Sunday, March 17, 2013

If You Aren't Keeping It Real, Take A Break

I think we sometimes forget that no one has ever experienced our whole story, the story that makes us who we are and explains why we do what we do. Different people have experienced different parts with us like our parents, friends, spouse, children but none of them have been there from beginning to end. I think we sometimes forget this because we have been there from beginning to end and we just assume that people know. But they don't know.

The person who will know you the best is your spouse. You will share the most intimate moments of your life together, also some of the worse. You will fight battles side by side and face to face. You will tell your spouse great moments from your past, many memories but you won't be able to share it all because you don't remember it all. But even the things you do not remember helped shape you and caused you to feel the way you feel and react the way you react. How can your spouse fully understand when they don't know? The incredible thing is, there is one who does know you in great detail, even better than you know yourself, because he remembers those things you have forgotten:

"O Lord, you have searched me
     and you know me." (Psalm 139:1, NIV '88)

It's why it is so incredibly silly of us to ever try to lie to our Father. Maybe we can lie to ourselves so that eventually we believe it but we can't lie to God; he knows us. He knows every intimate detail of our lives. He knows our thoughts, our motivations, the words we would speak before we speak them:

"Before a word is on my tongue
     you know it completely, O Lord." (v. 4)

Better than our parents, our spouse and our children, our God knows us. And still he loves us. Still he cares. Still he went to the cross. Still he covers us by his grace. Still.

God knows us but he was not prepared to leave us in that condition. He was not prepared to see us suffer under the destructive force of sin, to see our character twisted and disfigured. He knew what he had created us to be and he was not prepared to leave a band-aide solution in place. He wanted more for us; he wanted us to have a character of holiness, like him.

You can't lie to the King. He knows your heart and he knows your thoughts. He has known you since the day he gave you life and he is the one who purifies those who seek him. He is the one who calls us Holy who run after him. He is the one who gives us new life every day when our desire and motivation is him. We have a part to play in this. The Spirit does not force himself on anyone but he will enter where he is invited.

We have been changed through Jesus. We are a new creation, but now we have to be willing to stop doing evil. It doesn't mean we can stop on our own but we have been changed now so that if we desire to, if we are willing, then the Spirit is able to strengthen us to turn from evil every time. He corrects our motives. But if we decide to think on evil things we will soon act on those thoughts. We have to cooperate with the Spirit and understand that we have been called to greater things then the common purpose of eat, drink, die:

In a large house some dishes are made of gold or silver, while others are made of wood or clay. Some of these are special, and others are not. That’s also how it is with people. The ones who stop doing evil and make themselves pure will become special. Their lives will be holy and pleasing to their Master, and they will be able to do all kinds of good deeds. (2 Timothy 2:20-21, CEV)

Let's stop lying to ourselves and God. Let's be honest and open and ask the Spirit to convict us where we need to feel conviction.We have been called to be a Holy people because without holiness we cannot go where we need to go and do what we need to do. Without holiness we will have no fear of doing evil and will soon be overcome by what has overcome the world. A lack of holiness is why good people do bad things because goodness will not save or protect from the evil that destroys, but God's holiness does.

If you are involved in ministry and you are not being 100% honest with yourself and God, do us all a favour and take a step back. Get things set right. Make Jesus your pursuit. Be sure that holiness is in place so that you flee from evil and pursue righteousness. Make faith, love and peace your daily goals so that you remain faithful to the King. And once you are certain your priorities are in order, step back into the fight.

Don't lie to God.

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