As the American church, we walk around as if we run things. As if our petty attempts to try and control and manage the spirit like a puppet amounts to anything. In all reality, it brings us closer and closer to death itself. Slowly nullifying ourselves, until we are overcome with nothing but our self- pity and shame.
Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah! “The multitude of your sacrifices what are they to me?” says the Lord. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations I cannot bear your worthless assemblies. Isaiah 1:10-13
We’ve become so conceded and self -righteous, that we’ve created our own Christianity. A Christianity that allows the “little” sins such as white lies, hidden pornography addictions, lack of obedience to scripture, divorce, and conforming to the world to become the new norm. While at the same time pushing away, condemning, or hating those with what we call the “larger” sins. Such as physical, mental, sexual abuse, the LGBT community, drinking, smoking, and the recreational use of drugs.
I don’t bring up these issues to talk about each one, but rather to talk about the bigger issue. When the average person first accepts Christ into their life, they go through a honeymoon phase. After some time, the new believer goes through a legalistic stage. This is an attempt to capture holiness through their actions and to be doers of the Word rather than mere listeners. Through this, the new believer may push people they love out of their life. This is due to seeing the sin in the loved one’s life and holding a non- Christian to the same standard as they are. Through this, two things may happen. One, the new believer will turn from the church and or faith with a discouraged heart. Two, the person may learn to humble themselves through the obedient reading of scripture. Through this, they soon realize they need more than just mere actions to attain sanctification. They learn they need to love one another and be Christ like. Due to a lack of understanding and bad experiences of how to truly be doers of the Word, the new believer slowly becomes a mere listener of the Word. Turning into one of the Christians that they see all around them. Christians that wear masks and make compromises at every turn. Unfortunately, this happens far too much. We as Christians, need to be better examples. We as Christ followers are called to make disciples. Are we truly walking with new believers, or sending them out to the wolves? Are we truly discipling them, or are they just another number to put on our annual report?
The elephant is not just the lack of discipling, even though that is a result of the problem. The elephant is our lack of conviction and the little sins we make excuses for daily. Things such as food, coffee, and cell phone addictions. These may seem small, but when you’re getting headaches from a lack of coffee in your system, there’s a problem. On average, we tend to look at our cell phones once every five minutes, first thing when we wake and last thing before we sleep. Most people can’t part with their cell phone for a long period of time without feeling anxious. Obesity is just another example of our dependency on something other than Christ.
To put anything before God is a sin. Sin is simply anything that separates us from God. Whether it’s a dependency on caffeine, worshiping our phones, or not respecting the temples we live in. Yes, God is love, but we CANNOT forget that the price for sin is death and God is faithful and just. Yes, Jesus paid that debt, but according to John 3:16 we must believe to receive eternal life. Yes, Jesus died for all, but we must first accept Him. Otherwise, we are one of the lost and not part of the found. When we repeatedly return to our sin, we will eventually be turned over to our sin.
“When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 1:15-21
We are directed to wash and make ourselves clean. To stop doing what is wrong, learn to do what is right, seek justice, defend the oppressed, the cause of the fatherless, and to plead the case of the widow. The phrase, “The Elephant in the Room” refers to an obvious issue that people are either to ashamed to talk about, or refuses too. When will we be sick of walking around with planks of wood in our own eye, pretending that we can see? Pretending that everything is okay, even though our shame is shouting at us from the inside, hindering the spirit and quenching ministry that surrounds us.
Before a downfall the heart is haughty,
but humility comes before honor. Prov 18:12
In Christ, Alex