Has anyone noticed that God waits on us? Yes…almost like a waiter in a restaurant. He has an assortment of blessings in store for us, but we must place the order and even before that, we must be in the right spiritual state to place the order. David recognized this when he said in Psalns 23…”The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…” and everything leading up to and including “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies”, “You annoint my head with oil”, and “My cup runs over”. God wants us to discover and experience Him. He will gladly show us favor with blessings even in the midst of our haters. However, it’s high time we discovered that the first move is ours to make.
You see, God has already made moves ahead of us, so we can never truly make the original first move. Even so, He has given us the ability to initiate our encounters with Him. The LORD is not insecure. He knows some people will love Him and others will despise Him. Those are two of many possibilities that free will allows. Therefore, God is not downcast by rejection because He knows that He is awesome!
Whenever He has revealed Himself in the past, knees have bowed; for it is difficult to refute that the LORD is God in His glorious presence. When He returns again, it will be like times before. Every…single…knee…will bow. Every individual will understand that whether or not they served Him, He was still their God, their maker, and their superior. Until then, alhough He is our God, He was the first example that leaders can also serve. When He came in the form of Christ, He washed feet. He made breakfast. He multiplied loaves of bread and fish to feed a multitude. That same God waits for us to pray so that He can say “Yes” and “Amen” when we are in covenant with Him.
That’s powerful! What other deity is mindful of human beings and ever ready to say “So shall it be because I love you and you have kept covenant with me”? None. Still, we must remember the first move is ours to make. It’s up to us to believe, ask, seek, and knock. He knows that if He appears to the world every knee will indeed bow. One does not have to like Him to know that He is God.
Still, the LORD will not appear to us simply because we want Him to especially if it is outside of His perfect plan. He is an observer in that sense; the greatest scientist, having been fully aware of the Hawthorne effect (whereby individuals modify aspects of their behavior when they know they are being observed) even before we knew what to call it. He can not and will not be baited into revealing the fullness of His glory until the appointed time…because while He’s “away” or so it seems, we will be our truest selves.
Would we really choose God whole heartedly if He appeared majestically to us? Do all the young women who fawn over famous rock stars really love them? God wants us to seek Him in spirit and truth…not based on externally visible qualities but based on the qualities that make us better even if we don’t always agree with them. For instance, when God holds us accountable, He wants to bring us to a higher standard. It’s our move to get there. Will we commit and seek His strength to get there or will we be complacent with thoughts like “I’m good enough” or even “I’m not good enough and never will be so I’ll just stay where I am”.
When we draw nearer to God (the first move), He draws nearer to us (the second move). He wants us to take initiative. Therefore, it’s up to us.
How many times should we forgive? Does our forgiveness benefit those who have done us wrong? Can we ever truly forgive and forget? These are questions one might ask when they are learning how to practice forgiveness.
To forgive another is to show them both grace and mercy. None of those are earned after a trespass. If someone steals something only to return it later, or tells a lie only to confess later, it does not undo the wrong. Unlike math, a positive of the same magnitude as a negative does not cancel out the negative.
Forgiveness does not undo a wrong, neither does it undo the hurt. It merely covers like a bandaid or an ointment. This does not mean a wound heals or disappears competely when it is covered with forgiveness. However, forgiveness can heal a victim, a trespasser, or both. It is a gift first given by God which can be regifted to one flawed human being from another.
Many of us have learned that to hurt (and hold a grudge) is human and to forgive is divine. As a result, we tend to embrace our human side and use it as our crutch to not forgive others. When we do this, however, we hurt ourselves by choosing to cling on to a spiritual porcupine that our transgressor gave us. Obviously we will keep getting pricked by the same event which we continuously replay in our minds.
Forgiving heals the victim. Often, letting go may feel like letting a perpetrator walk free without penalty. This is not the case. For every misdeed, there is judgement. This is part of God’s law. The first judge is the conscience which God created in order to hold us accountable to ourselves. Anyone who sins against another deals with the voice of righteousness inside them that reminds them of how wrong they were. They’ll have nightmares, they’ll be reminded, they’ll want to hide or run from their skeletons. Their trespasses will someday be discovered whether by a person or two, a small group, or the world. Then they will be judged by others and have to deal with how others perceive them. Ultimately, they will be judged by the chief arbiter, El Elyon, God Most High. So rest assured, forgiving them is always better for you…not them.
Forgiveness can heal the transgressor. When some realize the magnitude of their transgression, they may feel like scum, worse than refuse, and legitimately remorseful of their misdeed. But when they experience the mercy of being permitted to move on knowing the party they’ve wronged harbors no resentment toward them; and when they experience grace to have even obtained forgiveness, they find the healing they needed. Their sin may have been the result of a lack of love growing up, abuse, neglect…etc. Finding forgiveness may give them hope they never had.
Forgiveness can heal both. Resentment causes rifts. On an individual level, unforgiveness can end friendships, breed fear, hate, and tension among strangers. On a group or even societal level, the issue is magnified and the fear, hate, and tension can result in war and bloodshed.
So when you have held a grudge for too long, remember that forgiveness frees you from your misery. God knows that from time to time we will hurt and be hurt by others. Forgiveness is the grace that allows us to be more like Him and experience the ups and downs of life in the fullest way possible.
What if we had only one mortal cell in our bodies and 99.9% of our cells were immortal? Would we die? Not a chance! We would only have to wait for that one cell and all its descendants to die and the immortal cells would take over and sustain our existence forever.
Now let’s suppose that only 50% of our cells were immortal, would we die? Not likely. After all, our mortal cells can only self divide a certain number of times with little to no defects or copy errors before they eventually die. After dying, the mortal cells would leave the sustenance of our existence to our immortal cells.
At this time, let’s introduce a more extreme scenario. What if only one of our cells was immortal and the rest were mortal. Would we die? Perhaps…or maybe not. This is the mystery which we can call the Immortal Cell Conjecture because the conclusions are based off of incomplete information. Unfirtunately, an actual experiment is currently impossible. We do not have access to immortal cells, but we do have access to the power of critical thinking.
One immortal cell could theoretically make us immortal if it were given enough time to reproduce and replace dying and defective cells before the body died. So why does this matter?
Once we better understand the possible implications of one immortal cell inhabiting the body of a human being, we can also better understand what happened to Adam in the garden of Eden. By Adam, I do mean the earth, Adam (the man), Adam and Eve (the romantic couple), and mankind; for the name Adam means all of those. Furthermore, the earth, the man, the couple, and the entirety of mankind is affected by mortality.
After God created Adam, He placed him in the only garden which existed at the time. There were no other places like Eden in which fully grown trees and flowers existed. For God had only planted seeds and caused a mist to water the ground until man was available to till the soil. God gave Adam freedom to eat from any tree in the garden; any tree of his choosing, as often as he wanted. Only one tree was off limits; the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil.
God created Adam (which first meant earth) and extracted Eve from him. Thus “Male and female created He them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam in the day they were created.” (Genesis 5:2). Adam, however, was the one who named his wife’s Eve (which would mean “Mother of all living humans”). From there, they multiplied and Adam’s name also came to mean man and mankind.
When death entered the world, it had to affect every single cell in Adam. If one cell remained immortal, Adam may have remained immortal or even had an immortal child (if his spermatozoa for instance, had remained immortal). God could not allow that to happen especially after He forewarned Adam of the consequences for disobedience. The LORD was thorough in His punishment. Therefore, mortality was introduced to this world on a cellular level and this is why not one living thing is immortal.
God is a God of order. In the first book of Corinthians, the 14th chapter, and 33rd verse, we see that “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” In other words, God does not create chaos. This is not to say that He is incapable of creating chaos or causing confusion. He has done it in the past like when He confused the builders of the Tower of Babel, but even then, order still came out of the temporary confusion. Today, we have more than 6000 beautiful spoken languages—languages that are structured. Languages are certainly not chaotic. In fact, they enable people (and even animals to exchange organized ideas and thoughts).
