"For Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom." 1 Kings 2:28
Joab stood the big test, he remained absolutely loyal and true to David and did not turn after the fascinating and ambitious Absalom, but yet towards the end of his life he turned after the craven Adonijah. Always remain alert to the fact that where one man has gone back is exactly where any one may go back (see 1 Cor. 10:13). You have gone through the big crisis, now be alert over the least things; take into calculation the "retired sphere of the leasts."
We are apt to say - "It is not in the least likely that having been through the supreme crisis, I shall turn now to the things of the world." Do not forecast where the temptation will come, it is the least likely thing that is the peril. In the aftermath of a great spiritual transaction the "retired sphere of the leasts" begins to tell; it is not dominant, but remember it is there, and if you are not warned, it will trip you up. You have remained true to God under great and intense trials, now beware of the undercurrent. Do not be morbidly introspective, looking forward with dread, but keep alert; keep your memory bright before God. Unguarded strength is double weakness because that is where the "retired sphere of the leasts" saps. The Bible characters fell on their strong points, never on their weak ones.
"Kept by the power of God" - that is the only safety.
Reprinted from http://www.myutmost.org/04/0419.html
If you are not familiar with Oswald Chambers nor his devotional classic, "My Utmost for His Highest", the I would suggest you check out the online version or purchase one of the slim paperback versions (available everywhere) and spend some time with this devout and deeply thoughtful man.
Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) was a Scottish minister and teacher whose teachings on the life of faith and abandonment to God have endured to this day. His wife collected his teachings and created this daily devotional format.
As I read last nights entry something struck me and it has sat with me this entire day. O.C. writes the following:
The Bible characters fell on their strong points, never on their weak ones.
How simply powerful, how perceptible, how utterly true. And, not just for bible characters, but for each one of us. We all fall or sin where we are strongest, not necessarily in our weak areas. We tend to think the reverse is true that we are weak and therefore easily tempted. In truth, however, we sin far more often when we no longer require the Lord's help, when we no longer need him to rescue us. We sin in arrogance, in haste, in self-confidence, in the times when we know we can do it ourselves. In our frailty we cry out to Him to save us, to help us, to sustain us. But in those times when our confidence is high and our strength is renewed, we choose to walk alone. This is when we fail, when we sin, when we go it alone.
I thought today of the times in my life when I have been riding a wave of enthusiasm, when I have been at the very top of my success or when I have been fully in-control. I was alive, I was well, I was moving forward, until in one swift moment, in passion and haste, I fell -- terribly--awfully--incredibly far down from that precipice.
Christ said that he is strong when we are weak. Yes, this is true. But we need him most when we are strong and self-confident and are tempted to walk alone. Let us remember to keep our eyes upon Jesus, no matter how good we feel or how strong we may be. We need him to keep our feet from stumbling and to keep us firmly grounded on the Rock of our Salvation.
Selah! (Amplified says...pause and calmly think of that!)