Fame or Freedom

** Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. ** Psalm 7:4

I love biographies. Since I was in elementary school I have read many biographies of famous people. People that have accomplished amazing things. People like Booker T. Washington, Babe Ruth, Knute Rockne, Billy Graham and Ruth Graham Bell, David Livingstone, Adoniram Judson, Amy Carmichael, and Eleanor Roosevelt as well as others.

Each one has had an impact on me. Each one has taught me principles to live by. Each one has inspired and encouraged me to rise above my circumstances and do the best that I can.

I have not read many biographies of today’s leaders as I have found them to be self-serving. But I have seen some biographical films depicting the ” real life” behind the fame and fortune of various singers like Diana Ross, Elvis Presley, and Aretha Franklin. What struck me in each of their stories is that they found their voice and talent participating in church choirs or doing solos. Their gift came from the focus of their song. God.

As I followed the stories of these famous men and women, a common thread appears. They begin to focus on their talent instead of the One who gave them the talent. The praise they received for their talent and the feeding of their personal egos drew them away into the MTV style world. Travel, shows, recordings, and new friends drew them deeper into a life that was nothing like their old one. This is not to say that their church life was perfect. Sin was there as well. But the desire for a bigger audience became their driving force.

Fame and fortune are common temptations for anyone. We all want to make our mark, be important, have value, be noticed, to know that our life matters and has had some impact on our generation. 1 John tells us that ** all that is in this world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.** The challenge is to choose to have an impact on our little corner of our world the Lord’s way and not the world’s.

** Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. ** Psalm 7:4

The Lord makes things pretty simple. So simple that even a child can understand. Psalm 7 tells us that David stayed on track with God by being faithful to His Word. God’s Word was his compass. Although he lived a life with many temptations like revenge, murder, women, fame, and fortune, He chose to stay focused. He decided every day to draw from the Lord and His Word to help him to resist all that the world and the devil wanted him to fall prey to. People were in his face all the time taunting him to deal badly with his tough situations. But he refused to yield to them. He leaned hard into God and depended on the Truth of His Word to guide him. He greatly desired to not fall victim to those temptations. And the Bible tells us that other than the matter with Bathsheba and her husband, he did.

All that doesn’t mean that our lives will be perfect, problem-free or worry-free if we are diligent in learning from the Scriptures. But our life will be much easier to deal with if we stay close to Him and draw from His Word every day. His Word will give us hope, clarity, show us our heart, and guide us back to where we should be walking if we stray off the right path.

Some of these famous men and women found their way back to the right path. Others didn’t. They stayed bound in a world that ultimately destroyed them.

I believe that our lives are guided by the merciful and gracious hand of God. All the good that we have comes down from the Father of lights. We are saved by His grace. We are kept by His love. But I also understand that we have decisions to make every day. Fame or Freedom. Fame of this world or Freedom to serve God with our whole heart.

David was a master harpist. He was called before King Saul to play and sing to rid him of his evil spirit. How much more famous can you get than to be the king’s personal musician? David stayed on track, kept his eyes on the Lord, did his best to do right and God exalted him to the highest position. He didn’t look for it. He was happy to be a shepherd. He was faithful in the life that he had. He was free to serve and love God. And in that freedom he not only came to serve Israel’s king but became King himself.

We can learn from the lives of others, to learn from their wise choices or their unwise ones. We can learn from the price they paid for temporary fame or the reward they have from eternal freedom in serving God.

When we choose freedom in Christ, to serve and love Him above all else, who knows what God might do with our lives and what impact we may have? When we allow God’s Word to guide us daily, who knows where it will take us?

** Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. ** Psalm 7:4

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