Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Today’s Topic: Married to the World
Today’s Text: Isaiah 36:7 And if you say to me, “We are depending on the LORD our God”—isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before this altar”?
To fully understand the context and the application of today’s connecting point, you should read the entire thirty-sixth chapter of Isaiah. Here’s a link: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2036&version=NIV
Here’s a quick summary. King Hezekiah is reigning in Judah. The king of Assyria, Sennacherib, has invaded the land and is attacking all the fortified cities. Sennacherib sends his commander with a large army over to Jerusalem. Hezekiah sends a delegation to meet them. The Assyrian commander makes these statements:
- Why are you so confident?
- You claim to have strength but we see no evidence of it.
- You say you have allies but they are weak and powerless against us.
- You claim to trust in your God, but you have stopped worshiping Him and have adopted other gods.
It’s this last statement that hits me really hard. Here was the enemy of God, with no faith in the One True God at all, who is attacking God’s chosen people. These are His covenant people, yet they have ignored the covenant and rejected their faith in God alone. For the sake of pleasing the people they live with – wives, children, and friends – they have removed what they thought was an obstacle to survival in the world – their faith in Jehovah God. They believed that they would fit into their culture better if they eliminated the one thing that made all other peoples angry.
On Monday I received a Facebook post from a young man who has been called into ministry. He asked me to watch a video that has challenged him. It was from the later years of David Wilkerson’s life as he preached on the subject of anguish. Not a popular word, is it? The video touched my heart, especially at one point when this statement was made – What anguish it must bring to the heart of God when He sees that the Bride He was preparing for marriage to His Son has instead been married to the world.
Please don’t stop reading. The conviction you are feeling is good. It is the Holy Spirit. God is working to purify the Bride of Christ.
We are in a huge turmoil in our state because our Governor is taking steps to reduce our massive fiscal crisis. The people that are being affected by the proposals are staging protests. Yet many of those same people continue to live with a belief that they are owed a life of prosperity. They continue to spend thousands of dollars on luxuries for their families while they complain about having to provide for their own health care and retirement. Something is terribly wrong. Our faith has been displaced with entitlement theology. We have become married to the world.
Our church has an incredible opportunity right now from God to purchase another church in town that would increase or space and ministry potential by 700%. In a few weeks we will be asking our people for financial contributions to make the purchase possible. What will be the response? For those who are married to the world it will be minimal because it will be selfish. For those who are married to Christ and His mission to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ the response will be sacrificial and make possible the realization of the will of God.
My friends, as followers of Christ, why are we so easily persuaded to make friends with the world and adopt its standards? Why do we continue to see our faith in Jesus Christ as an obstacle to acceptance with the world rather than a means of bringing true life to the world? Why have we chosen to become adulterous in our spiritual lives and have a fling with the world? It is time for us to be recognized by our faith and not our possessions. It is time for us to find pleasure in doing the Lord’s work rather than finding more ways to find pleasure from the world.