"Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." Matthew 23:28
When the snake fellows in that church out east get bitten and die, it is easy to understand the error. But when we go into that situation claiming the protection of God while practicing the foolishness of men we find it harder to understand why God would let us fall on our foolish backside. Of course Jesus gave us the answer as He answered the Devil during that great temptation in the wilderness when he quoted Deuteronomy 6:16, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God."
How do we recognize the times we are working a right-seeming lawlessness? As always, we need the discernment only our Lord can give. For man or woman has that human ability to convince the self of how right we are in almost any situation before the outcome is known. Sure, we can also recognize foolishness after the fact has lowered the boom on us. It is the discernment of the Lord we need when standing before the doorway of that thing we want to try: "Is it faith and trust in the Lord, or am I foolishly tempting Him?"
By way of example! Walking into a dark alley on the seedy side of town, you belt out your favorite tune, "I Just Got Paid and Have Lots of Cash Money, Honey!" Yes, a good example of stupid-seeming foolishness, the end result probably a robbery and maybe a good beating for your foolishness. On the other hand, you want to spread the Good News of Jesus into that same dark alley, so you walk boldly in trusting in God to save you from your foolishness. What? How is that right-seeming lawlessness? You might well ask. Take a flashlight, fool! Better yet, have a friend drive behind you with his car headlights on to light the way. What good is spreading the good news to an empty alley? (They left to spend that other fool's money.) What good is it to preach boldly while falling into that trench someone dug to repair their sewer line? And of course, make sure first that God says, "Go!" Without His blessing, even the right-seeming stuff can be lawlessness if we are in disobedience to our Lord.Rejoice in the Lord on this Friday!