1. Are you Indulging in Carnal Liberty as part of your Christianity?
Let me explain this point. People are so quick to propagate this agenda of an ‘Orderless God’, a God who is not bothered about what we wear, eat, watch, how we behave etc, because he’s only ever bothered about ‘your heart’. Yes, God is bothered about your heart, but He is more bothered about the state of your heart towards Him. All of these things- what we eat, how we behave, what we wear, etc— have all been decided in our heart firstly before they are expressed externally. So you see, simply only ever saying ‘God is only bothered about my heart’ should never be an excuse to add wilful sinful living as a part and parcel of your Christianity. The Bible says that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Essentially, ever single part of our lives that is manifested externally, all started from the heart— the heart that God uses to judge our intention and motives.
We’re so quick to speak about a God of love and disregard the wrath or severity of this same God. Unconsciously, some people have described God to themselves as one who allows the indulgence of carnal liberty all in a bid to justify their own addition of carnal liberty into their ‘relationship with God’. In Romans 1:18-32, we see Paul discussing about the wrath of God. Plot twist: it’s real guys! Paul says that “For God’s wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative”. Another plot twist guys: I’m not the one that wrote this verse, Paul did. Many people who describe themselves as Christians who recognise Him as God, fail to honour and glorify God with their actions, bodies and lifestyle and instead choose to become godless and treat God as a mere accessory in their lives- only useful for certain occasions (v 21). Read the rest of the chapter guys, because there’s so much wisdom here that God revealed to me throughout last month!
Romans 6:1-2 says, “what shall we then say to these things? Are we to remain in sin in order that God’s grace (favour and mercy) May multiply and overflow? Certainly not (God forbid)! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? (AMPC). God taught me that yes, where sin is, his grace abounds even more, but his grace is not an excuse to continue winning and living in sin. Whilst we are not perfect because we are human, we must strive to recognise and acknowledge sin in our lives and repent from them (God loves a contrite and repentant heart). We need to understand that wilful sin takes us far away from God and draws us away from close intimacy with God- that’s what the devil wants and why whenever we want to sin, the devil looks for clever ways to rationalise it to us from the moment the temptation comes, to whilst we’re in the sin.
Everyone is tempted to sin. But what really matters to God is even when we fall, how repentant are we to God? How much do we rely on God to bring us back to Him after the realisation of our sin? When we sin, God wants us to run back to Him and not away from Him, however, God does not want us to live a life that indulges in sin and use His grace as an excuse or a justification for that indulgence. And even in these end times, God doesn’t want us His children to be amongst those categories of people described in 2 Timothy 3:2-7. God wants us to be holy and live a holy life because He is (1 Peter 1:16).
2. Are you a Parasitic Christian?
We spend so much time talking about the things God has, is and will do for us (which is not bad at all), but what about the things we are doing and will do for God?
Will you obey Him when it’s difficult? Will you go where He sends you even when it’s tough and ‘unrealistic’ to your human reasoning? Will you firmly stand for Him when everyone around you has blatantly stood against Him? Will you work for Him even when doing so proves to be an ‘unpopular’ opinion? Will you get rid of certain friendships when he’s asked you to? Will you drop certain lifestyles that feeds your flesh and pleases your carnality when He asks you to?
Do you demand and demand from God and conveniently forget to give Him, live according to His standards and consecrate yourself to Him? Matthew 6:33 says, “seek ye first the Kingdom of God AND ALL other things shall be added onto you”. Do you actively and consciously seek God first? If God didn’t give you everything you have today, will you still serve Him and be FOR Him? This brings me to my next point.
3. True Christianity is HARD WORK guys!
God wants passionate Christians and hard workers to build his kingdom here on earth and not casual carnal Christians.
As much as people shy away from this truth, CHRISTIANITY IS HARD WORK! To maintaining your relationship with God, you need to work HARD! Salvation is free but maintaining your salvation is very expensive!
