THE WALK OF ABANDONMENT II
The Christian life is NOT a fight to those who abide by the world’s system of flesh. Spiritual warfare is meaningless to those who do NOT desire to abandon the love of the world or their determination to live their own life. Religious people will not hesitate to refer to praying or their expectation of heaven but our level of abandonment unto God is the real spiritual thermometer that “tempers” our love and prayers. I attended a funeral one time where the minister tried to tiptoe around a difficult situation and in the process delivered an immune message that I am not sure, anyone really understood. I admit that some funerals are tough and this one was, but if the celebration of a life lived for God is not there, the message of salvation should be presented to those who still have a chance to repent and give their heart to Jesus. There was never mentioned the plan of salvation, the blood of Jesus, or the desperate need to be born again. The funeral home was standing room only and no doubt, many needed to hear an anointed message of spiritual reality but instead it seemed he was trying to reassure everyone that we are all just a bunch of good ole boys and girls that will be having field parties in heaven forever. What ever happened to the fire and passion about how much God demands holiness or what personal intimacy within a spiritual relationship with Jesus is all about.
The ministry is a calling to those who will abandon their fears to speak the truth. Whatever happened to the responsibility of speaking GOD’S words and not selling out to pleasing men? Anyone that disobeys God in word or deed is guilty of sin and will stand before God for not being faithful. I know that all of us have blown opportunities to witness for Christ and we need to repent and ask God to help us do better next time. But, how many pastors are intimidated by their members and do not care about what The Holy Spirit is saying because they are afraid that obeying God will cause them to lose their jobs? Everyone wants to hear that all people go to heaven no matter if they were saved or not but doesn’t this just make us more comfortable in our own deceptions? There is soon coming a day when every Christian will be forced to take a stand for their convictions and it will NOT be a time to compromise. Selah.
The modern day prosperity movement is an example of devising a plan to present God’s Word as a “money machine” in order to attract enthusiastic crowds. Deceptive teachers use the truth about blood covenant and obedience and then distort it into a “give and get” doctrine. One ministry is called, “enjoying everyday life” but how can this be when the real message of the cross is the “abandonment” of this life. It is not that God will not bless us with abundance but it is intended as a way to GIVE unto others. If we live the way God has commanded us to live, I see His Word warning us of a lot of suffering, sacrifice and persecution – not a constant party. “YEA, AND ALL THAT WILL LIVE GODLY IN CHRIST JESUS – SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION.” (II Timothy 3:12) Those who spend all their time enjoying their everyday life of pleasures can hardly relate to practicing the presence of God. The flesh is ENMITY toward God or in other words an “enemy” against the Spirit of God. “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God (opposed): for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:5-8) Unfortunately, these “artificial” doctrines are taught as planting seeds and reaping a harvest so that we might fill our bank accounts and indulge ourselves with the pleasures of the flesh. This is a spiritual principal but is not intended to be twisted into a carnal slot machine. No wonder these churches and stadiums are filled! The religious seekers support and are drawn to those who say things their flesh loves. Remember when Pontius Pilate stood before the angry crowd with Jesus and Barabbas, he had the authority to do what was right but crumbled under the pressure of pleasing the people. However, those who speak the truth and who trust God even unto death, will lead a lonely life of rejection and betrayal. Why? Because very few want to hear about the need to abandon their carnality. “You adulterers and adulteresses, do you not understand that the friendship of the world is ENMITY to God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world – is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
I noticed a picture in the paper the other day of a gay rights activist holding a sign that said, “It’s ok to be gay”. I am not necessarily picking on the gay movement because actually it is more like the sign was saying, “It’s ok to sin”! What kind of world are we now living? How are we as Christians supposed to react to a crowd of people holding signs that declare that any abomination, perversion or type of darkness and wickedness is acceptable? Are we to just ignore the freedoms and rights of individuals? Are we to tolerate their sin and not worry about what people do in their own personal lives? Are we to get involved with politics and fight against sin and create laws against debauchery? I know we are to pray against the darkness and I know we are to stand for God’s truth even if our own family hates us. Nevertheless, my question is – who has the power or wisdom to declare that sin is acceptable? First, a person would have to disregard the Bible as the absolute truth of heaven and earth and that God the Father of all things – wrote it! So, if you sweep that little problem under the rug, I presume you can proceed with creating your own spiritual, legal and moral system within a brand new world order. BREAKING NEWS! This is exactly what is happening! The now generation has thrown God’s Word out the window, which gives them a brand new platform with a new clean slate. Since they do not believe that God’s Word is socially valid, our arguments against their world are not considered legally conclusive, which is the reason why watered down religion alone can never persuade the spiritually blind. This is the highest pride in the universe and compares with Lucifer’s mentality when he was still working in heaven. He said in a paraphrase that, I am smarter than God, more popular, more beautiful and can do a better job of ruling all things. And now, many are possessed with this same twisted spirit of arrogance. They are born of the dark side and pledge allegiance to the lies of darkness. Only the blind and foolish would declare that man’s limited, mortal and corrupted intelligence is the “right” way to live. For humans that do not consider God’s Word to be true, this statement takes away the absolutes and opens the door for the tolerance of all chaos, confusion and lies. In the minds of those who believe in the philosophy of doing whatever feels good, the idea of living holy unto the Lord of all Kings does not matter. Whenever man does not acknowledge sin as an opposition against the maker of heaven and earth, there is a rebellious disregard for HIS absolute truth. God has mercy on all those who shake their fist in His face and shout that they know more and better than He does – but for how long? The system of the world serves the flesh and is becoming more aggressive with their hatred for God and His Word. There is an old saying, that what is in the well, will come up in the bucket. This perfectly explains how the condition of the heart cannot be ignored nor hidden from the conscious mind. The direction of our lives and the motives behind our actions are driven by the convictions of our conscience and spirit. In addition, for that matter all who call themselves a Christian should have the discernment to realize that the one who knows every thought and who hears every whisper is weighing our intentions.
If we are walking with God, we are filled with His Spirit and His power will renew our mind and ultimately control us. If we are distant from Him, we only have traces of His presence, which leaves us lukewarm and carnally driven. Of course, those who have never been redeemed are cold and indifferent to His presence, are spiritually blind and cannot comprehend His truth. Allow me to pause for a moment and ask you where you are this moment in the levels of spiritual intimacy with Christ. We know when we sense His Holy Spirit and we know when we are living in a state of emptiness. The consequences to being lazy in our praying and worship are a “cooling off” within our spirit, which in turn causes a heaviness that blankets our joy and peace. We all go through times when we become tired of fighting the battle and the daily grind of functioning in a negative world can cause stress that wears us down. Being in a state of “blah” can be denied for a long time but that does not mean we do not know its there. We KNOW when we are sliding backward and we KNOW when things are not right within our conscience. If you feel right now that you have drifted away from being “red hot” but, you are still wearing your, “everything’s ok mask”, just stop for a minute and talk to Him. He is ready to empower us to live for Him and give us the strength to pull away from the temptation to compromise.
Father, I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you.
I am ready for all; I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures –
I can pray no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.
Charles de Foucauld