In today’s world, we find people stand by their belief that God does not exist, and live their lives accordingly, and so it is clear to us, when we look upon the lives of such people, that truly, they do not believe in the existence of God; they live for themselves. When I look at myself, and look back at the years, I am ashamed. God does exist, I do believe, and that is where I stand. But how have I lived that? Have I lived a Christ-like life? So that I do not need to tell I believe and am Christian, but my life spells it out clearly? NO. I do not need to ask anybody, the truth is clear to see, and it shames me.
HYPOCRISY is the word. I have been a hypocrite for so long I do not remember where last I left myself. The thing about the Christian life is the singularity of it, and that is what this blog post is about. In ordinary things of life, we find that our acquaintances are formed per our interests, beliefs and principles. So also is the Christian life. If it be true, your circles will reflect that. If you are unashamedly Christian, deeply grounded in the godly, and in no way supportive of the ungodly, your circles will reflect it. The Chorus to Jonathan McReynold’s No Gray says;
And if it’s God that I’m after
I can’t serve two masters
And before something happens
I got to turn it all around
Because I know
I can’t just have my cake and eat it too
Cause it’s real easy to stay on the fence and still do you
And it’d be cool if we could love the Lord and still go do our thing
But see it doesn’t work like that
You got to be white or black
And that is the truth of the matter. When you choose white, it will be evident, and vice versa. But what do we see happening, and by that I use myself as an example, as well as some of the lies I fed on to fuel my double-mindedness and life of deceit for years, and years. It doesn’t work like that. You cannot love the Lord, and still be immoral, you cannot love the Lord and be the drunk at that party each time, you cannot love the Lord and be high on drugs, you cannot…you cannot, and the devil knows that he can stand and accuse us as liars when we live like this and so he convinces us that it is okay. That Grace makes it okay. Do we not see what is happening here? Does this not remind us of something that happened long, long ago? Do we not see the deception?
Let us go back to our Bibles then, to Genesis 3:1, which says that The Serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God REALLY (emphasis mine) say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
And we all know that was what started sin in our world, till Jesus Christ came and died, and atoned for them all and saved us from death. But let us not forget that the devil is still going about like what? A roaring Lion! Snooping around in search of those he can devour, tear apart. When we are in a safe place, he cannot reach us…we have to venture out to where he can pounce on us, and he does his best by luring us, as he did before in Eden, he continues to do even now – deceit, taking the truth and twisting it. So yes, Jesus came, He died, He canceled all sin, and we became righteous in the eyes of the Almighty God. Then in crawls the slithering conniving serpent again and whispers;
Are you sure, this cross, does not DOUBLE as a TICKET to FOOL AROUND, you Christian? Has Christ not FORGIVEN even TOMORROW’S WRONGS? Can you not DO THEM and be assured even before you do them that they are counted unto you as RIGHTEOUSNESS and NOT SIN? You are no longer SINNERS under the LAW but are RIGHTEOUS under the GRACE of JESUS CHRIST. Go on and do all these things listed in the Bible as unbefitting of a child of God, including sexual immorality, covetousness, evil concupiscence, lying, cheating, and all forms of profanity. Why? Because of GRACE!
I am not a preacher, neither am I a saint. I am merely a young Christian woman, fresh out of the throes of the evil one and I feel moved to speak the truth which has set me free today. Grace, my dear one reading this, is not a ticket for sin, neither is it a one-time pass to heaven, allowing us to live as we please. No, no, I lived that lie once, no!
No! Grace is screaming to us in Romans 2:4 saying;
Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Wait, can you NOT see? That his Grace is what keeps you alive, gives you another chance, prods you to make that choice to live and live for God, and when you choose that new life, you then become a new creature, with a new nature, not under law but under grace, and so your nature is no longer evil, but righteous, and so you must feed that new you with what edifies it? If you believe this day that Jesus Christ is Lord, and you confess it with your mouth, receive him into your heart, do you NOT see Grace at work when in spite of where you have been, what you have done, he steps in and begins to work in and with you? Do you NOT see that this is Grace? Why then do you allow the devil to deceive you? While we were still sinners, people. While we were still sinners! Is it now, that we are His, that we will live in filth, with the anthem ‘He forgives’ as our mantra that keeps us in that filth?
NO! The prescription for the new life Grace bought for us, and we accepted by accepting Christ is this;
Do not let sin control the way you live, do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have NEW LIFE. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. SIN IS NO LONGER YOUR MASTER, for you no longer live under the requirement of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s GRACE. [Romans 6:12-14]
This prescription does not condemn us when we fall, but encourages us, by forgiving us, and helping us back up and into His light, the blood he shed, cleansing us once again and making us fit for heaven yet that, DOES NOT MEAN we live in filth deliberately. The availability of cleansing power of His blood does not mean we live as we used to when we were dead and not born again.
