Wednesday, February 06, 2008

NO Compromise!

We have all noticed the steady decline in the spiritual vitality and overall health of the body of Christ in the last 30 years. There is no doubt in the minds of any serious Christ-following Christian that the church is in serious trouble. Only a few years ago, we all enjoyed the excitement of the Charismatic Movement which rapidly spread across denominational lines as thousands were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and churches grew with sudden growth spurts, eventually giving rise to today’s mega churches. We also saw in more recent years pockets of revival in specific churches that continued for months and in some cases even years. Yet today, it seems like the fruit that should have remained from these moves of God is non-existent or spoiling on the vine.
There is a growing problem of compromise in the body of Christ. That spirit of compromise has come with the pressures of our ‘politically correct’ demanding world, failing spiritual leadership, lack of humility, sacrifice, and individual compromises in all areas of life.
Look around you! In almost every church, you will find Christians divorcing and remarrying, rampant physical and emotional abuse, drug use, pre-marital sex, co-habitation, and lifestyles that are in complete opposition to what the Bible teaches. It is reflected in the number of pastors in the last two decades that have left the ministry, some because of immorality, some because of pornography, and some because of the pressure to compromise the Word of God. It is a sad state of affairs! What can sincere believers do to hold the line?

Recognize we are in a Spiritual Battleground.

One of the slyest tricks of the enemy is to lure us into a state of spiritual slumber, take us off our guard, get us to believe that spiritual demise will never happen to us. Some walk in spiritual ignorance. They do not dig into the Word of God. They do not pray. They do not listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches us that we are to stand firm and not give in to the enemy’s schemes. It takes determination and dedication and a consistency to come against those spiritual attacks. We cannot do it with just ‘thinking’ it through. We are in spiritual warfare. We need to stand guard and if necessary do an all out attack when satan comes against us. Failure to recognize the reality of war will surely bring defeat. Recognizing the enemy in our society, will help us to take a stand against Satan and our cultural moral decline. If you see a pattern of increasing depravity, be on guard.

Refuse the Temptations of the Enemy.

They may be small at first. Some will seem even innocent and harmless. But the sure-fire techniques of the enemy of our souls always begins with the small temptations, the “little foxes that spoil the vines.” Refuse to accept the beginnings of sin. Set your standards high. Do not yield for any reason. Compromise in any way will break down the walls of your defense. Self-pity opens the door. Refusing to be hurt, and refusing to let feelings rule your heart and mind, but choosing to keep your heart and mind filled with God, will slam the door on the enemy. Spend your time worshipping the Lord and keeping your focus on Him. Remind yourself that self-pity plays into the enemies hands. Remember, Jesus was hated too.
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." John 15:18-20 We can expect opposition. The Christian life was not meant to be a bed of roses. Whenever we take a stand for what we believe, there will be those who will hate us. “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands, STANDS FIRM to the end will be saved. " Matthew 10:22 But how do we stand firm?

A good soldier does not just stand around waiting for the enemy to attack and then throw up his hands and yield control to the opposition. He resists. He fights. He does what is expected of him. He knows that anything else will result in death.
So we too, as Christian soldiers, need to take our stand in the face of the enemy of our souls. We have read and learned this classic verse in James 4: 7-8 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you,” but how often do we really do what it says? Too often we try to resist the devil on our own terms. We fail to submit to God and we fail to draw near to God. As a result, we do not win and God does not draw near to us. Our self-righteous pride and self-sufficiency will destroy us!
Areas we must guard:

Our Mind.
Satan loves to attack the vulnerable mind. He uses the weapons of worry, fear and doubt. The moment we allow our mind to be filled with his weapons, then we are on the road to defeat. But, we choose what we allow into our minds. The Bible tells us what we should be thinking about…."Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 We have no business entertaining any other kinds of thoughts. Worry fear and doubt tell God we are not trusting in Him. Choose God! Believe God!

Our Mouth.
The Bible teaches us that our mouth speaks from the abundance of what is in our hearts. Many words have crossed our lips that we have regretted saying later. Some words are harsh, hurtful and doubt-filled. We need to ask God to help us put a guard upon our lips, that we may not speak anything that would hurt our relationship with the Lord or any other person. The enemy would love to take our words and use them against us. Let’s not play into his plans. Let our mouth speak praises to God.

Our Marriage.
Marriage is a divinely planned relationship. Satan’s attempt to destroy marriages also destroys families, churches and testimonies. It often amazes me that two individuals, deeply in love can stand at an altar and make promises to God witnessed by a room full of family and friends, only to end up months later in divorce court, angry and bitter. What happens? Selfishness, false expectations, broken promises, infidelity, and pride, all take their toll on two lives who failed to keep their promises. Guarding our marriages means we must be careful not to allow our hearts or our emotions to be swayed by satan’s tactics. It take two to work at it together. Daily pray for each other. Selflessly give to each other. Keep your promises to each other. Don’t fudge and make exceptions… "just this once..” Loving each other is a full time job. It is a battle raising a family, with all the attacks that family will experience in a lifetime . Choose to do it for God! Love your mate with all your heart as if your life depended on it. Love your kids, knowing that they are the hope of the next generation. Be an example they can look to with pride.

Our Ministry.
God has a plan for every believer. He expects each of us to be involved in ministry. Ministry is not just for pastors and missionaries. Every believer is a minister and has a ministry. Satan wants to destroy what God wants to do through you. He may use depression, discouragement, financial stress, life circumstances, illness, family and our own limitations to discourage us from our ministry. But we must not allow anything to keep us from what God has called us to do for Him. If God has called us, He will make a way for us to accomplish it. We may not become some well known hero of the faith, but when we refuse to compromise our calling, our morals, our values, our Christianity, our marriage, our ministry—God is glorified through us!
What areas of your life are you currently compromising? Remember, God is looking over your shoulder and he does not miss a thing! Make it your daily motto in this life—No compromise!
J. Johnson

2 Corinthians 6:14
"Don't become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That's not partnership; that's war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God's holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way: "I'll live in them, move into them; I'll be their God and they'll be my people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good," says God. "Don't link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I'll be a Father to you; you'll be sons and daughters to me."
(The Message Bible)

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