Proverbs 23:32 In the end it bites like a snake and stings like a viper.
The agitated man walked quickly into the lobby of the church. While gasping for air, he said to me, “I have been wrapped up in immoral sin for years now. I have done some terrible things, and I have been on every imaginable porn-site there is, plus my wife is fed up and is leaving me today. I want you to pray and ask God to take this mess away.” I said, “Well, you have taken the first step by confessing your sin.” He said, “I need this fixed today before my wife walks out!” Prov. 29:1 He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
I am rarely lost for words, but at that moment all I could think was, “Are you for real?” He was for real, as he kept expressing his need to have this done quick and fast because he did not know how to fix it himself. He wanted the Reader’s Digest or the fast-food version of religious deliverance. Since I was slow in coming up with the answers he wanted to hear in this brief encounter, he left in a rush, exasperated at the little help I (we the church) could do for him at that moment. My concern was for his wife. If he was trying to manipulate God to do his bidding, then what were the empty promises going to be like when he caught up with her?
I’m not saying that in the twinkling of an eye, God cannot take this mess away from this man’s life, or that God cannot change his heart. What I am saying is that true repentance and deliverance from the shackles of iniquity will take humble courage in handing the mess over to God. True humility will forgo the fast-food relief program and will let the Lord fix the mess the way He wants to proceed with the healing of a soul. Yes, there are instant miracles of deliverance recorded in the word. The madman of Gadara was miraculously healed and delivered on the spot. Mark 5:8 For He was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” Thank God this is possible, as it gives all mankind real hope.
The tendency toward fast-food religion is nothing new. Jesus confronted this trait in the religious leaders when He rebuked the Pharisees for wanting a fast and flashy sign to determine the next step in their religious program. Matt. 12:38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” Watch what you ask for because the sign may reveal a gaping hole in your quick and fast system. Matt. 12:39 He answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. They eventually got their sign when Jesus rose from the dead and changed the way God would be approached from that time on. The Pharisees’ religion was now redundant. They too needed to be born again through Jesus, whom they crucified.
Growth in the kingdom of God comes to us by going through the salvation method that God has laid out for all humanity. Our fast, and we want deliverance now, done our way, is at war with what the Lord says His delivering plan truly is. Most people want to be delivered from the mess in their life that took many years to become ingrained into their character. The tsunami-type waves that will eventually crash upon a person’s life due to their repetitive sinning will cause everything to become unhinged, and there is nothing of substance to hang onto as a liferaft. Prov. 23:32 In the end it bites like a snake and stings like a viper.
Similar to the man I met in the church lobby, Judas Iscariot was on the fast-food religion plan. He wanted deliverance from Rome and he wanted it now. God’s plan was and still is to deliver man from eternal death and the power of sin. Judas Iscariot’s sins were clouding his judgment and did not allow him to see what Jesus was doing on an eternal scale. True enough, we can pray and ask God to move faster on the events blowing up in our life, but that will still be God’s call as to how and when it is dealt with.
God is preparing a banquet of glorious enjoyment for those who have received Jesus as Lord. Our Heavenly Father is not the creator of a religious fast-food substitute that will only result in carnal indigestion. Let us come to God’s table and live the victorious life He has prepared for us. Trust the plan God has personally created for you and taste the goodness of His eternal love. Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in Him. Blessings and peace to us all.