For some time now, I have observed what I believe to be a much used and deceptive fiery dart successfully used against Christians individually, against their families, and against their churches. And it boils down to this: Christians living their lives more for themselves than for God.
Can you see the inherent problem in this way of thinking?
We go along living our Christian lives characterized by attending church regularly or at the very least semi-regularly, and maintaining a public image that promotes the idea that we are good Christians. We will engage in all sorts of spiritual activities convincing ourselves of the depth of our faith, not realizing our intentions to live good Christian lives have been bushwhacked by fiery darts!
We bask in the blessings that God has giving us without giving much thought to a verse like Romans 2:4 where it’s pointed out that God’s goodness should be leading us to repentance.
Or despise you the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4 King James 2000 Bible
We think of those blessings as more of a reward, I think. So who benefits the most from the life of a Christian who is living her Christian life according to what pleases herself more than in what pleases God? You probably are well aware of the answer!
Let’s consider the following characteristics of Christians living unto themselves:
When trials come our way, we automatically pray to be delivered from them, whether it be in sickness or in problems that have come upon us. We have a tendency to move away from things or people that are creating disturbances in our lives because we can’t stand to suffer.
In marriages we will put up with unhappiness for so long and if the situation does not improve,the fiery darts will justify our decision to leave. If we are dissatisfied with our church, we will put up with our dissatisfaction for so long. Eventually the fiery darts will convince us that we must leave and seek a church where we will be more satisfied.
We are easily deceived by such fiery dart thinking when we are focused mostly on ourselves and what concerns us. Sometimes, but not necessarily always, we have drifted from consistency in our prayer and bible study and our vulnerability to be deceived is increased.
Therefore, by keeping us out of God’s Word and by keeping us from prayer, Satan ensures that we will not mature in our relationship with Christ, which explains why we live in such defeat. FD p. 62