Links Daily Devotional

Death Moves

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” (Isaiah 1:18-20, NASB)

I recently saw a golf advertisement on the Internet that claimed you could learn to hit it longer and straighter in just 36 seconds. It could also lower your golf score by three to five strokes by identifying 10 swing killers that absolute eliminate any chance of you hitting a good golf shot. These 10 swing killers are known as the 10 death moves, and the instructor then gives you cures for each of these death moves.

I started thinking about the 10 death moves in the spiritual life that prevent us from living the abundant life that Jesus talked about: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

In life as well as in golf, there is an either/or. To help you indentify and avoid the pitfalls and live the abundant life, I offer my Top 10 Death Moves to the spiritual life.

1. Refusal to accept God’s gift of grace. Just like any gift, grace must be “opened” and experienced to be enjoyed. God loves us so much that he gives us this choice.

2. “All roads lead to heaven.” It’s a common idea, but Jesus proclaimed, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

3. “I can get there on my own.” If we could achieve our own salvation, Jesus’ death on the cross was unnecessary. He came because we could not do it on our own.

4. “I don’t have any real needs.” We all have one very real need: a Savior. Jesus knew that, so he came to rescue us from our death-delivering sin.

5. “I’m better than that bad guy over there.” We are all sinners saved by grace.

6. “There is no hurry.” This is Satan’s biggest lie. No one knows when their life will end here. Jesus did not know when he would return in the end. It could be tomorrow.

7. “Jesus is OK, but he is really not a priority.” Jesus said, “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these [daily needs] will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). God must come first.

8. “How could a loving God cause so much tragedy?” God uses every circumstance—even the worst ones—for his full purpose. Sinful humanity is the root cause of tragedy, but God turns the pain to victory.

9. “I want to be in control.” Quick quiz: How successful have you been in controlling others, the tide, the sunrises, and even the thoughts others have of you? God wants us to be dependent upon him, because he is the one who is truly in control.

10. Isolation. We need interaction with others who are seeking God. Your faith may be very personal but should not be private.

A book could be written (many have!) on each of these 10 death moves. But I suggest that we read the Bible, studying what it says so that we can apply God’s priceless principles to our life. Our death has been overcome by the resurrection of Jesus and his promise of eternal life with him. That promise is worth infinitely more than 30 more yards on your drive and a lower handicap. Trust God on this one. He died so that we could avoid the greatest death of all.

Randy Wolff
March 6, 2014
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