Bible Ballistics: Vol. 9 No.17 Right In Whose Eyes???
I’d like to spend a little time today considering the choices that we make and their import to our lives, the present and the future. Every choice has a consequence, be it positive or negative. Paul warned the young preacher boy, Timothy, to be aware of and to avoid youthful lusts; but today we seem to have stopped warning our young ones of the danger of sin, and have not only accepted sin as ‘ok’, but promote and encourage its acceptance and pursuit. Many seem to be consumed with pointing their young ones to the world, Hollywood, and imitating the worldly lifestyles of the media elite.
“Flee also youthful lusts:
but follow righteousness,
with them that call on the Lord
out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22
I’ve never understood why parents encourage their children to look like the world, align themselves with the likes, actions and lusts of the world; in dress, music, actions and character; and then they’re surprised with the results. Surprised when their sons and daughters look like the world, talk like the world and pursue the immoral and ungodly focus of the world—mainly self-indulgence, greed and lust—all of these being rampant about us. Scripture isn’t silent on about this.
“In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:6
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25
Every man did “that which was right in his own eyes”! Those who claimed the name of God Almighty chose to relinquish the commands of God, and pursue what was “right in his own eyes”. Which in our vernacular of the day would equate with that which was convenient, popular, accepted by the majority, and expedient for ‘getting along’; or as we often say, they were “going along, to get along”! But my friends, if you haven’t noticed, nowhere in the Word of God are we called to go along with the world to please God. The book of Judges is riddled with examples of choosing to go one’s own way rather than God’s. Yet as we read through this amazing book, we find that time after time, God chose and called those who seemed the most unlikely candidates, to hear His voice, follow Him in obedience and lead the people back to their God. Yet even those these times of renewal were often short-lived, they were times when God made Himself and His ways clear and evident to a people not always wanting to hear His message. They preferred to do what they thought was right—and led their children to do the same. It’s the very place that I believe we are today—every one doing what they have determined to be right for themselves without regard to what God has made plain and clear in His Word! And when we choose to do what is right in the “world’s” eyes rather than what is right in God’s eyes, there is a price to pay. Joshua warned the people about choosing wisely before He died, and we must resound the call to our world today.
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell:
but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
What does it look like to “serve the Lord”? For one thing, it means that I am ready to die to self and live to God!
“I am crucified with Christ:
nevertheless I live;
yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I now live
in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me,
and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
My question for us today is, “If Christ Jesus gave Himself for me, what less can I do than give myself to and for Him?” But how do I do that? Simple, but never easy! I must yield my will to His, being led by and directed by HIS Spirit, which dwells in me, and all who believe and receive Jesus.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies
a living sacrifice,
acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove
what is that good,
will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
Many talk about being willing to ‘die’ for God, yet they aren’t willing to ‘live’ for Him. Paul calls us to present our bodies, our lives, unto God as “a living sacrifice”. God wants our love, devotion, allegiance and obedience out of a heart of love and gratitude. And to do that we must sacrifice the desires of our sinful flesh—the flesh that fights against the Holy Spirit within us! As we mentioned earlier, Paul gave Timothy a marvelous admonition to consider.
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal,
The Lord knoweth them that are his.
And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ
depart from iniquity.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these,
he shall be a vessel unto honour,
and meet for the master’s use,
and prepared unto every good work.
22 Flee also youthful lusts:
but follow righteousness,
with them that call on the Lord
out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive;
but be gentle unto all men,
apt to teach,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves;
if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves
out of the snare of the devil,
who are taken captive
at his will.” 2 Timothy 2:19-26
Paul reminds us that we are called to avoid the lusts of the world and the things of dishonor—dishonor unto God. Regardless of what the world around us proclaims to be right, we are called to align ourselves with what God has declared to be right and true in HIS Word! God hasn’t changed, and Jesus IS Truth (See John 14:6)!
Paul also outlines for us what we are to be doing with our lives. I would challenge each of us to examine our lifestyle by what Paul proclaims to us, remembering always that no matter what we claim with our words, “The Lord knoweth them that are his”. Whose are you? Do your actions contradict your words?
Do our lifestyle choices match this standard?
Sanctified (set apart to God)—
Fit for God’s service/use—
Prepared to do every good work—
In union with those of like-mind in Jesus—
Avoiding foolish conflicts that cause strife—
Ready to teach/share what we possess in Jesus—
Meekly teaching those in error—
That they may find deliverance from the snare of the enemy/devil.
So as I bring our time together to a close, may we each measure our choices, our behavior, and our pursuits against this list? What things are we allowing to distract us from the faithful service of our Lord and King? Honor or Dishonor?
“Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be ye stedfast,
in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know
that your labour
is not in vain
in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:28
“But as he which hath called you is holy,
so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written,
Be ye holy; for I am holy.
17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” 1 Peter 1:15-21