"NOW, Christian is the hour for you and me to prove God. But what in reality are we doing? Tempting Him! To see how far we can go how much we can get away with, while souls drop into hell all around us, and the cry of the Psalmist is heard in the land, I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me; refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul." -David Otis Fuller
There is an epidemic in the Christianity of our day where multitudes of Christians are living half-hearted in their walk with Jesus Christ and actually being content there! But this sounds very familiar to us just like the disciples who knew much about the demands of discipleship with Jesus Christ but after his death, doubted, disobeyed and even some of them went back to fishing. Could this be the same in our day, some of us have gone back to our old professions, hobby's, aspirations. The original love and desire for Christ has worn off and because of a besetting sin or lack of fulfillment we simply give up and throw in the towel. Yet we are still Christian, still go to church and still read our devotions yet our hearts have become cold and half-hearted. What a terrible place to be yet if we are honest many of us have been there even for a moment in our walks or are currently in this place.
When our hearts have become dull and we are in compromise the message of the Lord to us is crystal clear: Repent! (Revelation 2:5). When we are in this place wether we know it or not we are tempting God (1 Corinthians 10:9). We have to realize that in a state of compromise we are seeking the ways of the flesh rather then the ways of God. And the Bible gives us a warning in love that: "Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God." (Romans 8:8).
Why have so many men fallen in the ministry in the last 50 years in Christendom in the west? Why have there been so many scandals and sad stories of failure and defeat? Could it be that their focus and attention came off from pleasing God to pleasing men? (Galatians 1:10). Could it be that these men started to judge others and not themselves more? (Romans 2:1). But a more probable cause is that many of these men were anointed of the Holy Spirit and given great gifts from God and success. But in the midst of this success and fruitfulness with the Lord they started to compromise with sin. Thus it shows us that the great importance to even in the midst of great ministry success look to the Lord always and do everything out of simply love and appreciation for Him alone. Sadly as tragic as it is to hear of a great failing from a ministry leader, it simply shows the root cause was pride and sufficiency in self and what great ministry exploits he was preforming. God must leave these men to themselves for they become un-useful to Him for building His kingdom because they are so busy building their own.
Are you dabbling in a sin today and think because you have not been caught you are fine? This is a great deception. We would do all well to receive the admonition from the Apostle Paul to Timothy: "But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses." (1 Timothy 6:11-12). This is the basic lesson to deal with compromise and sin: "Run," if you flee you are wise, many a man of God have felt they could deal with the sin and be approved of by God. "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." (Galatians 6:7). This is a principle in the kingdom of God, it is only by the grace of God that we can walk free from compromise and sin.
God is desiring to entrust Himself to you. But He always begins with the small things. He entrusts Himself with people who have been tested and shown faithful with the small things. Imagine Ezekiel for a moment. God called him to lay on his side for 50 days (Ezekiel 4:4). How many leaders of our day would do this if the Lord told them to? But faithful Ezekiel did! Why? because he was faithful in the small things for it says: "I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No unclean meat has ever entered my mouth.” (Ezekiel 12:14). You see, Ezekiel obeyed God in the small things his entire life and followed the law of God out of love for his Lord. God will never call you to great exploits for His Name until you have shown yourself faithful in the small things out of simple love for Him alone. Why is this? Because God loves us to much to let us fall! If God uses a man for a great work without that man having a deep love and intimacy for the Lord, he will fall into great pride. It is always the inclination of the flesh to take credit and glory for the work being done even if its the work of the Lord!
Lastly, let us have a desire to awake out of our life of compromise with our walks with the Lord because of the lost world around us. There are multitudes who are going to an eternal hell and this should be something that should move and challenge each one of us. Our Lord's eyes are full of tears over the lost but more then that over our compromise that does not allow Him to use us to reach the lost. Could God reach the lost without us? Surely! But His plan and and desire is to use His Church in this earth to seek and save that which is lost. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus said: "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." (Matthew 5:13). If you are not "salty" then you are simply in the way and progress of the kingdom of God. You can be saved, have a testimony and go to Church but you are still halting the work of God in your area. Your life is not speaking of Christ to people, your words are not the words of Christ to others, your feet are not doing His bidding, you are spending money on your own pleasures (James 5:4-5). We need to be radical in our cutting off anything that is hindering us to be whole-hearted followers of Jesus Christ. But beyond all of that it is our heart attitude. Do you have a deep appreciation for the grace of God? Does the cross of Christ truly mean more to you then everything in this earth? If so, then you will begin the journey to pour out your life into the will of God out of this thankfulness and though the lost world around you.
Consider praying this prayer today to the Lord:
Lord, I have failed you so much. So many times I have tried but ended up failing even worse. I feel shame and sadness over how I have misrepresented your Name in my life. I have even felt that you would not forgive me for the sins I have done. But Lord, I come to you know and ask that you will take my life again into your hands. I see your life that you gave for me to give me eternal life. I want to pour my life out now for others by your grace and power in me. Restore me Lord, renew me, grant me to live a life of full obedience to your will. This I ask and believe in Jesus Name. Amen.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon