My heart aches when I watch the news…there’s so many victims. It’s unbearably sad when it’s innocent victims, children or when it’s a teenager killing another teenager for absolutely no reason at all. But even sadder than a human being getting destroyed by another human us when a person destroys one’s self. That’s what happened in the Book of Hosea where God says to His people in the Chapter 8:9, “Oh, Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself: but in Me is thine help.” It’s bad enough to be destroyed by a trap set by the enemy and it’s bad enough to fall prey to those forces of darkness that we’re all too aware of, but it’s the most tragic thing when we are the instruments of our own destruction. I believe that the most heartbreaking aspect of the agony that every lost soul will feel is this – that our ruin can be traced not to any OUTSIDE influence but instead to our own completely foolish desires and behavior. We like to think of ourselves as “victims” and we can easily point to all the reasons why we don’t live right, obey God or even live up to our level of faith. Maybe your spouse, or companion has helped to destroy you in many ways or some of your business dealings lead you into the path of ruin. It could be your imagined need for money that you point to as your reason for being disobedient. It also could be just the busyness of running here and there and maybe you can point to these areas and problems and say, “These things are ruining me.”
Some Christians point to their bank account and say, “If only God would give me a little more prosperity, I could serve Him wholeheartedly, but with all my trials and responsibilities I just don’t have any heart for serving Him fully and these things are ruining me. The alcoholic can point to the liquor store and say, “That’s what ruined me.” The adulterer can say, “That’s who ruined me.” The truth of the matter is no demon in hell, no other human, no circumstance, no earthly force can ruin your soul and that’s why God says in Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” As long as you are true to God, you’re invincible, BUT, if you turn your back on God, the One who created you and who you owe your life, salvation, possessions, health and family, you’ll begin to feel yourself stripped of all moral power, tossed about by every wind of adversity, a slave to your circumstances, a prisoner of your desires and lost in life.
Sometimes we blame God and we might say, “I know I ought to be different than I am…but I have a very hard to control my disposition. Other people have it easier and with my circumstances, it’s unreasonable for God to expect me to live differently than I am.” What we’re really doing is shirking our responsibility and throwing it in God’s face. We’re saying, “God, if You had used more wisdom when You made me, you would’ve given me a different personality and circumstances so I could’ve served You.” I don’t think you would walk to God like that, do you? I just point it out because a lot of us think like that in our heart…that we would serve God, only if He would’ve given us different situations in life. As long as we feel like that in our hearts, asking for forgiveness is impossible. None of us ever repent until we see our sin as our own and not somebody else’s and not the fault of God. So, you don’t have special problems but there’s still an answer for you. It’s found no further away than 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” God has grace and strength for you that can help you overcome any situation or circumstance. God says, “I put at your disposal My infinite power and grace and if you receive it, that grace will raise you up. You would’ve become more than a conqueror through the power if My Spirit was dwelling in you and the power that satan himself CAN NOT overcome.
“Why didn’t you go to your God for strength? I would’ve raised you above all these things that held you back!” “Oh, Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself!” Was that heart of yours always hard? There was a time when God could easily touch and move you but you’ve spent all your life hardening it and now, you’re amazed that you’ve succeeded. What makes your heart hard? Resisting the Holy Spirit makes it hard and doing things you know make it hard like, skipping church and neglecting God’s money. Sure, other things may have factored in, but if you had been true to your God, you would’ve never been ruined. When we find ourselves in a state of spiritual ruin, we have to admit – “all this is my own work! I’ve done it to myself and God, I have destroyed myself!” How did it happen? Well, by letting sin invade your nature and allowing yourself to become its victim and by inviting in an enemy, until that enemy has taken full control of your being, lords it over your will and rules over your affections. We’re not talking about other peoples’ opinions and we’re talking what we’ve allowed ourselves to become on the inside. About fulfilling the purpose that God gave us life for and if we fail in our life’s purpose, it isn’t because of God and it isn’t because of other people, it’s because “thou hast destroyed thyself.”
The answer. The verse goes on to say, “in Me is thine help.” God has help for you only if you truly come to Him and if instead of pointing out that you’re better than some other people, you say, “I have destroyed myself. Instead of pointing out all the “good” things we’ve done, we say, God, you KNOW what I am…and I need your help!” If we do that, Jesus is quick to activate God’s life-giving touch on your behalf. He’s quick to cleanse, heal and forgive. He’s quick to bring light and liberty to your darkness were you’re weak and make you strong.
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