Are you and I responsible for our nation’s devastation of ungodly and gross sin? As we observe many people blatantly defying God and His ways, should we be examining our lives as believers?
The Bible says in Psalms 1:1, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly…” My paraphrase of the verse is this: “True joy and peace is granted to those who are strong enough in the LORD, to not allow the tactics of the world to influence their way of thinking or their way of life.”
We don’t have to look around very far to see that the culture of this world has had a tremendous affect on the church. In the church’s defense, we have adapted to the mindset that we should not be sheltered from the world, but be exposed to ungodly situations and people, so we can become stronger ourselves. As a result, many immature and unstable Christians have become calloused, and some have altogether begun walking away from God. John 17:15 says, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” This means that we have to be extremely careful that being exposed to ungodly situations and influences doesn’t lead to subconsciously embracing these ungodly philosophies.
Many times, the reason for experiencing a taste of the world’s allurements is for self gratification, but is done in the guise of religion. Satan dangles the counterfeit of true joy and happiness which only consists of a few minutes of fleeting worldly pleasures. This, in return, pierces a dart through our soul. It’s disheartening to realize how our mindset has drastically changed in today’s church-going society. We used to say, “What can I do to stay as far away from sin as I can?” Today, there are many believers who are (inwardly) asking, “How much sin can I experience, yet still be able to go to Heaven?” Is there any wonder that we are seeing the downfall of sin that is so prevalent today?
You may be thinking, “I know there are many dedicated Christians who love the Lord and are standing up for godly values.” That is true. However, statistics show that many principles of God’s Word are no longer an intricate and valid element in many Christian homes and businesses. What are some of the ramifications of this? The divorce rate is nearly as high in Christian homes as it is among nonbelievers. Many couples see children as a financial and emotional drain, rather than blessings from God. Today’s Christians are only a step behind the abortion mindset. Christians are heavily in debt because we borrow money to satisfy our lusts, instead of waiting and trusting in God for His timely provision. We find ourselves questioning whether sins, like homosexuality and abortion, are truly wrong. After all, discrimination is also wrong, and Jesus commands us not to judge anyone. We are commanded not to judge, but we need to give the Bible the preeminence in our lives. God’s Word will judge whether things are right or wrong. It is the only absolute, and our lives should be a reflection of it. We should be praying for repentance to begin with us, Christians, rather than expecting it to come only from the ungodly.
I was reminded of this example today, when I found myself becoming frustrated at the attitudes demonstrated by our two and three year old little girls. After examining my own life, I was starkly reminded that, many times, this same attitude is manifested in me. How can I expect anything different from my children, when I am not setting the example for them to observe and imitate?
The same principle applies in our lives as Christians. What is holding YOU back from rejecting the counsel and ways of the world, and accepting God’s Word for what it is? You will find this is the only way to joy and peace, contrary to Satan’s counterfeit of fleeting pleasures that ensnare us and subtly lead us down a path away from God. God is calling you TODAY to a greater standard of living!