If there were no speed limits, how fast would you go? Laws are meant to keep us in check by implementing fear as a deterrent to breaking the law. There is a price to pay for breaking the law, in terms of a fine, losing our licence, or in extreme cases, we have to go to court and perhaps do jail time. All the talk of capital punishment is also being studied to determine if the re-instatement of it would reduce the crime rate. So if there were no fines, jail time or capital punishment, what would keep you from breaking the law?
Why am I going there? Of course by now you realize that there are Godly implications to these questions.
“But we know that the Law is good , if one uses it lawfully,
realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person , but for those who are lawless and rebellious , for the ungodly and sinners , for the unholy and profane , for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers
and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers , and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching …” 1 Timothy 1:8-10
So….if we do not fall into the under-lined categories….we shouldn’t even need the ‘Law’, right? We see that the Law was made for people who had trouble with obedience! I have a desire to dig to the roots of these issues to see what is really underlying the outward manifestations that periodically surface.
If there were no speed limits, how fast would you go? This opens up an interesting line of inquiry. Are you obeying God’s commandments because of fear of violating them and the repercussions thereof, or out of love for Him? When are we going to move away from the Christian “fire insurance” mentality where we are doing the bare minimum, just to ensure that we will not end up in hell. Is this even honest? I have heard people who are living a shallow Christian life say, “I’d take a bullet for Jesus….I would never deny Him”. Note: If you do not witness to your neighbours or your work mates…what makes you think you will the courage to pay the ultimate price of your life for Him? I believe this is a delusion! These folks may believe what they say, but let’s get real?
If we are not faithful in the little things….we will never be faithful in the bigger things. One time a friend told me that if God blessed him with a million dollars, he would be such a generous giver, and he would set up this fund and that fund for people in need. When I told another friend about this, he said to me, “If he is not a giver now (this friend also did not fully believe in tithing)….he will not be a giver, even if he has a million dollars. That opened up my eyes! Let’s get back to the difference of obeying out of fear of losing something and obeying as an act of love. What a huge difference! The one who obeys out of love could possibly “take a bullet for his lover”. I concede that the other one could never have the strength to withstand losing his/her very life, even though I’m sure that he or she believes that they could.
Another example: a friend posed the question that if you could do anything as a Christian and not have it held against you and still go to heaven, what would you do? There was a young man around 25 years old, who answered, “Well, I tell you what, I would no longer be a virgin.” So….his desire was to fornicate, but he was not indulging in it, because why…..? This is so sad! We really need to look at the roots of our motivations to see what evil lurks there. If we are only obeying the rules for fear of punishment….I dare say that the enemy is fashioning a trap to take us out, even as we speak. We are such an easy target when our hearts desire evil…even if we do not indulge in it outwardly. Our inner thoughts are much more important than the outer expression of them manifested through the body. Jesus raised the bar higher by telling us that if we even look upon someone to lust after them….we have already committed adultery! We no longer have to ‘do the deed’ to be guilty…..we merely have to ‘do it’ on the inside. The bar was raised to a brand new level with Jesus! How about our dreams….are we responsible for what happens while we sleep? Mmmmm…..what do you think?
“But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. “These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.” Matt. 15:18-20
I’ve heard many times, “… out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34) but in Matthew 15 above, we see that there is an even deeper implication to what goes on in the heart. All of these evil things originate in the heart of you and me. That’s why God is digging deeply into the heart issues in our lives, as Children of God. The “church” may not be able to teach these topics as effectively on many occasions….but forums such as this one, can often be used to bring to attention the roto-tilling procedure of the Holy Spirit, going on in many people’s lives all around the world. God is purging us to produce more fruit for His kingdom. This type of operation can hopefully reduce the number of Christians falling into immorality and sexual sin. These issues that lurk deep in our hearts eventually produce evil fruit. The only unknown is when it will happen. We see that what is brewing in the heart will eventually surface for all to see. “But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out .” Numbers 32:22
Search your heart and get real with God this morning! Are you obeying Him out of love or duty? Duty will never sustain you in times of extreme trauma and distress. Love will! Are you suffering through life obeying His ways because you know it is the right thing to do, or are you full of joy because you are pleasing your lover, who saved you from the consequences of your years of sin? Your record of sin has a sentence of death attached to it, but Jesus offered himself, to pay the price with His very blood! Are you grateful? Has it really sunk in that He stood up for you personally in a court of law and when the sentence of death was declared over your very life…(can you see Him standing before the judge and saying….”Your honour….I will pay every last cent of the debt for ______(your name)______!) Is this real to you. or just some far off concept that doesn’t have a tangible reality to you personally? Be real with Him about these things…..then there will be a renewed hope of honesty, and real change is possible and attainable in your life. Let’s get below the surface to the depths of our hearts in these things! What are our deep motivations? What kind of roots does the tree have?
“So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matt. 7:17-19
So the Bible says that the law was brought forth to stir up the sin in people. It says in Romans 5:20-21 AMP. “But then the Law came in [only} to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition].” So the Law came in to reveal the trespasses and yet it caused more sin to surface as a result. Have you ever noticed that when you tell a child not to touch something, that he seems unable to concentrate on anything else, and the very act of touching that “thing” obsesses his whole attention? Can you see when you tell Adam and Eve that they can have access to everything you own, except one single tree, that they become obsessed with that very thing. The nature of man is to rebel! It is in our DNA! We are born into rebellion…we don’t need anyone to teach us! So if we obey only out of duty….I believe it will be short lived! We need to move from sacrifice to love-obedience! It’s time to get real with Jesus! Specifically…..it’s time to get to know Him personally! That’s why you were given breath: to have fellowship with the triune God! But there is a catch….you have free will….He will not coerce you or manipulate you into coming into a relationship with Him. We need to cross the bridge from the Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of Light by an act of our will, by freely accepting Him as your Saviour! This is the starting point, not the end result. We are called to be co-labourers with Christ on the earth. We are not just waiting for His return so that we can “get out of here”. We are to be advancing against the ‘gates of hell’ which cannot stand against us. This Epistle brings light to some of those ‘gates of hell’ in our personal lives that need some further transparency to root out the roots of evil still remaining hidden behind the false mask of religion.
Do you want to take the chance that in that day when you are called up before Him, that He will say “And then I will say to them openly (publicly) I never knew you: depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” John 14:15. Notice Jesus did not say……”If you keep My commandments, I will love you”. I see a lot of people living out their Christian lives from this perverted perspective! It is so sad because there is so much more in being in communion with Him out of love, than striving to obey and hating every minute of it! What if, when your wife or husband asked you if you love them…..you begin by gritting your teeth….then you pull out your best controlled voice and say……”I love you” all the while playing the martyr who is suffering under such a heavy weight. How would that make your spouse feel? Think of this: How does it make Jesus feel? He is a million times more sensitive than your spouse!
Have we entered into a true love relationship, where we will do whatever it takes to please our lover? Or are we still playing the game and saying, “It is a hard life being a Christian and I am barely hanging on until Jesus returns” This kind of existence is not what He had in mind for us! …”for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” Eph. 5:8-9
It contradicts the promises of God found throughout the Bible! He never intended this kind of life for us, but a life more abundant! Hang on: I am not talking about the whole ‘God wants me to be filthy rich’ thing either! The greatest prosperity that we can have is ‘Jesus’ peace’ and love and joy and patience and gentleness and self control! This is the true ‘prosperity Gospel’! No amount of money can fill the void inside of mankind, but He is the only One who can be everything you will ever need in every circumstance, supernaturally! What would you trade for that? “Obedience is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22)
Rob and Jody