I was saddened by a conversation I had with a young adult the other day who asked me why we, as people, don’t like to be responsible for our own actions? They wanted to know why we are so quick to deny, make excuses for, or blame others for our behavior? They asked me why some people who call themselves Christian seem to do it to be seen in a positive light while behind the scenes are living exactly like the world? I mean when did it become totally normal in this culture for someone who calls themselves a christian to send nude pics to someone?
It made me think of the scripture in Matthew 15:8 – “these people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me.”
It made me wonder where holiness had gone in today’s churches and how had we gotten to this state of hypocrisy. I thought back on when I became a Christian at age twenty and how I had truly understood that I was choosing to die to self in that moment. The things I used to do, like lying and swearing, I had no justification within me to do anymore after that point. It was a defining moment. I was made NEW. It wasn’t like I was following a set of rules or trying to be good, it’s that I truly had no desire to do what was displeasing to my Lord and out of my great love for Him. He changed me from the inside out. I was not the same person I had been. I now had His thoughts, His emotions, His motives, His eyes, His ears and His heart.
It seems like much of the church has veered from true holiness and righteousness and into wanting to merely appear that way.
1 Samuel 16:7 – For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
So many of us like to pick and choose what we consider sin. Some people like to focus on sexual sin as being horrible and intolerable while turning a blind eye to their own gossip within their own prayer groups. Some people see no problem with sexual sin and swearing these days but still believing that judging and hypocrisy is horrible. As I prayed the Lord gave me this vision.
I immediately saw in the spirit a buffet of food and believers were going up to it and picking and choosing what they wanted and rejected what they didn’t want to eat. This was the buffet of law and religion, they were free to eat whatever they could justify eating, but it was all sin.
Then I looked at the other end of the table and there was food marked “disputable.” People were scared to eat from that food merely because it was on the same table as the sin was served and they didn’t want to be gossiped about as if they were eating something wrong. If you ate this food you ran the risk of being labeled a sinner and looked down upon even though you have eaten nothing wrong.
I noticed that as these people went up to eat they didn’t look happy and every one of them had a guilty look on their face. I could tell they got no joy or satisfaction from what they were eating. Everyone’s eyes were focused on everyone else and what they were eating. They were quickly hungry again and would go up to fill their plates again and again.
I sensed the Lord’s heart as He watched with me. He desired for His children to be feasting on Him and life rather than on the scraps of death that the law and religion brings. You will be in bondage to whatever you are ingesting.
We then walked into another room and this one was FULL of great JOY!! This room had food too but it was on a single gold plate that everyone shared. There was much LAUGHTER and LIFE in this place! I asked Him what they were eating as it was so simple and He said “MY LOVE! My LOVE is all they need to be satisfied and to live holy and righteous. When they are full of my love they are incapable of doing any of the things that grieve Me. These people realize it’s not about joining a VIP club for the benefits. It is a place where you come to die so that I can live through them. It is no longer them that live but Me living through them. It is My appetite for righteousness that guides their decisions and because of that they have no cravings for anything that would bring guilt, condemnation or destruction.
These people are truly FREE to BE in ME.
In Me they are free to live, move and have their being. That’s why they are making a joyful noise!” Acts 17:28
He then did something absolutely amazing! He went into the other room where law and religion was being served and He blew into it! A mighty wind started blowing everything that could be blown. It knocked all the food to the ground and people started to panic. He then stopped and looked around at the people with the kindest eyes full of love and said……COME AND SIN NO MORE!
One by one the people lined up to leave the room and make their way to the other room. None of them were looking at the food on the floor but were captivated by the love in the eyes of Jesus. As each of them walked up to Jesus, they handed Him their fine clothes which actually filthy rags of self righteousness and as they did, they died to self. They fell into His arms with tears of gratefulness knowing they were truly loved and forgiven by the one who see their hearts. They became whole NEW CREATIONS (2 Corinthians 5:17)! Jesus gave each of them new sparkling white robes of righteousness as a gift for it was not based on what the person had done but on what Jesus had done.
As each of them entered the room serving LOVE and LIFE there was great celebration from the people already inside. They were embraced by all and given a seat at the table. They feasted on God’s LOVE and were never hungry again.
Father God I ask for You to give your children a hunger for true righteousness and to not be satisfied with merely looking righteous on the outside. Help us to live lives that testify of Your Grace to not only walk in forgiveness but to live a life watermarked by Your holiness. Show us how to surrender all of our life into Your hands. Raise the standards of what we thing is acceptable in our world. Show us what it truly means to be dead to sin but alive in Christ. May everything we do flow from Your love and Your truth. In the name of Jesus. Amen!