Taking the High Road

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

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Proverbs 22:11 Anyone who loves a pure heart and gracious speech is the king’s friend.

When I was growing up and into my teenage years, it seemed like me and my buddies were always scheming of ways to do things we shouldn’t have been doing. I remember at the age of 13 scheming to steal tobacco and a pipe from a local drug store to then take into a local gas station bathroom with a couple of buddies and smoke.

Have you ever been a schemer? When I ask you that, do you think of that word in more of a negative sense? The word scheme simply means to plot a course of action. It does not carry a natural negative connotation with it. But, I think there other words or phrases that are used before the word scheme such as, a plan, methodology, a proposal, a design, a system, or a chart. These are all words used for various plans of action. At least in my mind, scheme seems to carry the thought of a negative or deviant plan of action. For the sake of this writing, I will speak of scheming in the negative sense of the word.

The main reason people scheme is either to do something they are not supposed to do that they want to do, or to get something in a way that is not legally or ethically right. The world is filled with people that secretly scheme and do things in secret to execute their plans. Even in eating people hide and sneak snacks hiding the fact they are eating them. People scheme to climb the corporate ladder or to close a sales deal or to cheat on their taxes. The world is filled with schemers. I would have probably still been scheming had I not given my life to Jesus.

As I began to learn the Bible, I came to realize that scheming was bad and that the main reason people schemed was to find a way to get what they wanted. This usually being because they did not or would not ask for God’s help and even if they did, they weren’t patient enough or truly had the faith to believe God would help them. Scheming will lead you far from God. Scheming will hurt or destroy your ability to be sensitive to God’s voice. It will also hinder from ever learning the character development of trusting God – something critical to ever receiving the fullness of blessing that God so desperately wants us to have in life.

Proverbs helps us see the person that won’t trust or listen to God’s leading on how to do something and ends up scheming. Proverbs 1:30-31 says, Since they would not accept My advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. Then Proverbs 24:8 says, He who plots evil will be known as a schemer.

Even the Apostle Paul had to deal with people that handled the word of God with motives that were not pure but instead for gain or popularity or power. It bothered Paul but he knew there would always be people that would do some good things for wrong motives and he couldn’t change that. He knew that whether their motives were pure or not that the gospel and the Word of God would still minister to people. He just purposed to rejoice over that. Philip. 1:15-18 says, Some are preaching out of jealousy and envy. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know the Lord brought me here to defend the Good News. Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely… But whether or not their motives are pure, the fact remains that the message about Christ is being preached, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.

I know that when we want something, our flesh does not like to wait. But that is part of the work that God wants to do in us. God tells us to forget about what others are doing to get their stuff and their ways. Instead wait on Him. Psalm 37:7-8 says, Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not worry or be anxious about evil people who seem to succeed in their ways when they carry out their wicked schemes. Stop your anger and turn from your rage, it only leads to harm.

I know we live in an evil world and sometimes we are tempted to compromise our integrity to keep up with others that scheme. Don’t do it! God has a higher way! Matt 5:8 says, Blessed are the pure in heart (motive and purpose) for they shall see God (and understand His ways.) And Proverbs 22:11 says, Anyone who loves a pure heart and gracious speech is the king’s friend. Be pure in heart and ask and trust God. Over time as you look back, you will see the high road was the only road to take!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

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