God creates order, but chaos inevitably forms in His absence. If we consider the fact that nothing existed before God and everything else in existence today was ultimately created by Him, then we should know that apart from Him, nothing can exist. David spoke well in Psalms 54:4 when he said “the LORD is the sustainer of my soul”. David understood that God sustains our being.
So why do we falter between opinions? Either God is or isn’t! If we believe He is real, then we need to pursue Him. Psalms 78:23 says “The nearness of God is my good”. To be in Him is to have life and hope. Separating ourselves from Him leads to despair, self destruction, and doom.
Psalms 1 gives us an insight into two possible ways of living. One way is godly, and the other, ungodly. In verses 3 through 6, we learn that a godly person is as a fruitful tree planted by rivers of living water while the ungodly is like a chaff blown by wind. One is rooted and planted in the truth of God, and the identity He has given them; the other is not and does not submit to His law, meditate upon Him, and commit to obeying Him. Rather, the ungodly person listens to the world, (what others are doing, what others say is right, natural, healthy, morally correct, acceptable, and true).
Let’s stop faltering. Let’s stop wavering. If we are with God, then we are pro righteousness, pro peace, pro love, pro order. If we are with the world, we are pro sin. Let’s always remember that we are in the world but not of it which means we are supposed to enjoy it and experience God’s grace, mercies, and love everyday. Even so, we are not supposed to get lost in sin. In fact, we should stand solidly upon our faith in Him.
In 1 Kings 18:21, Elijah came unto all the people of Israel who were living their carefree sinful lives and said, “How long do you halt between two opinions? if the LORD is God, follow him…”
Every intricate system has a maker. God is the creator of this world. The universe did not create itself. Therefore, the Big Bang Theory does not have any part in Creation. If no one else will stand against this lie, then may the LORD give me strength to do so and reestablish the boundaries that ought to be. For He alone made all things and the evidence is all around us. A woman’s body can reproduce another human being after her likeness and that of her mate. Our existence is only made possible by this marvelous system which randomness could not have organized, nor billions of years allowed. Moreover, the collective intelligence of the world’s leading minds, combined with the help of advanced artificial intelligence could never produce a complex consciousness like myself from scratch. Yet miraculously, my parents reproduced me from their already prepared genetic material using a process programmed into their gametes–and by whom?
The language of DNA is found in every living creature. It is the programming language that the LORD God used for all life. He is the creator and coder of our reality. Therefore, He made our very existence possible.
How can any reasoning mind refute the simple philosophy that anything in existence (besides an all powerful and infinite God) had to be have been made? We know that nothing pops into existence without rhyme, reason, or purpose. Therefore, in order to accept theories such as the Big Bangtheory (emphasis on that very word), we have to make an exception to this fundamental principle. For when have we ever witnessed something appear out of nowhere let alone the tiniest—yet unfathomably intricate units of life, cells?
If God does not exist, then who created that famous first cell which appeared out of nowhere, somehow fully formed, programmed, and capable of reproducing during it’s short lifespan? Who made its food to fuel its existence? How did randomness determine the structure of the proteins contained in its food? Some might be tempted to say “the Universe” to mask the cognitive benightedness, but the simple truth is nothing makes itself. Perhaps some non-believers are apt to accredit the universe with creation because the universe does not care about sin. Therefore, they will have no accountability to the universe for the hearts they choose to break (through fornication). The universe will not judge man for his wickedness, greed, and egomania.