For years now, this is how I lived – under the control of my flesh, I tried drugs, I took alcohol, and as for sexual immorality, I cannot begin to describe the gravity of the rot I was in, and will come out of, and go back to, and in, and out. I gave in to sensualities at the least rise in temptation, no self-control, no resistance. It does not mean He did not forgive me each time I fell. Oh there were more times I felt His presence than Not, but my heart, was never singular, and that was the reason why I so easily kept falling. See McReynolds’ song comes back to mind, and here the verse one says;
Lord I’m split in two
Part of me loves the world
And the other loves You
And that was me. My occasional actions proved my love for the world, my conscience and grieving spirit proved my love for God. How is that the new life? We deceive ourselves. See, to have control over sin, and not the other way round, we need to make use of Grace, and step into the new life. And what is the new life. Romans chapter 8 spells it out as Life in the Spirit. Our free will opens us to choice; Life or Death. Grace is in Life, works in Life, and abounds in Life. Very often we deceive ourselves into thinking we are in Life. But assess yourselves, using the Bible as a tool. The CHOICE is a SINGULAR one. WHITE or BLACK. HOT or COLD. NO GRAY. LUKEWARM is detestable to the Lord. HE WILL SPEW YOU OUT! White is when you become His child. White is when you live in the spirit, when sin is not your nature and by deference we know what Black is;
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that PLEASE the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. [Romans 8:5-6]
Where now do we truly attest to that we stand? I attest to the truth that I was lukewarm before – Controlled in mind by my sinful nature. When I stood before a mirror naked, it appealed to me, I wanted to flaunt it. I remember just recently sharing semi-nude pictures of me and one gentleman confessing to me that he was “officially lusting” after me and I also remember how satisfying that was, that I was wanted, by a man. Can I go right back to Romans 6 where the Lord instructed;
Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin?
What was I doing? If by Grace I was in the spirit, I wouldn’t think that, I wouldn’t do that, I wouldn’t feel that! Who was I lying to? Who was I living for? I was parading as Christian but I WAS NOT! I WAS NOT! And a lot of young people do that. “I am Christian, Grace abounds, He has cleansed me and made me righteous, Grace, Grace, Grace.” What does your mind tell you to do more often than not? Lies, Sex, Drugs, Alcohol, Filthy Communication because that is the new cool? Ask yourselves these, and you will know whether or not you have received this new life.
Let us not be deceived. Through the power of this Spirit that is the new life in you, you WILL put to death your sinful nature and you will LIVE. [Romans 8:13] The Bible has said it and it is true!
I have come to learn it is not by the tag given you by friends either because you hold your argument well for the Bible, or based on past standing. It is not all who call on His name, who are for him…and the last day shall reveal this. That is why we must snap out of this deceit; choose the New life which requires us to mortify this flesh. Confess our sins to God, confess that He is our saviour, and then putting on the full amour of God, fight against the enemy. Those things which are clearly stated should not be named amongst the practicing saint, let it not be named among us. Fornication is not okay, all forms of sexual immorality are not okay, greed is not okay, lying is not okay, murder, covetousness, they are NOT okay. Do not be lied to!
Yet they have not eternally condemned us. If we let them go, He is MERCIFUL. I let them go. I STOPPED LYING TO MYSELF. I ACKNOWLEDGED THEY WERE NOT OKAY. I WAS IN THE WORLD UP TO MY EYEBROWS! Slowly losing the white in me – GRAY RAPIDLY TURNING BLACK. And this is only the beginning. Temptations will come, I have lost friends, I have let a lot go, I will lose more, and I will let more go. But I know the end…it is GOOD. It is FULFILLING. It is where GOD WANTS ME.
What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting. So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet. [Matthew 18:7-8]
It is in this new life, that though we may falter, his grace remains sufficient, his forgiveness infinite. He will hold us up, and present us as righteous. And it is GRACE that releases us from the hold of sin and guilt.
Do not feel too sinful, too caught up in the world to take on this new life. The curtain is divided, salvation is available to all. Step out of your old selves, step into the new life, with a singleness of heart, which is the most important thing.
With this decision will come the resolution to yield to change, yield to the mortification of your flesh and its desires. A CONSCIOUS effort to put aside and bury all that was a part of your old and sinful self and stand with a single choice, AS I HAVE CHOSEN, WITH A SINGLENESS OF HEART – Life, Christ, AMAZING GRACE!