I realize that I seem to be repeating myself for the last couple of weeks but I am sharing with you a clear message that came out of my period of Fasting to the LORD. The message is simple: Yahweh has set his standards and has called us to a relationship of obedience, so make a decision. I think the reason this message is so important is because many leaders and teachers have been muddying the waters with human reasoning. There is much apostasy that is spewing from the mouths of those who promised to love and obey Jesus Christ.
Let's make this as simple as possible by looking at one piece of Scripture to understand our Father's heart on his expectations of those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. It is at it's essence the same expectations he had for Israel:
Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! (Joshua 24:14)
The other way this was put was to love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength. It means we get to know him, what delights him and what offends him. We must know his heart and then desire to walk in obedience to him. It doesn't mean doing whatever you think is best to serve him. That's what Israel tried to do during the times of the judges and it got them in a lot of trouble, as it is getting people in trouble today.
No, we don't get to do what we want. Jesus repeated these same kind of words but a little more directly:
If you love Me, keep My commandments. (John 14:15)
Not what you think is best but what Jesus commanded. We live according to the righteousness of our holy LORD not according to the supposed righteousness of man. We have been given standards, statutes to live and they are higher than the cesspool of sin that we are witnessing transpire from the hearts of man in our societies today.
Joshua made it clear that there is something we need to do:
And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
No one on the face of this planet is forced to serve Jesus Christ. Men of demented thinking tried to use the Church in the past to hold power over people but it failed. Yahweh does not even force his desire upon us but he freely offers it. He freely offers his mercy and grace, his love and forgiveness, his compassion. He freely offers us adoption into his family and rescue from the destructive course that we have chosen. But we have to make that decision.
The only thing we are warned is that we can't have it all. We can't have the sin of this world and the righteousness of our LORD. Jesus asked the question, what is the point of gaining the whole world if we lose our soul? If we make the decision for Jesus then there are expectations we will live by the Spirit who places the Word of God in us. We cannot take part in the unholy things of this world and be possessed by the Spirit. It doesn't work that way.
Make a decision: is the music of this world more important than Jesus? Are those favorite sin-filled television shows more important than Jesus? Are those misleading movies more important than Jesus? Is the dangerous place of social networking more important than Jesus? If you lack the discipline to turn things off when they go terribly wrong, then get rid of that thing from your life; deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus. The choice is clear and a decision is demanded of us: Who will you serve?