Bible Ballistics: BBs #169 ‘Idle’ness Or ‘Idol’ness???
I know! I know!! I know!!! “Idolness” is not an approved word. It can’t be found in a dictionary. But I think it describes much of what is going on in our world, and sad to say, in much of so-called “Christendom”!!! Many who claim the name of Jesus, are far from the picture of the man, woman, boy or girl who is ‘born again’; who is a ‘new creature’; who is ‘saved’ ‘from their sins’. Genuine salvation isn’t “idleness” or “idolness”, but a deliverance from SIN to a new life ‘in Christ’!!!
There is so much of the world in the ‘church’ today that it’s hard to find ‘Biblical’ salvation and real disciples of Jesus. We have come to accept so much of the world as ‘OK’ that we are, at the least, a very dim “light of the world”; and our ‘salt’ has lost it’s effect on our culture. What did Jesus say?
“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” John 18:36
Note the small words—but the LARGE message, NOT:
OF this world–
OF this world–
FROM hence (meaning OF the world).
Jesus tells Pilate that HIS kingdom is “not of this world”. What did He mean? It’s simple (but not easy) and He used simple words to declare it: that we are not ‘OF’ the world, and our actions should say, “We’re not ‘FROM’ the world”.
“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:11-12
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.” Hebrews 11:13-14
We are called to live as “pilgrims”, as “strangers” in this world, not to become such a part of it, that we look more like the world than like the “kingdom” of God. We ‘love the world’ rather than our Lord and His Word, or His ways.
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” Philippians 3:20
Our “conversation”, (meaning lifestyle) is to be lived-out connected to “heaven”, referring to our living and walking in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit not the spirit of the world. What does your “conversation” say about where you “live”? Jesus also addressed this issue:
Live by the Word of God: “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
Be Saints Not Vipers: “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Matthew 12:34
Guard YOUR heart: “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man…… 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” Matthew 15:11 & 18
Whose friend are YOU: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
What does this mean to you and me? It simply means– whom we really love, we obey:
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16
How we live declares to the world, what we really believe and whom we really serve. Our speech betrays the true loyalties of our hearts. Our actions reveal the things that we are truly devoted to. And the sad thing to me is that so many who claim the name of Jesus—display a different devotion in their lifestyles, life choices and manner of communication than what they profess. To borrow a popular proverb: “standing in the garage, doesn’t make you a car”. Or the one I use most; “Saying so, doesn’t make it so!” We must all examine our hearts because, as Jesus said, what’s in the heart will come out of the mouth.
Now let me qualify this just a bit. I’m not talking about the person who occasionally says an inappropriate word, or who in a heated moment may respond in anger or quick temper. I am talking about those who live a life of profane choices in speech, morality, greed and devotion. I am speaking of those who are driven by, for, to, and in pursuit of the things of the world. To be more concerned with acceptance by those who hate God, than acceptance by the God they “claim” to love and serve. It can’t be both ways.
So??? Here’s our shot for today!!! Are you being caught up in the “idleness” of the world—often called extreme leisure? Are you full of “Idolness”—so busy worshipping the things of the world that there is no place for God in your life? I’d like to close with a powerful passage from Isaiah, a prophet who spoke to a people who also didn’t want to hear the truth.
“Woe unto them
that call evil good,
and good evil;
that put darkness for light,
and light for darkness;
that put bitter for sweet,
and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe unto them
that are wise in their own eyes,
and prudent in their own sight!
22 Woe unto them
that are mighty to drink wine,
and men of strength to mingle strong drink:
23 Which justify the wicked for reward,
and take away the righteousness
of the righteous from him!”
A lot to ponder, but time is short and the consequences are of eternal import. Please choose wisely this day–which God’s love and patience gives us! Tomorrow may not come!