Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is Your Walk a Delusion?

Is Your Walk a Delusion?

Isa 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

Isa 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Isa 66:3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.

Isa 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

As I was looking at some of the possible reasons that many in the church are not surrendering wholly to God I came to this verse. My Pastor and I were speaking about several of these issues today after church. The conversation came after we had four people come forward and two for sure who had trusted Christ as their Lord and Savior. The thing is that this happened before service began. As I was in the room with one of the young men he was out there preaching with more liberty than he has had in awhile. We spoke about what had happened and how we do not see the body being affected. With the upcoming elections we see it as the potential for judgment upon America and yet many Christians have given into the affairs of the world which are apart from God. We discussed how they sit back and hear the word yet see it as meant for someone else. They are happy with the way things are and don’t want things to change. As I read through Matthew 24, I saw Christ telling what to look for concerning the end times and as I look around today I see it around me. I then turned to 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 and again the comparison is there as I turned to 2 Timothy chapter 3 and again it was there. I then turned to the book of Jude. The more I read the more I wondered how we cannot see things that are before us and then I turned to the book of Isaiah.

It is not the church building that God wants. It doesn’t matter how big it is or what kind of media equipment we have in it or what programs we have going on in the church because these things are nice but they don’t really do anything. It doesn’t matter how much we tithe to the church or how often we volunteer to work at the church or the position that we hold within the church while they are all nice they don’t really mean anything. Now look at verse 2 and see what means something to God. This is the reason we don’t see the power in the church today. It is why the messages do not accomplish anything to the existing congregation and it is why we can’t get them excited about the things of God today. The only way to accomplish revival today is to get people broken and contrite over their sin and their lack of service to Him. In Sunday school we discussed when things seemed to change and we all agreed that a lot of change happened in the 80’s but I am sure it started before then however God tells us here that He has been calling us and no one responded and as He continues to call and none respond He sends them delusions that continue to allow them to think that they are okay. Just listen to the things that they fear. They worry about jobs, about the economy, about their health, their families, their savings, and as the list goes on we can see that none of the things that they mention concern God or the lost. As we come to the end of verse 4 we see that they did the things that do not delight Him. It is not about us but about Him when it comes to our service and our worship.

In Exodus chapter 33 we have God telling the people to go on into the land flowing with milk and honey but He was not going to go with them. Moses replied that he would not go without God and set His tent out away from the people and the presence of the Lord followed Moses and stayed by his tent. Moses would rather stay in that dry desert with God than to go into the promise land without Him and the problem today is that we would rather go into the promise land without Him if it is going to give us a life of ease, a life of comfort and we count the cost as minimal. This is the condition that we currently have in the body of Christ. We go into our churches, sing the praises and worship Him but the problem is that His presence is not even there and what is worse is that it doesn’t even bother us because we are enjoying ourselves. Just what is the importance of chapter 33 of Exodus? It comes on the heels of God giving Moses the moral law. Moses had gone up into the mount to receive the tablets from God and while He was gone his return was delayed so the people built an idol to worship. When Moses came down off the mount the people were naked, dancing around and worshipping the idol.

Today we have gone off worshipping other gods. We claim to worship God yet it is not Him but an image of Him that we have created in our mind. As God called these people stiff-necked so we too are stiff-necked because we refuse to hear Him and refuse His power in our lives. As they denied Him in their release from Egypt, as they denied His continual presence in the cloud by day and fire by night so we deny His miracles over the years. We deny His presence and power in our ability to work, we deny Him His money that He gives us and we deny the sacrifice that was His Son the Lord Jesus Christ and the result is that He has turned us over to our delusions and removed His presence from us. Many times as I walk through our church I can feel sections where the presence of the Holy Spirit is powerful and in other sections are like walking into a brick wall.

Exo 33:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I swore unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it:

Exo 33:2 And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:

Exo 33:3 Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.

Exo 33:4 And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments.

