Tuesday, July 05, 2005

#1 With Whom Are You Walking?

With Whom Are You Walking?
#1 July 5, 2005
"Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols." 2 Kings 17:41

These words in 2 Kings Chapter 17 and verse 41 almost seem to be a contradiction, don't they? How can we be worshiping the Lord and serving idols at the same time? Sadly we all do this more often than we would want to believe or admit.

I guess you could call this being double-minded. Walking the fence? Compromising? Not fully committed? Whatever we want to label this behavior I believe it is not God's best for our lives.

Churches are filled to capacity each Sunday morning with compromising Christians. We get up in the morning, put on our Sunday, "Praise the Lord" faces and head off with our happy families to church. We sing, lift our hands to the Lord , feed ourselves on the pastor's message and go home feeling quite full and satisfied for another week.

What happens from Sunday to Sunday in our lives? Those are the days that our lives and behavior have the most impact on those around us, not on Sunday mornings. It is in the Monday through Friday's that we show Christ (or don't) to our spouses, our children, our co-workers, our friends and everyone we may come into contact with throughout the week. It is the greatest opportunity for showing Christ to others that we are given.

Are we a friend of God's or a friend of the world's? James 4:4 says "..don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." I don't know about you, but I don't want to be God's enemy! We need to be different if we say we are Christians. 1 John 2: 15-17 says, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father, but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."

How do we look as Christians? Do we have a bible in our hand on Sunday and a Jesus fish on our car but use unwholesome speech and gossip? How does our behavior measure up with the Bible, our instruction manual from our Creator on how to live life? What attitude do we show in the hard times and interruptions of life? Do we walk in love and treat people with kindness, gentleness and mercy? Are we yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14) in our friendships, doing just as they do? What are we watching on television, listening to on the radio? What kind of places do we frequent and how are we raising our children?

Wow, I've asked a lot of questions...please know that I continually ask these questions of myself. I believe that the Lord wants us to examine our lives, measure them up against His Word and repent where necessary and make some changes with His help. By all means, don't try to do it alone...you can't!

Another consequence of living a compromised/double life is that the Lord will remove us from His presence. In 2 Kings 17:18, we are told that .."the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from His presence." God will NEVER remove you from His love but He will remove His presence, His voice, and the voice of the Holy Spirit in your life. His voice in my life is like my daily bread and water. I need it to survive...

As Christians we are called to be a light in a dark place. The world is full of hurting and hopeless people. We are losing the battle to the secular humanists, false religions and darkness in our world as people search for a way to have inner peace and meaning for their lives. We need to have lives that show that the Bible is not a waste of time. That Jesus makes a difference in our lives. We want the lost to want what we have. Only if we look different, act different and live a different kind of life, will we ever be noticed or asked, giving us opportunity to share Christ with them.

May we all take an inventory of our lives in the coming week and seek the Lord for His guidance and conviction on our daily walk with Him. May we be quick to respond and repent in those areas He shows us and lean on His arm for the strength to live a life wholly devoted to Him.

Until next week,

Donna Schultz

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