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A Heart For God: Fast Asleep In Presumption

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fast Asleep In Presumption

I wanted to bring up Pilgrim’s Progress this week while I’m out of town, beloved. I thought it would be a good thing to help keep everybody in the frame of mind as we’ll be continuing the sermon series on John Bunyan’s Christian classic next Sunday. And I don’t know if you remember the part in the book where Christian just sets out on his journey after he leaves his burden behind at The Place Of Redemption. It’s at that point that he immediately encounters three individuals (bottom of pg. 30 to pg. 31). Do you remember that? Their names are: “Simple,” “Sloth” and “Presumption.” These are interesting characters to say the least. The book says about Simple, Sloth and Presumption: they were all “fast asleep, with fetters upon their heels.” “Fetters” is just another word for “chains.” And so they’re literally bound and locked up, my brothers and sisters, and can’t be freed from their spiritual slumber without outside help. Yet when Christian offers a hand, telling them they must be sober and vigilant as regards their adversary the devil who prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour, Simple responds, “There’s no danger.” He’s asleep in his denial. Sloth says, “Yet a little more sleep.” His laziness is what’s got him under the bed sheets. And Presumption closes, “Every fat must stand upon his own bottom.” Which, in other words, means: “Don’t bug me. I’m okay. Just worry about yourself.” (“Every [person] must stand upon his own [ground].”) Of course, Presumption couldn’t be wrong and someone else right! It is this last character that peaked Kim and my interest as we talked about those who live their whole lives and then, there they are on their death bed, and you would share Christ with them to save their soul, but their response is, “No thanks. That’s all right for you. But for me, you see, my whole life I’ve done it another way.” And to admit at the end of your days that you’d lived your entire life for the wrong thing, it’s a tall order. Think about it. There are many “Presumptions” out there. They’ve “presumed” their way is the right way. And that, in the end, God must save them. The devil told Jesus to jump from the pinnacle of the temple since, after all, the angels would catch Him. The Bible even said so! But what was Christ’s answer? “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” And so Jesus literally wouldn’t put God to the test. Which is just another way of saying He wouldn’t presume upon His Father and force His hand to do things a different way than He saw fit. We must be careful that our Christian life isn’t us calling the shots, but the Lord, my friends. “Thy kingdom come, [God’s] will be done.”

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