A genie is the sky?
Sadly, in our culture there is this idea that we must get, get, get. God is not a genie in a bottle and if He did not give you something you wanted, then that was not what was best for you. To our demise, we tend to seek selfish desire and that, my friends, is succumbing to the temptations of the evil one. I wanted to go to wherever to serve the Lord, that’s what I wanted and God was supposed to give that to me. That’s not how God works. Whether we realize it or not, God sees into the future and if He knew that where we wanted to go was harmful, He will not send us. Honestly, he sometimes shuts the door so tightly that it is off the table permanently!
We seek money, fame and fortune as way of making ourselves happy in this life and God doesn’t look favorably on this either. If I need the accolades of man to make it through my day, I have lost focus on what God thinks of me and that, my friends, is what matters. Let’s face it we want to be the center of attention too often and we forget about the needs of others and seek only what we want in this life. In the book of 2nd Timothy, we are reminded by the words of Paul the apostle that rough days are coming.
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty (perilous). For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5
The word translated perilous has the idea of troubles, difficulty, and stressful situations. This sort of atmosphere will mark the last days. Bear in mind though, Paul is not describing bad times (wars, famine, evil deeds), he is describing bad people, wicked and depraved!
The Last Days
As the apostle speaks about the last days: we must realize this is a broad term in the New Testament, broad enough to where one could say that the last days began with the birth of the Church on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17). Yet the term is especially appropriate to the season immediately before the return of Jesus and the consummation of all things. Some would think that being aware of the last days is a waste, however we must understand and mark the conditions we see in this world in order that we are prepared.
In Matthew 16:1-4, Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day because they did not or would not understand the meaning of their times: Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times (Matthew 16:3). It is possible that Jesus would have the same rebuke for some Christians today who are unaware of the last days and the soon return of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy chapter 3 verses 2-5 are a description of the human condition in the last days.
“For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” 2 Timothy 3:2-5
This is certainly characteristic of our present age, when men and women are encouraged to love themselves. People are told to love themselves unconditionally and that such self-love is the foundation for a healthy human personality. We don’t need to be encouraged to love ourselves; we naturally have such a love. Neither should we be taught to hate ourselves, but as Paul said in Romans 12:3: “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. We must see ourselves as we really are – both the bad of what we are in the flesh and the glory of what we are in Jesus Christ.”
If we are so self-centered and self-focused that we lose touch with the will of God in our life we will most certainly head for a path of destruction.