“The man that wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.”

Proverbs 21:16

Our “wondering” (adoration) or wandering will determine where we end up.

Someone once defined worship as “A.C.T.S:”  “Adoration. . .Confession. . .Thanksgiving  . . . and Supplication.”  And, today’s Manna warns of the danger of “having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof” (II Tim. 3:5).

We shouldn’t be surprised that Jesus caricatured the Pharisees as “whitewashed sepulchers full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness” (Mt. 23:27)—for He knew their lives and worship were a show and a sham.  Outwardly, they looked beautiful. . .quite pious and worshipful. . .as they prayed their flowery prayers with stained-glass voices.

But, inwardly, they were full of spiritual death and decay, which always makes God sick to His stomach (Rev. 3:14-17; Amos 5:21-23).

And, as Solomon reflected upon this, the Spirit led him to capture the reason for such wretched, spiritual rottenness:  Because they’ve “wandered out of the way of understanding.”

Simply put, the “congregation of the dead” consists of those who have show, but no substance.  Externals, but no eternal Essence.  Flattery, but no fruitfulness.

Or, as someone put it, “They talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk.”

And, it doesn’t take long for the spiritually-minded person to figure out in which congregation they worship—for true worshippers in “the congregation of the Redeemed” can spot such deadness a mile away.

This doesn’t mean we are to pull our “robes of righteous” tightly around us and avoid such like the plague; it’s simply a call to intercession, not criticism, and the importance of allowing the sweet fragrance of Heaven’s Rose in our lives to ooze out of every pore in our being.

Rigidity and true Righteousness can never coexist together; neither can Love and hatred.

Just as Light and darkness cannot dwell together side-by-side so can the “congregation of the dead” and God’s redeemed “company of saints” not have fellowship together, for they no longer have anything in common (Rom. 6:1-23).

So, dear Pilgrim, the question is “In which congregation do you worship?”

The living or the dead?

When you go to worship, is your heart drawn to Heaven or do you have to fight dozing off and are constantly looking at your watch, wondering how much more ad nauseum you have to endure?

Truly, those who “wander out of the way of understanding”—i.e., the “strait-and-narrow way”—are those who travel the “wide, downward road toward destruction” (Mt. 7:13-14).  May the Holy Spirit quicken us by His Power today so that others will wonder why we’re so alive when others are so dead.  And, may we be quick to tell them it’s because of Jesus, the Resurrected One Who lives within our heart.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated September 22, 2010

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