One of the first signs that we are slipping away from Jesus is when righteousness takes less of a priority for us. It starts to become easier to compromise on those things we considered to be of importance. I stated a couple of days ago that when I start feeling that I have begun to compromise I refresh myself in the Psalms, Proverbs and the gospel of John. I find it interesting how both Psalm 1 and Proverbs 1 are similar in direction and tone.
Solomon wanted to leave nuggets of wisdom to guide his sons and the first thing he starts with is the need to have the desire to turn away from evil. Evil is a powerful force that held all of us in captivity for a long time and it doesn`t give up just because it lost possession. It will take every opportunity to try to separate us from the love of Jesus. When we understand God`s grace we know that evil holds no power over us but there are times of weakness, tiredness, busyness, distraction when the presentation of evil can be very attractive. It can even present itself as wise. Solomon warned his sons:
My son, if sinful men entice you,
do not give in to them. (Proverbs 1:10)
Recall Psalm 1:
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers. (Psalm 1:1)
The problem is that we do not recognize evil as evil until we see it in the light of God`s righteousness. This is the reason the world is becoming hard to the message of the gospel; it doesn`t want to see. People do not want to hear that their actions are an offense to God. They don`t want to hear that they will be held accountable for their decision to deny Jesus. They do not want to be told that their life is a lie that leads to death. So they marginalize any who would present the truth.
Unfortunately, when we start getting distracted in our relationship with Jesus we do the same thing. Evil stops looking so evil because we are no longer seeing it through God`s righteousness. Compromise is so easy when we have allowed our relationship to wain. There is no good thing in us apart from what Jesus has done for us and to walk in constant obedience requires a constant growing relationship in Jesus. Without it sinful men will entice us and we will give in to them. Before we realize what is happening we will walk in step with the wicked, stand in the way that sinners take and mock our Father. Without a growing and vibrant relationship in Jesus compromise is an easy thing.
Look for the signs. Are we paying more attention to the opinion of people over the Word of God? Are we starting to set aside the Word, no longer convinced of its truth? Have we set aside prayer for other activities? Is stress increasing? Is fear in greater abundance? Are our thoughts more to our own needs? Is grace a little harder to find? Is forgiveness harder to give? Do we see the Church differently? Are we more judgmental of believers? Are we beginning to side with society? Are we beginning to lift up the logic of man?
Compromise is easy. Too easy. Paul had one answer:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:12-13)
In faith there is no compromise, no middle ground. Either you believe or you don't. Either you trust or you don't. Either you obey or you don't. There is no room for doubt, fear, or worry. These things are only produced when we are compromising in our walk in Jesus. There cannot be compromise. It has always been about Jesus and it will always be about him. If your life is not all about him then none of it is about him. It is not a part but the whole thing. If it is any less then we have to yell at our soul to rise up and praise our God, get our eyes back to where they need to be and stop living a lie.
The only answer to a compromised life that has abandoned God's righteousness is a heart response to God's grace: To love God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength.