Saturday, August 27, 2005

Raising the bar

Your fellowship with God enables you to gain a victory over the Evil One. Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world - wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important - has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out - but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. 1 John 2:14b-17, The Message

Like it or not, there is a standard. It does not sit well with most of us, either. Given a choice, we want things our way, and like most of us in this "microwave generation", we want it now.

My pastor has said several times that hell is for wimps. That is no lie! It is not easy to always do the right thing. Sometimes there are those gray areas where there's not an explicit "yes" or "no" as to whether it should be done, but if you've spent any time in the Word of God, there is an answer. The principles are unchanging....and very clear.

I'm always surprised how tempting it is to let down the "standard". "Oh, it's not that bad. I didn't do x, y or z." Sheesh. Last night, a friend of mine reminded me of the story of Moses holding up his staff to ensure the victory of the Israelites over the Amalekites. As long as the "standard" (Moses' staff) was raised, they were victorious. I was quickly reminded that I must keep the "standard" raised in my life. There can be no room for compromise, otherwise I will lose the battle. Not only that, the others around me will lose too. You see, Moses wasn't the one fighting....he was the one holding up the standard. When he let the staff down, Israelites lost their lives. Yikes! Puts a different spin on things, don't you think?

One of the things I have struggled with is the idea of not wanting to hurt people so that they have another notch in their belt of "hurts from the church." But I realized last night, that keeping the standard raised in my life won't hurt others. God doesn't work that way. People will be drawn to the light of His Truth, and their lives WILL be changed! The only way I would hurt people is if I respond to them in the wrong way. And I MUST be careful how I do that. Sometimes, my responses to people encompass keeping the standard raised. It's real easy to slip back into the way "I" want to do things.

Anyway, I've been chastised by God. I MUST keep the standard raised. He will bless me for it. Of that I have no doubt. I look forward to seeing what happens and how the battle is won!

1 comment:

STEUPS said...

Thank you for this encouragement. I am a Youth Pastor and I have struggled with this issue. I have never heard it put this way. My name is Steeley and I am from OKC OK please keep me in your prayers.