1 Kings 13:14 – And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am.
Hello, new blog today. A simple thought today, Christian keep walking. It’s so easy to do what this man of God did. He stopped, and in stopping to take a break, it put him in a situation that caused him to believe a lie, to disobey God, and which ultimately cost him not only his testimony, but his very life. And this was a man of God… read 1 Kings 13… there’s a lot to learn from it, and once again it’s better to read for yourself as this blog will assume familiarity with the passage.
This man of God was used mightily by God. He was bold as a lion, but ended up being slain by a lion. He obeyed God, but his obedience was followed by disobedience. He was smart and wise, but it was followed by foolishness. The Bible exhorts us to endure, to continue. That is an inescapable part of scripture… to finish well. We have to finish the course. Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7 – I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith… hopefully this is you. Jesus prayed before his betrayal and crucifixion in John 17:4 – I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. Because many Christians have no finished the course, they have fallen away… they might have escaped Egypt… but they wandered in the wilderness for the rest of their life.
This man of God, who did what you and I probably would never have the faith and courage to do. He had a clear directive from God, and he obeyed it… but then he sat down under a tree. And that changed it all… right to that point he was obeying God to the letter… but he stopped walking, he sat down… game over. Colossians 1:23 says “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven”… once saved by that word of the gospel, we have to continue in it, we have to keep it, we have to fight the fight, onward Christian soldier. Jesus is the captain of the host as Joshua saw, and this is a battle, life is a war for a believer, spiritual warfare, with real enemies, a world that hates us as it hated Christ, our flesh striving against the Holy Spirit in us.
This man of God was sitting down, he was stopped. When we get lazy, when our guard goes down, when we stop moving, we are vulnerable. When we lost that drive, that leading of the Holy Spirit, that discipline, that obedience to God… we put ourselves in a vulnerable position. This man wasn’t duped by just anybody, he was duped by a prophet… who lied to him. You’d be surprised who is lying to you, you’d be surprised what people with titles and track records can do to you. This man of God had heard from God, the old prophet HAD NOT. It was young Elihu who had God’s word, Job’s older, “wiser” friends did not. Just because someone speaks to you in God’s name, just because someone speaks to you who is Christian… does NOT mean they are telling you the truth, intentionally or not. Check things out with God’s word, and God had told him to go home and not to stop on the way back. It doesn’t matter what the prophet said, and doesn’t matter what authority he had, this man of God had heard from God directly… and so do we when we read God’s word, why believe someone else, no matter how fanciful, no matter how credible, no matter what comes down the pipe. Most people think Satan must be an idiot and that threats to your life and walk with God will be obvious, no he is subtil… that’s the first thing the Bible says about him… it was a prophet Satan used here, a prophet of “God”… the danger was real, but the lie was well presented given the reputation of the prophet.
All because he stopped moving. He stopped growing. We can stop growing… how do we grow as believers? 1 Peter 2:2 – As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. You grow by reading God’s word, by meditating upon it, by storing it up in your heart. Then when you grow, God puts you on the meat of the word… and when you’re in the word, as 1 Peter goes on to say, you taste that the Lord is gracious. His ways are so good, so holy, so clean, so pure, they work, they’re right… after all he is the designer, the creator of this whole thing, so he has the wisdom to tell us how to live, he has the foresight… the Bible gives us sight for our lives not just for the span of our life here, but for all of eternity. But we can stop moving, we can stop growing in the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. God wants to make us more Christlike, and as his Spirit lives in us, we become Christlike, we do not become Christ, but we become like him as he lives in us and through us.
You’ve got to start moving and keep moving. Abraham kept moving, all the way to Mount Moriah. He didn’t stop when God told him to go somewhere, to do something. He would rise up early and do it. It’s when we stop, it’s when our walk with God, it’s when our fellowship stalls, that bad things start to happen. And next minute the lion’s got us… and it takes God to deliver us from the mouth of the lion. We get ourselves into trouble countless time, getting led down the garden path, believing lies, walking in darkness, doing wrong, having no victory… all because we lost our walk, we sat down, we stopped. Life is journey, your shoes won’t wear out on this journey, it’s not tiring through the power of God, but it is a journey nonetheless. Deuteronomy 29:5 – And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. Elijah went on a journey for 40 days and the food that God had provided was enough to sustain him. God gives the grace to get through this life, but our duty is to keep going, to keep growing, faith is active, not passive, it’s not get saved and revert back to our old slop, backsliding will cost you dearly, just as it cost Lot. He stopped moving, he went backwards, and so far backwards his life was a mess. The lion got him. Satan is a roaring lion. This man of God stopped, and at the end of it, he lost out. This is a warning to us. Don’t stop, don’t sit down under the big old oak tree. He was getting some shade, getting some rest, taking time out, and it made him ripe for the picking. It’s not a crime to rest, but don’t do it at the cost of obedience to God’s word. He was in disobedience, he should’ve rested, he should’ve stopped when he got home, when he was out of the danger zone. But he didn’t make it out, and never did.
You’ve gotta get going, and keep going as a Christian. Don’t check out on God. Don’t take a detour. We have a real enemy of our soul, there’s a lot at stake. Read the story, and it’s almost impossible not to ask why… why was the punishment so severe? Why did this man of God who started out so well, end so poorly? His life is a warning to us. Satan goes about as a roaring lion, and the lion got this man, because he disobeyed God, because he stopped walking. It’s not wrong to need rest and have rest, in fact rest is of God, he wants you resting in the promised land though, in his rest. God told him in 1 Kings 13:17 – For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest. Yet he disobeyed God’s clear word to him. Fatal mistake. He should’ve gone home, but he stopped on the way home. Incomplete obedience, partial obedience, is disobedience. It’s not that God’s word isn’t clear to us… it’s that we disobey it. He didn’t go all the way in his obedience, he was nearly there, but nearly there isn’t there. He got fooled, duped, and it cost him his life, and his testimony was “the man that disobeyed God”. In fact his life was a trophy, because as the lion did not eat his carcase, but stood by it, so Satan stands by the carcases of ministries, of men of God, who disobeyed God, he stands triumphantly. He was pretty triumphant as the news of David’s sin with Bathsheba went throughout Israel, causing God’s name to be blasphemed. But the lion doesn’t need to get you, in fact the lion cannot touch you, if you obey God, both in terms of obedience to the gospel in getting saved and obeying God’s word as the foundation of your life. And just like this man should’ve kept walking, we need to keep walking in obedience to God’s word, and that way we will find our way safely home.