Proverbs 27:8 Like a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man who strays from his home.
We could see this verse of scripture from a practical point of view as we travail down here upon this earth, but I think the Lord Jesus Christ is giving us a very important spiritual lesson. I personally have observed on quite a few occasions a bird not yet full grown and ready and capable of surviving on its own out of its nest.
The site is very distressing and tears at your heart strings. The tiny bird out of its nest is confused, helpless, and in extreme peril. It chirps and chirps calling for its mother not knowing or understanding where he is or what has happened to his surroundings.
Everything is strange and unfamiliar to his sight, sound, and touch. Anxiety quickens his tiny heart rate to a fever pitch as if it were going to leap out of his small chest. Danger lurks on every side of the little creature.
It does not matter how he got in the situation, but that the situation now has become desperate. His nest was a place of safety and security. Now he is wandering about lost not being able to fly yet and therefore, not knowing how to get back to his nest (the place of safety and security).
Such is every man or woman in Christ who wanders from the sure safety and security of His love and obedience to His Word.
John 14:15 If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. (Quick Amplified Bible)
This does not refer only to the ten commandments, but to every word that God the Holy Spirit spoke through each pen of the holy Apostles in the entire New Testament. Christ has come and called all of His followers to a far higher plain or level of living than just the Old Testament Law. Christ Law of love must produce a heart in love with doing His will.
It is not a changed heart that obeys out of some perceived forced obligation, but on the contrary, a heart filled with love for Him and His words penned by the Apostles. Remember when our Lord responded to one who came to Him with news that His earthly Mother, Brother, and Sisters wanted to see Him.
Matthew 12:48-50 But He replied to the man who told Him, Who is My mother, and who are My brothers? And stretching out His hand toward [not only the twelve disciples but all] His adherents, He said, Here are My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother! (Quick Amplified Bible)
This probably (at that time) seemed to be very harsh, uncaring, and unloving words spoken by our Lord to everyone present, but He was emphasizing the steadfastness and single minded resolve it takes to be a true follower of His.
This type of heart and mind is what we need to keep us from falling into a position to allow ourselves to wander. The Apostle Peter warned us to be wary of this happening in our hearts and lives also.
2 Peter 3:17 Let me warn you therefore, beloved, that knowing these things beforehand, you should be on your guard, lest you be carried away by the error of lawless and wicked [persons and] fall from your own [present] firm condition [your own steadfastness of mind]. (Quick Amplified Bible)
You see this is a real danger that we must all recognize and guard our hearts and minds continually from the constant temptation from the enemy (the devil, working through evil people) to wander away from the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. We are going to have tribulation, trouble, test, as long as we are in this evil world, but in the Lord Jesus Christ we have overcome the world, our flesh, and the devil.
This world system, our fallen nature, and the devil and his wicked spiritual host are continually pulling and tugging at the followers of Christ saying “Come on over here its much better, a lot more fun”, but it is our responsibility to resist (fight, strive, and battle) in Christ strength of course. We must acknowledge our utter helplessness and weakness without Him. His strength works best in weakness. That's what Christ told the Apostle Paul when he (Paul) was given a thorn in his flesh.
2 Corinthians 12:9 But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! (Quick Amplified Bible)
Paul was a man that I don't believe anyone (from reading the words given to him in Scripture) could say that he strayed or wandered from the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. He wrote in Romans 8 that nothing could separate him or any of us from the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus.
However, the Lord Jesus Christ knowing what is in man and that includes everyman (even the Apostle Paul) allows us to receive thorns or attacks from the enemy (the devil) so as to keep us humble before Him (totally dependent on Him) and for us not to be exalted above measure. The Lord Jesus Christ is not going to make our daily choice of activities (what we watch or listen to) for us, but He wants to guide us into all truth.
Not by force, of course, but by our willingness to be obedient. For example, a young boy is at an amusement park and there are many different rides for him to choose from and he has choices that he alone must make as to which ones he will ride. Now he can listen to the suggestion of some of his friends, but ultimately the decision is his and his alone.
This is the way of every true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ daily. The Lord Jesus gives us a guide or (if you please to bring it up to today’s vernacular) a GPS system through His Word, but it is up to us to listen and heed what we read.
What is outside of being obedient to the Word of God? Well, of course, it never means a loss of our salvation, but it does mean broken fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We grieve the Holy Spirit and cause Him to be silent or distant from our hearts. He never leaves, but He just withdraws His close presence.
Now when this happens the Lord Jesus Christ will chasten His children and scourge everyone of His sons and daughters. When you examine the Old Testament in detail, you find that the children of Israel were constantly going through this cycle of rebellion which brought on chastening by the Lord. However, the Lord always sent a prophet to the children of Israel warning them to repent or else judgment would be handed down. They in most all of the occasions rejected the prophet and his words from the Lord because they had gotten so far away from Him and obedience to His Word. God does not take pleasure in judging , but He must because of His nature. Judgment is God's strange work that He must perform because of His holiness.
Isaiah 28:21 For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim, He will be wrathful as in the Valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work, and bring to pass His act, His strange act. (Quick Amplified Bible)
He desires to bless His children and not to punish them. But as a responsible earthly father whips his children when they do wrong, even more so does our Heavenly Father whip His children in order that they may partake in His holiness. The Lord Jesus Christ pleaded through His profits to the children of Israel over and over and over and yet on so many occasions they would not heed and His judgment was the only recourse left. When the Lord Jesus Christ descended from the Mount of Olives down into the city of Jerusalem just prior to His crucifixion, He lamented over the city.
Matthew 23:37-38 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, murdering the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a mother fowl gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused! Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate (abandoned and left destitute of God's help). (Quick Amplified Bible)
Even as He was facing the most horrific thing imaginable (the cross) Christ was not concerned for Himself, but instead He wept over the city of Jerusalem knowing what was going to befall them (another judgment; His strange work) only 40 short years in the future. Likewise today and throughout the centuries the Lord Jesus laments when He has to chasten any of His children because He prefers to give grace rather than discipline.
What have we discovered? 1) When we wander from the love of God in Christ Jesus we open ourselves to the enemy (the devil) and we are vulnerable to his attacks. 2) We force the Lord's chastening hand to be administered to us. This also ties in with number one, because the Lord Jesus will allow the enemy (the devil) to attack His children as a form of discipline. 3) We are utterly helpless and weak when we are away from the Lord's protection. 4) Without totally being obedient to the Lord Jesus and His Word we can do nothing.
Finally, What must we do? 1) No matter what the reason for our wandering, we must repent and come back to the safety of abiding totally in the Lord Jesus Christ. 2) Absolutely cling to the Lord Jesus moment by moment daily and feast upon His Word like a starving man would physical food. 3) Be totally transparent with the Lord Jesus Christ in our prayers, because He already knows all the truth. We might as well confess what He already knows about each of us. Proverbs 28:13 He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes his sins will obtain mercy. (Quick Amplified Bible) 4) We must just simply love the Lord Jesus with all our hearts. When this is true there will never be a desire to wander from the complete safety which is only found in Him and His love.
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, Silent Assassins of the Soul (not yet published; coming soon)