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Friday, January 9, 2015

Do You Really Want God's Glory?

1 Peter 4:3-6 (ESV)
3  For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4  With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5  but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6  For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.

I grew up in the country. We have a few head of cattle, chickens and pigs for a little while.  It was no big deal to have steak. In fact, that's what we had the most. I ate it but didn't think of it an anything special. it was mundane so my mom tried new ways to serve it. In the end it always tasted like steak.

That's not true for me today. I don't get steak that often and when I do, it is special. Its like I rediscovered something that once had bored me. Our lives are like that. We want something new to stimulate us.

That would all be fine if it was our natural inclination for stimulation from God's word. It isn't. Most of the people who call themselves Christians are actually bored with God's word. The evidence is found in that they don't have a daily time with God in which they read, meditate and apply God's word to their lives. Most Christians know exactly where their Bibles are because they haven't moved from that place in a very long time. They couldn't have left them somewhere because they weren't taken with them.

So, most people-both Christians and non-Christians- are looking for some external stimulation. They live in the world and expect this world to give them that stimulation. They center their lives around the lust of the flesh, the lost of the eyes and the pride of life. They go deeper and deeper into a world of stimulation. It keeps them from clearly seeing what is going on.

This morning I watched the first car in a left hand turn lane wait seven seconds after the light had turned green. The person wasn't paying attention. The stimulation of the light just wasn't enough to grab their attention. They needed more. I wonder if a truck horn sound would work?  I'm sure that even this would become so mundane that no one would pay attention to it. Then, it would take something more.

And that's what's happening to people who are caught into this stimulation. It takes more. Eventually the things that stimulated you aren't enough. It doesn't matter if it is sex or getting a new gadget or having your name in lights. It doesn't matter what you see at the movies, there must be something outside your box if it is to be stimulating. The genres of horror, pornography and even story telling itself has gone way beyond anything that has previously happened. It appears that these things so stimulate us that we will emulate them if given the opportunity.

I have people coming to me explaining their "adventures" into the perverse. (That's a definition that I can't define anymore. I don't know what's perverted because it has become so common.) Many of these people claim to be Christians. They never thought they shouldn't do these things. They listened to it, maybe watched it and created a desire to participate in it. They wanted something that removed the mundane from their lives. They hardly noticed the damage they were doing to themselves and those around them.

Yes, Christians are joining the non-Christians in their sins. They are going as deeply into the stimulation as those who have no knowledge or care for Christ. They want the "next big thing" just as much.

So, don't be surprised at what happens in your church when the people act as if they don't know Christ. They are looking for stimulation, not glory.

Glory could be just as stimulating but it would cost a whole lot more. It would mean giving up everything in the world to follow Christ.

And who would want that?

1 comment:

Anthony Chia said...

It all started when this "chap" wanted to put himself equal or above God. He was no longer contented with rejoicing with God; He wanted his own joy. What's this "rejoice with" and one's own joy?

The "he" above was of course, Lucifer, the once chief angel of God. He once only knew rejoicing with God; in other words, his joy was derived from the joy of God. He was joyous when God was joyous, and so, he took care of things to ensure God was pleased and glorified. Scripture said when Iniquity came into him, Satan, aka Lucifer, wanted to be God or even above God; in other words, he began to think "why must I make another (God), happy to be happy, I want others to make me happy?" Instead of "gractifying another, the posture changed to "gractifying self". Putting it in another way, he no longer wanted God to have glory, he wanted glory for himself. Lucifer turned self-gractifying and became selfish, and became Satan.

In the Fall of Man, Satan replicated Iniquity into Man. Instead of focusing on what pleases God, the fallen Man turned and turns to what pleases himself. Iniquity is not just an event or an occasion or a singular happening; it is like a living thing inside of us, voicing to us throughout our lives, and passes down the genealogy of Man.

The destiny of Satan, we know from Scripture; he is no longer given a way back to rejoice WITH God, but we, Man, is given a way. That way, is firstly, through the forgiveness we can have through our believing that Jesus died for us, and then living our lives, no longer harkening to that "fallen voice", but to the voice of the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit and Word are one, i.e. the Holy Spirit does not contradict the Holy Scripture, and so, listening to the voice of the Spirit is also listening to the Word.

The Word and the voice of the Holy Spirit and the person of the Holy Spirit are what God has given us to counter the "fallen voice" or Iniquity. There is just no other way. It is about choices; do we want to return to God, and so, live by His Word and follow the leading of His Spirit, or we just pay lip service to the demand of a holy God.

That God does not readily zap us with lightning from Heaven when we disobey, does not mean He does not mind. The grace of God is taught and looked upon wrongly, so prevalently, nowadays; people just take God for granted. We have preachers who teach that when God sees you, He only see Jesus (I.e. none of your ugliness!), and even this (despite Scripture prohibited it), that we can take glory for ourselves, when glory is due Him, alone.

God is not blind, and is not fooled or can He be mocked. Our lives tell on us; your neighbour may not know how you live or your cleverly hidden dark secrets, but God knows them all.

God, forgive me and have mercy on me.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions