Barking Up The Wrong Tree

27 Feb 20   -  Writings

[ Preached by Pastor Kenneth Chin at Acts Church Malaysia on 1 January 2017 ]

Read | 2 Timothy 3:1-7

The bible says that in the “Last Days”, the earth will be filled with lovers of themselves, but we can teach the church to be the opposite. For us to live differently, we will have to make sure we do not bark up the wrong tree.

And what are they? 


You will be surprised that sometimes, we can be very spiritual when we should be doing good works on earth. It is alright to be eternally minded, but do not forget to be of earthly use too.

The Tree of GOOD instead of GOD

There are a lot of people who will fight for what is “good”, but not necessarily what is “God”. The enemy has a strategy where he will want us to chase after what is “good”. 

If you keep chasing after what is “good”, instead of what is “God”, it will not get any better. In some cases, it can get worse instead.

God is good but good is not God. 

And because God is good, He will also be good to you. 

The Tree of DESIRE instead of DISCIPLINE

You cannot bark up the “tree of desire” without barking up the tree of “discipline”. For example, you can desire to lose weight and get fit, but you will not progress anywhere without any discipline.

The Tree of RESULTS instead of OBEDIENCE

God is a miracle-working God, He does not work in the way of man. If we keep hoping to get more for what was invested, we will not experience God. We continue to do what God tells us to do and experience what God wants us to experience. 

Even though Simon Peter sunk, he still managed to walk on water. It is better to walk and sink than never walking at all like the other eleven who stayed on the boat.

The Tree of what is EASIER instead of what is RIGHT

Did you know an easy life would also be a boring life? When your life is too easy, you will not have a story. People are interested in buying a book that has a story loaded with twists and turns. You naturally would not want to learn about a rich businessman becoming where he is because of his inheritance.

The Tree of SUCCESS instead of FAITHFUL

Mother Teresa once said, “I was not called to be successful, I was called to be faithful.” 

She prayed for God to use her and God used her to do so much good. She has also said not to judge her by all the good that she has done, but yet, all that she has done is very impressive.

What she has done in her life does not make her who she is. Her DNA, destiny, and dignity were only found in one – that is being faithful to God.

The Tree of BUSY instead of PRIORITY

If you are busier, it does not mean that you are higher in status, but the world is going to make you feel that way.

We were not called to be busy, we were called to be productive. 

These are two very different words because some people can be so busy that they are busy doing nothing. If you choose to stop barking up that tree of busyness just for busy sake, God will allow you time for what is important. 

The Tree of CHARISMA instead of CHARACTER

A man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Stop spending time on things that will not last such as external beauty, but start looking at your heart and building who you are.

When I look for a church leader, I do not look at their talent because that can come and go. I look at their testimony and character because those are the things that stay. 

Charisma does not last, so exchange that physical mirror for a spiritual mirror. 

The Tree of SIGHT instead of FAITH

A lot of us are tempted to go by sight, but the Lord is going to challenge us into uncomfortable things so that we experience a breakthrough.

When we bark up the right tree, we will find answers and truth that leads us to our Master. If we bark up the wrong tree, we can be “always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7). 

Where will you go? 


Written by Jayden Thean
Edited by Hailey Chung