The prophet Elijah was commissioned and used by God to steer the Hebrew nation in the desired direction through warnings, teaching them, calling them to repentence, and chastising them. I’m certainly no Elijah, but sometimes I think the things that are given to me by the Lord fall into those categories. This is one of them.
Satan was cast down from Heaven because of what are sometimes called the “Five deadly I wills.” Isaiah 14:12 says: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, who didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” Although it’s a sobering thought, we were created with the same volition and will that Satan possesses and we can get in trouble with it just as easily.
If you think about it, although we typically think that there are three wills that come into play in our lives, God’s will, Satan’s will, and our personal will, there are in actuality only two. Whenever we do something that Jesus wouldn’t do or we deliberately ignore the Lord’s instructions, we may think we are following our own will but are actually doing Satan’s will. Matthew 6:24a “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other.” If you think it’s possible to maintain neutrality in your decisions and behavior as a believer, you’re wrong! Just as we know there is no neutral ground in your decision to accept Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, there is no neutral ground in your thoughts and behavior once you are born again.
That puts a whole new slant on how we perceive our behavior doesn’t it? Now, if we consider that everything we do either magnifies the Lord and furthers His Kingdom or instead furthers Satan’s kingdom, we have to give our lives a lot more thought. Jesus was 100% in His Father’s will. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and He never did a single thing to further Satan’s kingdom.
Stories about leaving Jesus outside when we go to work are thought provoking but scripturally inaccurate. In Hebrews 13:5 the Lord says He will never leave us or forsake us. We simply can’t leave Him somewhere while we go off and do something we know we shouldn’t. He’s standing right next to us! He said “He will never leave us.” Think about it for a minute. The occasional gossip, the times we may stand still and listen to someone tell an off-color joke, or the times we break the law by speeding, running a stop sign – He’s right there next to us folks! He’s watching and grieving over our behavior. We’re making a serious error in judgement when we think we can justify doing anything that we know is wrong. During those times, we are serving Satan’s will and furthering his kingdom. If we know we should be in church but we stay home to watch a ball game we’re not in God’s will! It’s not OK!
The thing that makes us different from all of God’s other creatures is our spirit which, when we are born again, contains the seed of the Holy Spirit. Once you become a child of God, the Holy Spirit will let you know when you are in His will and when you are not. You have the Lord God Almighty’s benchmark for what’s correct right at your fingertips. But as clever humans, we have invented this place of neutrality in our lives where we think we’re ok with certain behaviors. We’re wrong!
When we are trying as hard as humanly possible to conform to God’s will, we produce much fruit. We bless those around us, we grow spiritually and the Lord knows we will be obedient and that He can use us in any situation. If we think we can hide in the place we think is the “Neutral Zone” we’re only fooling ourselves. We’re not only missing the opportunity to produce fruit and to grow spiritually but we miss the tremendous blessings that we receive when we are used by the Lord.
The Lord is clearly cleaning up the Church body. It is our RESPONSIBILITY as believers to get our collective act together and get with the program. This is not a time to be LUKEWARM. Revelation 3:15 says “I know thy works, that thou are neither cold nor hot, I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” I know what to do with someone that hasn’t ever known the Lord and is cold and I really love being around others that are hot. But frankly I’m beginning to lose patience with those that claim to be Christians but have a firm grip on the world with both hands. They’re spoiling my Lord’s image. If I’m that upset with them, imagine how He feels about their behavior. Who do you serve?