“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who
WALK not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:4)
LEARNING HOW TO WALK II
THE WALK OF HONESTY: “But that (seed which fell) on the good ground are they, which in an HONEST and good heart, having heard the Word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:15) Have you ever heard the saying that a man is only as good as his word? It does make sense that if we cannot trust someone to tell the truth that maybe there is an even deeper problem of deception lurking within their character. As Christians in today’s world where everything is analyzed under the microscope of “intelligent fact finding” it is crucial that we not only tell the truth – but that we WALK it! Our word is our “witness” because every eye is watching and every ear is listening! Our life is on constant display as a “mission” that is based on producing the good news of the gospel. Those who commit to living in honesty, realize their actions ARE their testimony and will give Christ a reliable “golden” vessel to work through. If we talk it but choose NOT to WALK it out, then we are living in hypocrisy and in danger of chastisement. If we just “act” out our knowledge in front of others but “secretly” disobey what we know is true, we have betrayed our own conscience and are living in deception. Those who choose to play religious “games” are actually a stumbling block to the ones who desperately need to see that Jesus is real. No one is standing in line waiting to watch a sanctimonious parade.
The Lord is not just talking about stealing supplies from work or exaggerating on tax returns, He is talking about hiding behind an outward “facade” that is not genuinely who we are. This fraudulent lifestyle is preventing us from maintaining our intimacy with God and could be exactly what is holding back the powerful anointing that Father is waiting to pour into us so that we can accomplish His mission. Wearing a mask is NOT being HONEST whether it is with our spouse, our parents, our children, our family, our job, our church or even ourselves and especially with God! It is miserable to live a double life and to always be on guard with what we say in fear of exposing our true identity. Now wait a minute brother, what people don’t know about my privacy won’t hurt them, besides I do not like being transparent. Well, it is one thing to keep your thoughts to your self but many people tend to share their feelings about others to everyone except the person they are talking about. If we want to be truly honest we can wait until God tells us to deliver a message to someone and not confide with anyone else. The best policy is to NOT criticize others in secret because we hate it when people do this to us. Honesty is closely connected to DISCIPLINE which is directly linked to SPIRITUAL MATURITY. Selah. We must embrace a plan of action that begins with repentance to God, then we can ask Him for a brand new mind to WALK in His truth and finally on to being genuine with others under the influence of God’s grace and wisdom. No wonder anxiety is a modern day plague – because the conscience is filled with strife. The normal church is filled with those who think they are Bible scholars and will fight over their legalistic creeds but are actually spiritually blind in their understanding of what it means to know God! Many in today’s religious society look good and sound good but are hurting, wounded, confused and lost. Sadly, most are so stubborn about their doctrines and so busy arguing like a court appointed attorney, they ignore the awareness of WALKING in God’s presence. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is WITHIN the cup and of the platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like unto white washed sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and sin.” (Mathew 23: 25-28) Be someone you would want to be friends with. Selah.
Premeditated sin is a severe type of dishonesty and causes a distance in our relationship with Father as He knows we are fraudulent, unfaithful, corrupt and two-faced. “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that says, I know Him and keeps not His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him.” (I John 2:3-4) When we make a mistake and slip-up in sin, it is still a serious offense toward God but if we repent and try not to do it again we can learn and continue the process of advancing in our sanctification. Sin is sin and all sin should make us sorrowful. Our new spirit and our new nature should grieve because we have turned against the One who died to set us free from sin. But when we intentionally sin, this means we take the time to plan it and meditate on it. We know all about it and are perfectly awake and aware of what we are doing. This type of sin is very serious and is in direct contrast to way we should be thinking and living. If we say we are sorry but commit the same sin over and over everyday, it would seem something is very wrong. Only the Lord knows how many times He will forgive but it appears the deciding factor would be the sincerity of our repentance and just how serious we are to STOP! The mercy of the Father endures forever but He is also not mocked. In John chapter 8, we see a young woman who was brought to Jesus. She is accused of committing adultery and in the Law of Moses this trespass was to a sin unto death. Jesus bends down and writes something in the dirt with his finger and makes the comment, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (Verse 7) Her accusers become convicted in their conscience, dropped their stones and walked away leaving only the woman and Jesus. He say’s in verse 10 and 11, “Woman, where are your accusers? Hath no man condemned you? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn you: go and sin no more.” He is not saying that we will all live perfect without ever making a mistake but if we are determined to live HONESTLY in our personal relationship with Him, it will include inviting Him to purge out our desires that are enmity against Him. Turning away from whatever we lust after is a 180 degree turn. The idea is that we are going full speed ahead in one direction and by the grace of God we turn around and go completely away from it in the opposite way!
We have been called to the highest responsibility in the universe – to be the mouth, hands and feet of Jesus which is a reflection of the Fathers image. If no one trusts us or believes that we are telling the truth then we do not have much left to offer anyone. Being rich, famous, educated or successful does not really say anything about how HONEST we are. Would you take advice from someone that does live what they say? Why not? Do you admire and respect those who blatantly live in sin? No, because we cannot trust DECEPTION. The lost world might be impressed with human achievements but God is more concerned about the spiritual “state of the heart”! “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us WALK honestly, as in the day; not in rioting (reveling, carousing) and drunkenness, not in chambering (rebellion against authority) and wantonness (morally unrestrained, debauchery), not in strife and envying. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:12-14) We have all seen what dishonesty looks like and it is always dark and hideous. I work for a large corporation and have seen things that would stagger the imagination. There are so many dirty deeds that are done “under the table” everyday that always make room for “exceptions” to the rules. Those that have traded their integrity for money, favor and authority are very dangerous and ruthless when it comes to playing social politics and can cause much damage because they do not care who it negatively affects. We as Christians are faced with having to function in a world where the majority is usually non-Christian and in this regard, operate without a conscience that is sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Without the presence of Jesus dwelling in the heart, there cannot be spiritual love, wisdom or the concern to live honestly. When carnal nature rules the conscience, there will be deception, dishonesty, backbiting, envy, strife, jealousy, hatred, and every other opposition to what is right, especially toward those who in the family of God. Birds of a feather flock together and the spirits of darkness and light do not agree on anything. What we need to remember is that we are not to battle in our flesh against our enemies but to work hard, do a good job, stay pure and take ALL our problems to Father in the secret place of prayer. Even when our trials are breaking our heart, making us angry and tempting us to be offended, we must stand firm in our faith that KNOWS God has a plan. Dishonesty is a branch on the liar tree and is always unfair, unjust, deceptive and hurtful. Our ACTIONS against this dark spirit is not what can make things right – but God through our REACTION will settle the issue His “perfect” way.
Honesty is one of our spiritual identifications! Let us be a peculiar people who are known for being reliable, trustworthy, credible, fair, wise, pure, respected, dependable, and who cannot be persuaded to compromise their integrity – no matter the pressure. “Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands is MISCHEIF and their right hand is full of BRIBES. But as for me, I will walk in mine INTEGRITY: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.” (Psalm 26:9-11) If we have lived a Godly life and gained the respect from those who know us, we will not need to push our opinions or chase people with our bibles. They will come to us for advice and direction because they TRUST us and believe we will be HONEST in God. We can work around the clock but unless our character is built on the complete surrender to Christ, our labor is in vain. Selah.