Many people want the Universe to be their God, but our feelings won’t change the fact that the God who made the Heavens and the earth is the only deity in existence. Our feelings do not change the fact that He is perfectly righteous, holy, and powerful. If we choose to believe in a cosmic bang that randomly brought a single cell into being, then who told its offspring to stop self dividing when they became larger creatures. Who helped them find mates of the same kind to have sex with in the vastness of this earth before they died? Who set the laws of reproduction such that only creatures of the same kind could interbreed? A chaotic universe should have allowed different kinds of creatures to intermingle. After all, if we give credence to the Theory of Evolution, we must believe that nature is still trying to optimize her designs …right? So why not allow humans to mate with fish? Perhaps before making space our final frontier, we would be able to colonize the seas.
Surely there is a God who ensured that there would always be a modicum of structure and order in this realm. He ensured that certain boundaries would exist no matter how much the mind of sinful man wished to abolish them. It is for this reason that same sex unions, for instance, are unfruitful. Partners in such unions who desire children must either adopt a child produced by the natural order or hack the natural order by obtaining a missing ingredient (a sperm or egg)/
It is very logical for God to exist because without sinful man, this world is orderly. Observe the seasons and the behaviors of animals throughout the year. Observe how the world is still sustained by the obedience of the ants, bees, birds,…etc. Though the earth travails on account of man’s presence and his sin, much of the original order has stood the test of time to reveal the hand of God.
It is man’s lusts, and his tendency to evade accountability which has debased the earth. It began with the lust of the forbidden fruit. Eve ate then Adam followed. When God confronted them, they both shirked away from responsibility.
“…the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” – Genesis 3:1
Adam blamed both God and Eve. Eve blamed the serpent who had tricked her.
To this day, our lusts drive every evil behavior imaginable. We lust for money, clothing and accessories, cars, people, houses, the latest phones etc., and the quicker we can get them, the better for us. Often we’re willing to do this even at someone else’s expense. We are so besotted with sin that at best, we like to imagine our actions do not affect anyone. At worst, we don’t care.
Allow me to go off on a slight tangent and talk about an event that occurred a few days before I wrote this blog. I was working at my ‘day job’ in the rental car business and an unreasonably demanding client stopped by–you know, the type who says “I’m not trying to be difficult”, when everything they do contradicts what they said. She had reserved a minivan and though we could not guarantee makes, models, nor features, she insisted on getting one with heated seats. Granted as customers, we want the best value we can get for our buck, she did not seem to understand how to politely ask for what she wanted. She did not treat any member of my team with respect. Instead, she felt as though yelling at the very people who were trying their best to provide her with a good rental experience was the appropriate course of action in order for her to get what she wanted. Needless to say my team and I took great care of her, but it never ceases to amaze me how even grown-ups will still throw fits in order to get something which often, in the grand scheme of things, is insignificant.For many of us it doesn’t matter how we treat others as long as we get what we want. Sadly, the customer I told you about is a much milder example of how egocentric we can be.
We need Him
Life is better with Him. Though many may beg to differ, time will reveal how desperately the world needs the LORD. Mankind is becoming increasingly depraved as he continues to redraw boundaries that should not be crossed and redefines what should be considered ethical and moral. This, of course, is to his own detriment, for God already established what is moral and what is not. Any violation of God’s laws or even the entertainment of such a thought constitutes sin and the wages of sin is death. It is important to believe in God because through His son Jesus the Christ, we have our only hope of salvation from the infinite death that is due us, but God is not a LORD of oppression. He desires to free us from spiritual bondage. He sent His son Jesus Christ to die for us and overcome the grave so that we could have new life in Him. Many of us may not realize or want to confess how imprisoned we are by our sexual addictions, fornication, homosexuality, greed, or even the mindset that we may have if we were ever victimized. But God wants to free us from all of these and if ever we trespassed against another person, He also wants to free us from the guilt of our trespasses. If, however, we pretend we do not need Him, then we become like the man or woman who says he or she does not need the other. Such a person may be more likely to end up alone. Men and women were created for each other and human beings were created for God.
After Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil, sin and death spread like wildfire throughout their world. Every new human being who would enter into this world would be sinful and mortal. They would be unable to please the LORD through their own efforts; for the LORD is Holy. There is great potential for good in the human heart, but sin displeases our perfect Creator. It begins in our secret thoughts…the ones we feel guilty entertaining.
The origin of every evil deed is the very thought of it. After eating from the Knowledge Tree, human beings gained the ability to contemplate mischief and wickedness. We learned to entertain terrible whims on a regular basis and act upon them. For instance, we often imagine retaliating against people who annoy us, entertain jealousy, lustful thoughts, greed…etc. Perhaps we might succeed at chasing those thoughts from our minds, but that often happens after we relished them (even briefly). Now consider people who actually act upon their impulses to lie, cheat, steal, or worse…kill. They are prime examples of how thought always precedes action. Before someone tells a lie, he or she first thinks of the lie and figures out how to deliver it. Likewise, whenever someone steals, their imagination always precedes the act.
Surely we have heard stories of people who “lost control” or “snapped”, and behaved disgracefully as a result. Their actions began as thoughts.
In a few moments, we will follow the account of Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve’s most well known sons. Before we get there, however, I would first like to explain the difference between the brain, the mind, the spirit, and the soul because it is very important that we understand what they are and how they interact with one another and with our world. Understanding those aspects of ourselves are fundamental to comprehending human beings as they were designed.
The brain itself is the physical organ that transmits and translates information to the body and receives information from environmental stimuli. The average human brain processes about 400 billion bits of information per second! Although we know that our brains are powerful, somewhere deep down, we also know that we are not our brains. We do not consciously regulate our body temperatures, heartbeats, nor even the smallest automatic processes within our bodies. We (as in our consciousness, awareness, and identity) exist alongside the brain.
The terms brain and mind are often used interchangeably but there is a big difference between them! Simply put, and for the purpose of this particular chapter, the mind is nonphysical: It encapsulates the entirety of thought, consciousness, personality, conscience, and identity. The mind is not the brain, but it is the brain’s computing power harnessed and combined with the awareness of the spirit. It is what the Bible often refers to when it describes the innermost desires of the “heart”; this heart is not the physical beating organ in our chests. Although the mind can influence it (as when a guilty conscience causes the heartbeat to accelerate), the heart as it is figuratively used, refers to the mind.
Our bodies are some of the most advanced machinery that have ever been designed! Though most often, people associate one’s identity with the body that they can see, just as we are not our brains, neither are we the body we occupy! We are instead, spirits dwelling within flesh. Thus our spirits are like the driver of a car who wills the vehicle to move by pressing the gas pedal.
The spirit of a person by itself is the innermost consciousness. It is the real you and just like everything else, it originated from God. It is highly influenced by the environment and activities that it is exposed to the most. For instance, if it is mostly exposed to evil, it tends to become evil; good, it will become good; wisdom, it will become wise; and if it is mostly exposed to confusion, it will be confused. This is why our spirits though they are from God, develop distinctly. A spirit that seeks God approaches Godliness. A spirit that seeks out sin, remains unapologetically sinful.
Our will is the committed intention of our spirit. Our actions are the manifestation of the will executed by our bodies. Our spirit interacts with a physical world by first communicating with the brain. Recall that the brain and spirit interaction is what we refer to as the mind. The brain is merely a processing unit. If the will of our spirit is to throw an object, the brain’s job is to calculate variables such as direction, trajectory, and environmental forces like wind. The mind (or spirit-brain) can then be considered as a single unit that desires or plans to throw an object. From there, the brain transmits electrochemical signals to the physical body to achieve it’s objective. The eyes see the intended target. If the target is moving, the brain continues to compute possible scenarios. The arm and hand that holds the object get ready for an impulse from the brain. Once the mind commits, the object will be thrown in accordance to one’s will to throw it.
Now the soul is the combination of brain, mind, and spirit. It can –depending on context–include the body as one complete being, but the invisible qualities, the hidden desires, unspoken thoughts, habits, mannerisms, etc are what we often include in our idea of the soul. It is the byproduct of a bond between the breath of life (the spirit which is from God) and the flesh:
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. – Gen 2:7
The soul consists of the intangible (and sometimes tangible) aspects of a creature. It can grow and change with time and through each decision it makes.
