Deuteronomy 6:6-8 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.”
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
In the year 2008, when tolerance and diversity are held in higher esteem than truth, such passages would seem to be “unreasonable” to most. A way that “seemeth right” is preferred over the ways of God who created all that is while anyone standing for truth is often labeled “narrowminded, fanatical, holier-than-thou, out of touch, mean-spirited, and a host of other phrases too numerous to mention. The philosophical and theological arenas have been flooded with ideas that run contrary to the word of God, however, because they allow everyone to engage in that which seems good in their own eyes, they enjoy widespread acceptance. The next passage is as familiar as the first two, but it’s needful of another visit.
Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
Three notable truths are contained in these two verses. First is the call to the wicked to forsake that which seems good in their own eyes and seek the Lord. Second, if this is done in sincerety; repenting of (being sorry for and turning from) those deeds which are contrary to scripture, the Lord will “abundantly pardon.” He desires a sincere relationship with us and is ready to forgive us of whatever is separating us from him; if we’ll simply ask. Third, this is a limited time offer that “expires when we do.” Since none of us know when our final moment under the sun will transpire, the urgency of this is paramount. “Call on the Lord while he may be found.” Or as the apostle Paul told the Athenians “Though he be not far from every one of us.”
This not only applies to those outside the household of faith. For all who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and have their names written in the book of life, we must keep our hearts with all diligence and be willing to let go of anything in our lives that’s not pleasing to the Lord. In addition, we have a very short time in which to be about our Fathers business and after we draw our final breath, our file in heaven will be complete. Our works will be tried and only those things which are done for Christ will remain. Everything else will go the way of the world which is destined to be burned by fire. If we would get this truth into our heart of hearts, we would be much more diligent about those issues which have eternal significance.
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Gods ways are so far beyond our ways that, in ourselves, we can never grasp the whole of them. If we are truly born of the Spirit, we should fervently desire to let go of anything and everything that’s not of God; be it traditions, foolishness, (my ongoing battleground) an interest that keeps our heart chained to the temporal; anything that would take our heart away from the deep things of God. (even blogging; if it becomes a hinderance) This is not a grievous thing because as we draw closer to Jesus and become transformed into his image, those things which hinder simply lose their appeal. Just as the apostle Paul counted everthing that he had achieved or acquired in this world as dung, we’ll come to so desire a closer relationship with Christ that letting go of the temporal weights will be a small thing.
True liberty; that which the world can never offer or take away, is found when we make Jesus Lord of our life. When our itineraries and the philosophies of others are set aside and we seek him first and foremost. While all who are born of the Spirit will grow day by day, I fear that few of us ever arrive at a place of complete liberty in this venue. Sometimes, with the hecticity of life these days, such a concept would almost seem to have no place. Yet when a person can say “here am I Lord” and be ready at the drop of a hat to respond accordingly, regardless of what it is the Lord would have them do, what the cost is in this world, or who thinks it’s a crazy idea; this is liberty. With the shortness of time and the events looming on the horizon, we all must get to a place where everything of this life can be dropped as we say “Here am I Lord; send me.” One more familiar passage, but it’s a favorite:
Hebrews 12:1-2 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Weights “and” sins. There are things which may not be sinful, but they become weights as they take away our heart. For example, the internet isn’t “sinful” in itself, but it certainly becomes a weight in the lives of many as countless hours are spent in a cyber reality. This is venturing into the subject of a future post, but it’s amazing how much time we delegate to that which isn’t real. Recently I found out about a cyber world called “Second Life.” Here a person can enter into a simulated world; design a life to their liking, interract with others, and, in short, develop a complete life in a make-believe setting where the only hinderance is ones own imagination. Our society has become so dominated by illusion that many have difficulty separating reality from that which is a simulation. The inhabitants of the earth are being set up to follow a man and worship an image that’s not what it appears to be. (I’m sorry: I wasn’t planning to go apocalyptic in this post.)
Well I’m going to close for now. The thing that’s been on my heart much lately, is the need for every saint to seek the Lord Jesus and his will for our remaining days under the sun. To, from the heart, let go of everything that’s destined to burn and follow hard after the Lord Jesus who purchased us with his own innocent blood. May we grasp just how great a salvation we have and give our all unto the Lord who gave his all for us. I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.
I John 5:3-5 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.”
Revelation 14:13 “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
PROPHETIC INSIGHT INTO THE TIMES It’s needful to be aware as to the hour in which we live and this post over at “The Age to Come” (Peter) is very timely.