I was in the grocery store last night before men’s prayer group at the church and thought about picking up a six pack or a bottle of wine to take in my backpack and open it up in the church sanctuary when everyone started opening their drinks.
I was going to wait for the inevitable reaction and then ask, “But why are you surprised? Don’t some of you have this in your own house? What is different about this building as opposed to our own houses? Aren’t WE the temple of God?”
And when the inevitable,  “But it could stumble someone if I did it here” came as the response,  I would ask,  “But what is more dangerous,  them taking a drink because they saw one of us doing it outwardly – or their learning inward hypocrisy because we live one way when we are around ‘respectable religious people’ but live another way when behind closed doors?”
We are find powerless far too often because “the experience”, “the feeling”, “the moment in the presence of God” doesn’t go forth with us because we aren’t going where we’ve been sent – because we leave the “Christ in me” as a promise hanging on the wall of the church, or as a fire insurance contract we hang onto for the future.  
Too many of us don’t mind hearing the Word of God, but falling head over heals, crazy in love with God to the point that we don’t want anything else in this temple but Him? The world says, “Why,  that just sounds foolish! Why, giving up my sin, that just sounds like a lot of work! Why, giving up something that I don’t even feel bad about in my conscience ‘any more’ but that I know isn’t profitable, that just sounds like slavery to me!” 
But that’s because the world serves a different master — their hearts confess their true love –even as their religion teaches them to hide it by shining the outside of their cup — and their love is for the desires of the flesh, the desires of their eyes, and the pride of life. It doesn’t matter how respectable they pretend to be if they do not in fact live the LORD, right? 
And are we pointing that finger foolishly at someone else? Wise teacher, are you so blind that you cannot teach yourself?
You see, we must ask ourselves, do I even remember the love, the mercy, the furrowed that I have received in return for my own wretchedness? Have I so quickly forgotten the only thing that is valuable and precious and is worth laying down everything else for? 
Do these “on fire,  born again, radical heathens” who are upturned by their overflowing of love for God sicken us,  shame us,  leave us confused,  or leave us Don’t down our religious noses at “their foolishness”? Yes, the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing, so you should examine yourself to see that you are indeed in Christ!
You say to me,  “But you are planting the seed of doubt! You are tearing down what the LORD has built up.” And I ask you, “Can a mere man shake a foundation of solid rock, or bring down a house that is built upon it in truth and in love, or does the Word of God tell us that house will stand the test? And what is better, that a worthless house that is bound to fall do so while there time for it to be rebuilt, or for the wise to wait and see the foolish and his whole family die within it when it comes tumbling down?”
No, I am sowing the Truth in Love. Not kisses from an enemy who would say,  “Sin is okay, it won’t kill you.” I’m not giving approval to those things that the Word of God says, “those who practice such things deserve to die” — nor am I saying “you are under the obligation of the law of Moses”. No, I am asking you a greater question,  in fact,  the most important question – Do you love God?
Do you?
Then let your praises ring forth! 
But if I ask this question and you find no well to draw from,  where are your flowing waters? If they are not there, are you too proud to repent, to call upon the name of the LORD and ask for the life you need breathed into you? Will you not call out to Him even now, at this very moment,  to give you oil for your lamp? Or will you sleep and tarry until poverty has proven is reward. 
I am not asking you to go out if you aren’t sent. But I’m telling you that if you are indeed His you ARE SENT, and if you aren’t His, there is still time to repent and believe! 
I am telling you that this faith is not a thing of our minds, but of our very hearts! 
I am telling you that you must be born again. I am telling you that the old must pass away and the new must come. 
So submit yourselves to God. Do not claim a Savior that you do not want as LORD, because He has told us that the most important commandment is to love God with your everything – not just your 10 percent,  not just with your Sunday, not just with your morning, not just with your firsts. And if this seems burdensome to you, do you even know of Him, much less know Him? He is for you, not against you!  Have you not heard,  “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you”? Do we foolishly lay our hope in this verse being about earthly gain and misunderstand what the true prize and portion is for the Children of God?
If we indeed love Him, can’t we trust Him?
Isn’t His way best? 
Isn’t He worthy of our praise, of our worship,  of that reasonable sacrifice of laying down our lives, turning away from sin and submitting fully to Him?
There is time to build,  if we will build upon the solid rock in Truth and Love. But if we are intent to build from something else, or upon the sinking sand – there will never be enough time for all of the constant repairs trying to “make it look right”.
Go to the carpenter’s son. Be introduced to your betrothed. Fall in love with Him deeply, because He is faithful and true. See Him build your house even as He lives with you. And now you will have a life that is filled with praise and awe and wonder – not one of religious hypocrisy.
He loved you first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s