The Elephant In The Room

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  • September 16, 2014

“For God’s way of deliverance is altogether different from man’s way. Man’s way is try to suppress sin by seeking to overcome it; God’s way is to remove the sinner. Many Christians mourn over their weakness, thinking that if only they were stronger all would be well . The idea that, because failure to lead a holy life is due to our impotence, something more is therefore demanded of us, leads naturally to this false conception of the way of deliverance. If we are preoccupied with the power of sin and with our inability to meet it, then we naturally conclude that to gain victory over sin we must have more power . “If only I were stronger, ‘ we say, “I could overcome my sin”, so we plead with the Lord to strengthen us that we may exercise more self control.

But this is altogether a fallacy; it is not Christianity! God’s means of delivering us from sin is not by making us stronger and stronger, but by making us weaker and weaker . That is surely rather a peculiar way to victory, you say; but it is the divine way. God sets us free from the dominion of sin, not by strengthening our old man but by crucifying him; not by helping him to do anything but by removing him from the scene of action.

For years, maybe, you have tried fruitlessly to exercise control over yourself, and perhaps this is still your experience; but when once you see the truth you will recognize that you are indeed powerless to do anything, but that in setting you aside altogether, God has done it all. Such a discovery brings human striving and self-effort to an end !” ( Page 53-54 from “A Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee)

Lately, I have been considering the issue of sin in serious ways and wondering how those who were raised in the modern religious system that rarely confronts sin are going to be saved from themselves, and delivered from their sin? How can it be glorifying to a holy God who cannot look upon sin, when it seems so many people in the church are discouraged with helplessness and hopelessness of ever finding true freedom? Oh I know, we are covered in the Blood of Christ and that is how God can look upon us measly sinners here on earth, who appear as helpless as infants against this ruthless force of sin within us. Many churchgoers are like the proverbial chameleon that never knows what he really looks like; he tries to blend into the church background wherever he goes. The attempt to make the outward appearance seem OK becomes a life-draining burden too heavy to carry after years of discouragement. How many walk into our churches today completely addicted to habitual sinful habits without hope of help? The situation appears bleak! We merrily teach our self-improvement topics on Sunday morning with the hope that everyone will “get something out of our teaching”, hoping that they will go out and live life more abundantly and productively. What hogwash! I know the church will never fill up if we put on the bulletin board outside the church, “Come on in, we are dealing with your sin this week. We have a special extended service because we know the demand will be high”. No, this will rarely happen, because the church has primarily become a business and the ‘bottom line’ has become the major focus these days. The majority of the church programs and modern messages are geared to pleasing the tithe-paying public! How have we been bewitched away from the separation we are called to live, as citizens of heaven? We are called as leaders to discern and then give the people what they NEED, not what they WANT ! If we set our sights on pleasing the fleshliness in the congregation, we will raise up a bunch of babies who are unable to tie their own shoes, let alone go to war against the forces of darkness!

“So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you are willing to suffer for Christ, you have decided to stop sinning . And you won’t spend the rest of your life chasing after evil desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties and their terrible worship of idols” (1 Peter 4:1-3)

WE MUST DECIDE TO STOP SINNING. Are you ready to do that? This is your first step towards freedom! It is exciting to know that there is a promise of true freedom because our God has arranged for it, by sending His Son to free us from all sin. We are not sinners; we are saints that sin on occasion. Do you see yourself as a “SAINT”?

My heart is crying out for those lost and tormented souls who have lost hope in gaining relief from their sickening habitual sin. It sounds like I am talking about people in the world, or backslidden Christians, but I am talking about the father of 3 children who has been attending the same local church faithfully for the last 15 years and yet has never walked in victory! This is not the life that Jesus has called us to! He has called us to be more than conquerors! He has called us to be over-comers! He has called us to overcome this present world system! He has called us to be light to the world! He has called us to be salt! It seems that the salt has lost its savour and we know that Jesus said, “you are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltiness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer, but to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble and good deeds and recognize and honour and praise and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matt. 5:13-16

What needs to be done? We need to start obeying the Holy Spirit and speaking about those unpopular subjects that may not please the people, but will bring glory to our God. People need deliverance from the lies that have been fed to them through the false teachers that have long ago lost their first love! Paul said, “Oh don’t worry; I wouldn’t dare say that I am as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, and measuring themselves by themselves. What foolishness!” (1 Cor. 10:12) We know today there is a lot a back slapping going on confirming to the majority that they are on the right track. After all, if the mainstream attitude of people is on the same track, who is going to challenge the crowd to examine themselves? No wonder God has called “Prophets” to declare the truth of God’s heart into the ears of man. We all know what happens to the true “Prophets”; they get killed! One way or the other, the multitude wants to crush them and silence their voices, in order to continue in their comfortable lifestyle and declare “Peace, Peace……but there is no peace!”

It is time for a renewal and a resurgence of holiness (Some would say, “Oh don’t get legalistic on me brother, I grew up with all of that stuff and I just got free of it, don’t try and put me back into bondage”.) I say that Holiness is beautiful! It is a reflection of the beautiful Holy Spirit who convicts everyone of his or her sin and leads us to the sinless One! Oh won’t you take His hand and allow Him to deliver you from yourself? You cannot do it! Only Jesus can do it! You only need to be willing to yield to His surgeon’s knife, and allow Him to cut out the disease that has plagued you and compromised your witness. Let God set you free and come to realization that Jesus has already set you free from sin. “…God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent His Own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins.” (Romans 8:3) Isn’t it exciting? We no longer have to be controlled by our sins! We finally have a choice! Choose this day whom you will serve! The one issue that complicates us pursuing our ‘freedom cure” is that “Flesh loves Sin”! Galatians 5:17 says, “ For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please“. You may not have an easy time with it, but the light should begin to shine for you that freedom is one step away if you follow His plan for your complete salvation.

The politically-correct-program-based-church-system has not produced many warriors it seems. We need a reformation! We need a revolution! We need to examine and rethink everything that we have thought of “as church”, and look at it all again from God’s point of view. It is sickening to see people going round and round the same circles over and over again with so little change in their lives. This is not what Jesus died for! This is not our inheritance! This is not what we are called to become!

Help us Lord! Help us to cry out for more of you. Oh what a wretched man I am (without Him), but what a glorious Saviour!! What a Saviour! Let us look to Christ and not to ourselves. Let us look to the Healer and not at the disease. We’ve become so preoccupied with love, love, love that we have forgotten that God has called us to ‘change’. God is love, and God’s love moves us towards becoming beautifully transformed into the image of His beloved Son. We are unconditionally loved! Let us move out from the elementary things to the deeper aspects of our fulfillment with Him. He’s called us to be separate, to be different, to be a peculiar people, not like the world! We are the light of the world, and the salt of the earth! Deliver us Lord from this spirit of delusion! Deliver us from this political church system! Deliver us Farther from the strongholds of bondage of the Monarchy system that exalts the kings and not “The One King”.

Love Rob and Jody

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