Decisions are like tree branches that divide into infinite possibilities. As time passes by, we generally become more fixed in our ways, much like a grown tree which has become less movable. Each soul develops distinctly because of the different decisions that one can make as well as the results that follow each choice.
As an analogy, when we identify a tree, we can tell it apart from other trees (even of the same species) not only by the type of fruit it bears (if it is fruit-bearing) but also, by how it has developed. For instance, trees can grow to be different heights, different widths around their trunks, have different amounts of branches, leaf counts, fruits, etc. These distinctions are similar to the unique growth that each soul experiences.
Contrary to popular belief, the “soul” can be seen in it’s all encompassing context! It expresses bitterness, stress, sorrow, etc. as the countenance upon one’s face. The soul is also the ultimate decision maker. It either chooses to act upon the impulses of the brain or to override them. When I decide to do something, people see my body doing it. Deep down, they know that it is not just my body performing the action, neither is it merely a brain but an invisible consciousness (a spirit within me).
A common misconception of psychiatric approaches to human behavior, is that the brain makes our decisions. The brain is merely the sensory interaction center and processing unit. It computes, transmits, and receives information. Therefore, suggestions sent by the brain can be overridden by the greater consciousness. For instance the brain can tell me that I am hungry, but I can choose to fast; if I choose to fast, my soul, (my entire being) overrides the impulses of my brain that beg me to eat. My brain continues to remind me that my body is hungry, but my soul as the decision maker, decides when to act in order to satisfy my want for food. My soul takes into account the hunger signals sent by my brain, but make no mistake, the brain does not make us eat. Only the soul, the mix of flesh and spirit, can decide either by agreeing with the flesh, overruling the flesh, or submitting to it. In other words, both might agree that it is important to eat at a given time, one might overpower the other, or one might just get out of the way amd submit.
During decision-making, the brain transforms the soul’s will into physical action. Here, we can see that the soul (spirit-body duo) can communicate its will to the body (via the brain). If the desired outcome requires physical influence on the environment, then the brain will translate the will of the soul to the body and it will act appropriately. This is how an intangible spirit interacts with a tangible environment.
The brain is one big control module for transmitting and receiving information. The flesh which has a vast quantity of sensors (visual ones, auditory, olfactory, haptic, etc.), carries hundreds of billions of bits of information per second to the brain for processing. It computes and organizes light, shadow, colors, volume, bass, treble, pressure, weight, wind speed, humidity, and much more! When it has finished processing the data, the soul (or the entire consciousness in question) “sees”, “hears”, “feels”, etc.
Thus far, we have established that the soul not only transmits information to the brain, but also receives from it. In this manner, the brain is an intermediary between the spirit and the body. To summarize, it is literally a central processing unit, within the flesh- covered machine.
The words “soul” and “spirit” have often been interchanged just as brain and mind often are,. but they are not the same. The spirit is the predecessor of the soul. Before God breathed His spirit into Adam, Adam was an inanimate sculpture. The breath of life was the final ingredient needed to bring the human being to life. This “breath” animated his body and caused the man to become a living soul (according to Genesis 2:7).
The word “animate” comes from the latin “animatus” the past participle of the verb “animare” which means “to fill with breath” or as we better understand it, “to fill with life”. Breath itself translates to “spiritus” in Latin, the root of words like “respire” (to breathe), or more obviously, “spirit”! Therefore, animating mankind involved God filling us with spirit!
The Bible tells us that the spirit is from God. It is the “breath” that returns to Him when people die (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Therefore, the spirit is akin to a conscious battery of some sort. After all, man did not come to life until the battery and its consciousness were installed. For the spirit contained the power needed to spark and sustain life.
