The biggest drivers to a ruined soul is the pursuit of selfish gain and worthless things.
Our culture abounds in messages supporting both of these dead ends. The messengers again of course are the masters and teachers of this age that take life and give little. The antidote again to all of this is one Master and one Teacher Jesus Christ. The process again for access to Him as Master and Teacher is His Word and an active life of communication with Him through prayer all under the direction of The Holy Spirit.
Now as a skeptic reading this you are probably saying there you go getting religious on me with this weirdness called The Holy Spirit. I knew this was a religious book. Sorry you are wrong. If Jesus is not captive to religion what He says about The Holy Spirit is equally not religious. What does He say. He says He is going away and leaving humanity the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction. His Word says when you believe Jesus is your Master and Teacher you receive the Holy Spirit. If you have been reading the Book of John you have become aware of this.
So what does all of this have to do with seeking selfish gain and worthless things. Think about it. If you are following a life taking influence you are being told it is all about you and given methods (worthless things) to delude you in thinking this pursuit of your needs is what will truly give you a good life. One problem, as we have talked about, these methods run out of mojo and then you are quickly directed to a new all promising life giving process then it runs out of mojo, and on and on it goes. Listening and obeying Jesus Christ through Word and Prayer under the direction of The Holy Spirit never runs out of mojo.He is always with you, giving you life giving direction and guidance just for your asking.
For a season in life I lived in one of the most affluent areas in Georgia. I did not know it when I picked it. I was in a hurry to get out of the North and go South. I quickly realized the majority of my neighbors and other acquaintances were in full pursuit of selfish gain and worthless things as I had never experienced. The weeks rolled on and I began to see how difficult it was to acquire relationships. If there was any conversation at all it was nauseatingly shallow and at times arrogant.These folks were immersed in the next big car, big deal,big toy and big travel plans period. They had bought in on the life taking message of prosperity and affluence and the mediocrity of their lives was the evidence. Who needs people, who needs any other master when you think you have it all. In reality they had nothing. Being the extrovert I am I began to look for people who had one Master and one Teacher, Jesus. I found a handful and these people were my relational lifeline. When we were together we talked about the latest fresh direction we had gotten from the Holy Spirit and how we could give away ourselves to help others. We came alive in the rich abundance of His love, joy and peace.
We need people. We need a Master. Humanity needs Jesus.
In Psalm 119:28-40 the Psalmist writes:
My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
Keep me from deceitful ways;
be gracious to me and teach me your law.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I have set my heart on your laws.
I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
do not let me be put to shame.
I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding.
Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
How I long for your precepts!
The writer of the Psalm acknowledges clearly the dead end way of selfish gain and worthless things compared to the direction found in the Word and in prayer.
Notice also the words shame and deceit in the passage. Humanity that pursues selfish gains and worthless things have a soul of sorrowful deceit and shame hidden in all they think and feel which leads to duplicitous life choices where they want to do one thing covertly to satisfy their internal ruin but overtly need to look as good as possible in their actions. Never truly satisfied on the inside. A life led by the Master and Teacher Jesus is satisfied on the inside and it is clearly evident on the outside through their love, joy and peace exhibited regardless of circumstances.
Also note in this passage the word Lord. In our next writing in addition to more on The Holy Spirit we will talk more about this concept of Jesus as Lord when you allow Him to be your Master and Teacher.