by Pastor Tim Burt
Ephesians 5:10-11 (NLT) Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them.
Many people consider God’s request to carefully follow His ways, out of touch and out of reality with the times. They see God and serious Christians as killjoys—someone trying to hinder their fun. What they’re blinded from understanding is that the so-called fun the devil tempts them to participate in, are most often harmful practices and behaviors that will eventually tear their lives apart and leave them hurting and miserable. This is why God doesn’t want His children involved in them! Jesus is in no way trying to hinder the good that life can offer us. Jesus is the author and creator of what a good life is! Jesus said in John 10:10 NKJV, “I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” His guidelines for living are what help lead us to the good that can come in life. He’s like the loving father that wants to protect his children from wandering in the street so they don’t get hit by a car. God’s boundaries protect us, not steal from our lives. (And that’s something Satan never wants anyone to know!)
Even Christians get sucked into and fall to the temptations and worldly lifestyles that corrupt and steal from this life—that destroy the life of blessing and peace that Jesus wants us to experience. Too many Christians say: Oh well, what can I do? Times have changed. Open and greater sexuality is just a part of life. It’s everywhere! Do you expect me to be a monk? You can’t watch TV without seeing sexuality and hearing profanity. You can’t find a movie without it. I can handle it. It won’t hurt me. After all, people I work with people who swear all the time. They tell dirty jokes and talk freely about their sexual exploits all the time. Sex is just like going to the movies. It’s entertainment.
That kind of attitude represents spiritual blindness already at work. They’ve already been lured in. People that think like that have already yielded to it. Sin clouds and blinds the insight and revelation that would otherwise come from seeking God and His will. It demotivates righteous living! It leads to a spiritual laziness and eventually to a backing away from the things of God. It’s so subtle at the time it happens, but then one day you find yourself distant from God and don’t know how you got there.
When you can still feel conviction (not condemnation) over wrong-doing, that’s good! It means you’re still alive—you’re still sensitive the the Holy Spirit of God. But caving in and then repeating sin numbs you, creates spiritual confusion and rationalization, and eventually works to justify what you once knew was shameful. Sin works like a dimmer switch. The more you continue in it, the darker it gets and the more you forget why God’s ways are important. It takes being purposeful in your love for Jesus. It takes a thankful heart and consistent appreciation for what He has done for you, and an intentional pursuit of His will and ways to stay close to the Lord. When you purpose to do this, you’ll get back to that place where you can hear from Him and be lead by His Spirit. It is then that you will find strength and help from Him through His Word instead of being sucked into the ever-degrading moral standards of the world.
The Apostle Paul also warns us us in Ephesians 5:3-7 NIV writing, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.”
God loves us. He tries to protect us from being lured into and taken captive by Satan’s wiles. Living on the fence with one foot in both worlds isn’t really living for Jesus. It’s a horrible witness to others because you’ll cause them to stumble. It’s also spiritual torture that will eventually lead you to abandon your love for Jesus and forsake your faith in Him.
Life is short and living for God wholeheartedly does not make you a killjoy. It fills you with the joy of the Lord who is our strength, and helps us move forward into His blessing without looking backward with regret! It’s what God wants for all His children! It’s want He wants for you!
Ephesians 5:8 & 17 (NLT2) “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light… Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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