in the Book of Proverbs you have noticed that I enjoy word studies in the Word of God. Words have meaning and our understanding of God’s Word is directly related to our desire and willingness to labor in the Word. The tools for Bible study have proliferated with the Internet in the past two decades and every serious student of the Bible can access a theological library to rival a scholar.

As a word of caution, there are many books on the Bible, including Bible commentaries that cannot be trusted. Charismatics have enjoyed the rise of popular preachers and authors who have reached into the homes, Bible colleges and seminaries of mainstream Christianity [even Biblically fundamental churches and colleges].  I would caution you that Charismatic authors like John Piper and CJ Mahaney [founder of Sovereign Grace Ministries…by the way, the roots of this organization beliefsreach back to Catholic Charismatic Larry Tomczak], should not be followed by Christians who believe the Bible is the sole authority for faith and practice [Piper and Mahaney are non-cessationist and are proponents of tongues and prophecies—i.e. extra-biblical revelations]. Sadly, a whole generation of young preachers who would take issue with this Biblically fundamental pastor has led their peers and churches indiscriminately down the road following after Piper, Mahaney and other men of their stripe.

Off the “soap box” and into the Word: Today’s devotional thought is from Proverbs 24:10.

Proverbs 24.10Proverbs 24:10 – “If thou faint [weaken; disheartened; discouraged] in the day of adversity [distress; affliction; trial], thy strength [vigor; power; substance; character] is small [scarce; an enemy].”

I am sure every Christian reading Proverbs 24:10 can relate to the sum of its truth: Fear and discouragement in the face of trials will sap your strength and result in you becoming your own worse enemy!

I confess—there are many days I “feel” like quitting, running and hiding from trouble. Like Elijah who faced down the prophets of Baal only to flee when he learned that wicked Jezebel was seeking to kill him (1 Kings 18:1719:4); I have known the panic that arises when the threat of an enemy is greater than my faith in God! A proverb of Solomon in chapter 29 illustrates the “fear factor” when it comes to facing an enemy:

Proverbs 29:25 – “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”

Flight and retreat is a natural, faithless response when facing an enemy; however, a man of faith places his trust in God and His promises. Don’t faint…don’t allow your emotions to rule your response to trials. Remember, there is a correlation between your character and your response to the giants in your life!

Be strong in the Lord and face the Goliaths in your life by putting your trust in the Lord and embracing His Word and promises.

Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith