Play It Safe

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Philippians 3:1 “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.”

Several years ago, a preacher friend of mine took me skiing. I had never been skiing before, so he gave me a few lessons on how to ski. One of the rules of skiing that he taught me was that trees never move. In other words, I am safer by staying on the paths that they intended for me to ski on than I was in trying to make a new path through the trees. Yes, there are many who ski off the groomed path in the forest, but many people have been hurt when they lost control and ran into a tree.

Always having to try something new can get you into a lot of trouble. Paul makes a statement, “…To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.” He was telling these believers that there is safety in not trying to find something new to say but in saying what has already been taught.

Many people have found themselves swerving into compromise or false doctrine by always having to have something new. One of the dangers of preachers who think they always have to have something new to say is that they will eventually say something new that is not in the Scriptures. People who think they are spiritually smart will often be too smart for God because they always have to have something new to prove to everyone that they are smart. Safety is not found in always trying to do something a new way, but in doing what we know is the right thing to do. Let me give you a few observations about playing it safe.

First, we don’t need something new, but we need to obey what we already know. There is enough of what we already know that we don’t do that will keep us busy without having to try something new. You don't need anything newer than God’s Word. God’s Word may be as old as God, but the unchanging truths of God’s Word are still relevant and life-changing today.

Second, don’t let the same become old. There is a danger in letting the methods of the past and the truths of God’s Word become old. If you allow the Holy Spirit of God to control your life that the truths of God’s Word and the methods that we have followed from those in the past will never become old because His Holy Spirit will keep them fresh and exciting to your life.

Third, don't look for the new. When you always have to have something new to show to people is when you will do things that God would never want you to do. The old paths are still good for today. Soul winning still works today like it always has worked going back to Christ. Sunday school still works today if you will work the Sunday school. You don't need to cut out Sunday school; you just need to work it like it was worked in the past. The old paths of preaching, separation, holding to the King James Bible still work today.

Fourth, the smartest person is the person who doesn’t have to say something new but says and does what has already been said and done in the past. I often tell people that I don't need to recreate the wheel because God’s wheel of how to do things still works today. Let me challenge you to stop trying to find something new and work what has always worked, for there is safety in doing the same works of the past today.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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