The soul is complex. It is the same essense that we call the spirit of a creature, and yet it is also the creature’s entire form (depending on the context). The soul is the spirit that God specifically assigned to inhabit a fleshly body, while also being an interface of spirit and body. In other words, when God breathed into man’s nostrils, man became a living spirit inhabiting living flesh. Such a spirit dwelling in flesh is called a soul. Man in his entirety of body and spirit also became a living soul because man is not spirit alone. Therefore, the entirety of a human being’s essense also considered his soul because the human entity is not just a spirit, but also flesh, bone, and blood.
An excerpt from the sequel to “The Serpent’s Lie” by Miguel A. Valembrun Jr.
It’s time for a temperature check. Are you hot, cold, or lukewarm to the things of God?
#1) Do you fear Him?
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. The world (collectively) lacks it. Sorry world, but it’s true. While knowledge is everywhere and ever increasing, wisdom is declining. Wisdom is not something you find by consulting with the internet, nor is it something you find by living in the enticing ways of flesh. It can’t be found at the bottom of a bottle of booze. Wisdom is not something you find in the last hits of a blunt while engaging in pseudophilosophical babble.
True wisdom can’t be found in sin, only folly is found in it. Rather, wisdom comes when we stop feeding our flesh a buffet of assorted distractions and turn to the world of the spirit. In order to be close to our God, we must seek Him in spirit. We will never find Him by pursuing the vain and instantly-satisfying things of the flesh.
Wisdom comes to its seekers who after having wasted a part of their lives wallowing in the mire of their sin, reach the foot of God…and slowly but steadily raise their gaze to behold, for the first time, His realness, holiness, and sovereignty. God is not merely loving and forgiving, but perfectly righteous. He gives chances, but when time is up, it’s up. Too bad for the sleepers, the indolent, undisciplined, and forgetful lot. His mercies are refreshing as a droubt-ending shower, but His judgement is swift and inescapable as a lightning strike.
There is nothing that can separate us from Him for better or for worse. Those who submit to Him, He reconciles to His good grace and nature, but those who make themselves His enemies are doomed to future defeat; for the LORD is invincible. He created everything, therefore, He has power over all things. Were it not for His abundant mercies, His wrath would have already consumed this sinful world in a fraction of a moment.
#2) Do you compromise?
Lukewarm people don’t take stands. They are liberal in their approach to life. The term liberal may evoke political dispositions but here’s the definition of the word:
1.open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.
Being liberal involvea the adoption of the “anything goes mentality” which currently plagues our society. It is as detrimental to spiritual growth and life as taking the completely cold stance of full-time sinfulness.
We live in a world that has been brainwashed into a concept called moral relativism. It may seem intelligent at first, but the term is truly absurd! Morality is not something that changes based on the times, circumstances, or individuals in question. Is lying wrong? Yes it always has been and always will be. Is stealing wrong? Yes it is wrong in every instance. Though a parent who steals a loaf of bread to feed his or her children is doing so for a noble cause, it is wrong! Were it not for the sake of business and commerce, food and other resources would belong to all, but stealing is still wrong. Were it not for greed and selfishness, starvation and hunger in the world would not exist, but stealing is still wrong…even when a situation may make it more excusable.
When we’re hot for whatever is Godly, we take a stand against that which is immoral. We set the right boundaries in accordance to God’s commandments. We did not establish morality, nor did an alleged ape-like ancestor. Morality was established by God from the beginning and God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Therefore, His commandments are everlasting. He is not an Old Testament God or a New Testament one. He is the unchanging steadfast God, El Olam.
To be hot for Him and the gospel doesn’t necessarily mean we’re all out on the streets declaring His future return. There is nothing wrong with that either for whoever is led in that direction, but it does mean that we as believers are not compromising our moral integrity for the approval of other human beings. Those who are on fire for the LORD, God Almighty will let others know unashamedly that they serve the LORD who is above all other lords, the King above every other king.
Revelations 3:16 So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.
…and there we have it. God likes frappuccinos and hot coffee but not the stale coffee from yesterday. It’s time for a temperature check.