Wednesday, June 5, 2019
We have all heard about hurricanes. We have seen the devastation they cause when they come in full force upon man’s constructed world. Some of us may have even been in an area as it was being battered by such a storm. I have not been in a hurricane, but I have been in a serious category F5 tornado in Algona, Iowa in 1979. Whether you have been in the middle of such destruction or just seen pictures and videos of the damage, we all should have a healthy fear of such storms and take life-saving precautions when we are warned of their approach.
This same principle applies to other areas of life as well where healthy fear brings wisdom to decision-making. My thoughts were stimulated by something Chuck Swindoll wrote in his book Growing Strong In The Seasons Of Life:
No family I know is interested in vacationing in a houseboat twenty feet above Niagara Falls. Or swimming in the Amazon near a school of piranhas…Or building a new home that straddles the San Andreas fault.
There’s not a dad in America who’d let his daughter date a convicted murderer.
I mean, some things make no sense at all. Like lighting a match to see if your gas tank is empty. Or stroking a rhino to see if he’s tame. Man, that’s lethal! They’ve got a name for nuts who try such stunts. Victims.
I’m sure we could make a huge list of all the things we would never do because it would be just plain stupid to try them. I will never jump out of an airplane without a parachute, and even if I had one I probably wouldn’t do it. I will never put my hands inside an open electrical panel and grab a hold of the feed wires. I will never douse myself with lighter fluid and jump into a roaring campfire.
There is a reason I would never do any of these things: I know what the consequences are. And yet every day people take little steps in the direction of destruction with no fear of the consequences. They choose to rewrite the Bible’s commands so that they can justify their life-style choices. They choose to not separate themselves from all that is sinful and believe that they will not suffer.
Deuteronomy 7:16, 25-26 You must destroy all the peoples the LORD your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you. The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the LORD your God. Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Utterly abhor and detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.
God’s command is clear – “Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Utterly abhor and detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.” God brought this command into the context of our New Testament faith when He said in Galatians 6:7-8a, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Just look around at the risky behaviors of some Christians. They have seen the hopeless situation of homeless men and women who have become addicted to alcohol or drugs and yet they believe they can drink and use recreational drugs without any consequences. They have seen the devastating effect of sexual promiscuity on both the sanctity of marriage and in the transmission of incurable diseases, and yet they choose to pursue the pleasures of sexuality outside of marriage. These people not only do not fear the consequences of their choices, but they try to justify them with statements like these:
- God wants me to be happy. Why can’t I divorce and remarry based on my feelings alone?
- Maybe this was considered immoral in your generation, but times have changed. I believe the Lord gives us all things to enjoy.
- Look, nobody’s perfect. At least my sinful choices are not really hurting anyone else. God’s grace will cover me.
My dear Christian friend – stop playing with sin because sin isn’t playing with you. The consequences of sin are never compromised, so don’t compromise with sin. Maybe not all your choices are directly sinful, but I bet if you analyzed the motive for that choice it might be, because selfish desires are sin.
God has called us to destroy not only anything sinful in our lives, but to also not touch anything that would lead us into sin. The gold and silver that covered the idols of Moses’ day was not sinful, but it could ensnare the people in a life of materialism and idolatry. Why would we as God’s chosen children want to allow anything detestable and destructive to come into our lives? We know in our hearts we are saved and don’t really enjoy sin, yet we enjoy sin too much to really experience the wonder of being saved.
It is time to come out from among the sinful behaviors of the world and be separate. Let the world really see the deliverance from sin and the deliverance from anything that leads to sin. Let them see the victory that is possible in the Name of Jesus.