Philipians 2:12 AMPC says, “work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (with self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation and timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ). Whooshhhhhh!!! And these are the reasons why I love reading Amplified Classic. Here, we see the true cost of salvation. We see how much importance it is to God and how expensive it is to maintain. To work out means to toil, implies some level of intentionality and commitment to a cause on your own path. To experience true salvation and true service of God you must remove self (to the extend of distrusting yourself) and deny your flesh!
According to this verse, to live a life that pleases God we need to timidly shrink from whatever might offend God has discredit his name. We need to be afraid of sinning against God in our thoughts, with our bodies and our actions. Our conscience needs to be very tender. Tenderness in the sense that even a prick of the thought of sin, makes us cautious and guarded from falling prey to that sin.
As Christians, we need to be passionate about God! We need to be excited about God in the way he’s excited about us! We need to be intentional in our service to Him!
4. All things work together for good TO THEM who Love God AND are called according to His purpose(Romans 8:28).
The Bible says that all things work together for good in Romans 8:28. When people quote this verse, we many at times forget that this promise is for a certain sect of people. So, essentially, this verse says that all things work together for good FOR THOSE WHO:
⁃ Love God and
⁃ Are called according to his purpose!!
When God drew my attention to this at the beginning of July when I started reading Romans, realised that there’s a whole lot to this verse than just mindlessly quoting. Firstly, all things will only ever work together for my own good when I love God and I allow myself to be called according to his purpose. Firstly, what does it mean to love God?
1. Loving Him with all your heart, soul and might (Luke 10:27; Deuteronomy 6:5;
2. Keeping his commandments/commands (John 14:21; Deuteronomy 7:9; John 14:15; 1 John 5:3)
3. To diligently and unashamedly seek for God (Proverbs 8:17)
4. Living a life that is wholly dedicated to pleasing God as opposed to the world and the dictates of the flesh (1 John 2:15-17)
5. By genuinely loving everyone around you (1 John 4:20)
6. By continuously seeking the presence of God (1 Chronicles 6:11).
Finally, to be called according to His purpose simply means to be consecrated and separated unto God. It means walking with God at the expense of pleasing the world and walking according to the dictates of man. It means living your life solely for God and the propagation of his Kingdom here on earth. To me, being called according to his purpose, like the John the Baptist said, is for God to be greater in my life that I may decrease! It means more of God and way less of me!
5. Is God’s Voice the Loudest in your Heart?
Yup. The Holy Spirit threw me into the MMM ring with this question a couple of weeks back. Is God’s voice the loudest in your heart? Is your heart noisy and filled with buying and selling where the voice of God should ordinarily prevail? I remember reading 1 Kings 19:11 to the end in December 2017 and God drew my attention back to the notes from the devotional I had written that month. Here, the Bible talks about when God was speaking to Elijah when he was in the cave. God then told Elijah to stand out on the mountain before God and then a number of things happened. First, God passed by and so did wind and earthquake and fire but the Lord was in neither of them. But where did Elijah find God? It was in the stillness and a small voice. Elijah’s heart must have been too loud and distracted to focus on the voice of God that time.
God speaks to us in that same still small voice, in whispers because he wants our sole attention to be on him. A part of my devotional in 2017 says, “The goal of hearing the Heavenly Father isn’t just hearing his voice- it’s the intimacy that comes with it!!” When someone speaks with a small voice or in a whisper, we typically have to get very close to the person to hear and silence every other distraction around us to hear what they say. Same thing with God! Hearing from Him is a form of intimacy with Him! Chronic noise in our heart may be the biggest impediment to our spiritual growth.
God said to me, find a whispering spot! Dwell in a secret place with me to hear my voice louder! Allow my voice to be the loudest in your life because I want you to heart my heart and know my voice!
And at the end of it all, when all is said and done, I pray EVERYTHING we do in our lives will be done to the glory of God and in the way that pleases Him!