Exo 33:5 For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.

Exo 33:6 And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb


Exo 33:7 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.

Exo 33:8 And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle.

Exo 33:9 And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses.

Exo 33:10 And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.

Exo 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

Notice that when the presence of God departed from the people Moses went out from the people as well. He camped a long way off from them. These people saw the presence of God and still they would continually disobey Him and rebel against Him and we claim that if God would reveal Himself today that we would be better than they. I say we would be no different than they were. God reveals Himself daily and we refuse to acknowledge Him, we refuse to obey Him in even the smallest of things. Also notice that the presence of the Lord descended upon the tabernacle once Moses had entered in. The one thing that protects many of our churches is the presence of one godly man or women and generally when you find one there will always be another who is willing to stand with them, who will not be willing to leave the tabernacle. We see this in verse 11 in Joshua; even when Moses went back out into the people Joshua refused to leave the tabernacle. He was intent on remaining in the presence of the Lord because he felt as if there was no other place to be. If God was there he wanted to be there! He did not want to relinquish God’s presence to anyone or anything. Is it any wonder that later in life he would state “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Every person who is willing to stay in the presence of the Lord needs a Joshua because they keep their focus where it needs to be and that is on the presence of God; for we have too many who are willing to leave His presence for the comforts of the world.

You see we are too much like Israel who turned to their idols because of the delay of Moses. Since it has been so long and Christ has not returned we have determined that He will not return anytime soon and therefore we are content to live in continual disobedience to Him. We do not concern ourselves with the lack of His presence and to be honest I don’t think many of you would notice the feeling of His presence in the first place because you have aligned yourself with the world so much. We whore ourselves out to the latest fashions the newest cars the larger salary, the bigger houses, the 401k, the huge retirement account and the people who can help us obtain these things and then sit back and claim to be blessed by God when all the while He is the furtherest thing from your heart and minds. We dance around naked in the streets, shaming ourselves and His name and then wonder why people think Christians are hypocrites. We claim to be loving and kind to others when very few of us would actually put our hands into our pockets and pull money out to hand to someone in need. We give to the church so we can justify not giving to others claiming we have tithed our 10% when it all belongs to Him anyways and then we holler about the fact that homelessness and poverty is at an all time high. We blame our governing officials just as the children of Israel blamed Moses for all their trials when it was their disobedience that caused their continual wanderings just as the condition of our country is the result of our own disobedience because as He has been calling us we have refused to hear Him because He might actually require us to sacrifice one of our creature comforts. We blame the school systems for our children’s behaviors when we are to blame because we are too busy to truly pay attention to them after all we have the right to have our own time. We lay the blame everywhere but where it truly needs to be which is on ourselves because we refuse to hear Him when He calls. Our failed marriage is not our fault it is because of society or the other person where our spouse was working; our pregnant teens are not our fault it is because they hand out condemns at school; our convicted child is not our fault it is because of rap music; our money troubles are not our fault it is because of who is in Washington; and the list goes on when in reality it is our fault because we refused to put ourselves under God’s authority first and foremost. Then we refused to treat our spouse as God commanded, we allowed our daughters boyfriend to spend the night and just what are we doing allowing them to date at 13 or 14 years old anyways. Our child is a felon because we were too busy making money to be home with them and because we deny authority in our lives how can we expect any difference in them. We have money problems because we are too busy buying things we really don’t need. We refuse God His portion. Our country is in the shape it is in because we refuse to stand up for the principles this country was founded on and have deemed it more important to please the flesh than to please God. Do you really want to see where the problem is start by looking in the mirror for one because until you surrender it is not going to change a thing. Until you seek to be in His presence continually it is only going to get worse and before you know it the trumpets will sound and it is entirely possible that you will be left behind. It is possible that tomorrow will be the last day for you and when you stand before Him He may say depart from me you worker of iniquity instead of enter into my rest my faithful servant..

No comments: