Christianity today is tainted. That religious Sadducee and Pharisee spirit is alive and well. Holiness is shunned, ridiculed and mocked. Religious leaders discourage holiness because it opposes their very life outside of the robe. Christian soldiers march against Christ, instead of with HIM. Many teachers are spreading the bad news instead of the gospel. We are truly in the last days.
Who are these infamous idols that many have come to worship? Where are the golden calves and the sacrificial offerings? After all, this is what people look for when the word “idol” or “false god” is mentioned. Nevertheless, the majority of people who claim to serve CHRIST have actually erected themselves as their own gods and their sacrificial offering to self is denying the WORD of GOD.
There are two ministries on earth; the ministry of CHRIST JESUS and the ministry of Satan. Satan's ministry is dark and full of lies. His entire objective was and still is himself. He envies GOD and he wants to be a god, but he learned the hard way that GOD will not share HIS throne. So, the enemy goes about seeking whom he may devour. Devour doesn't necessarily mean to swallow in the literal sense, but it does mean to consume. The modern-day Christian is so consumed with him/herself that they could not care less about serving GOD in entirety. Serving HIM, in the modern-day system, means to serve one's self and then go to church. If you remember a few scriptures, you just might get ordained. Again, holiness is shunned, ridiculed and frowned upon.
One of the most religious and wicked terms you'll find in the heart of a religious man or woman is “holier than thou.” Why? Because people often feel convicted, intimidated and judged in the presence of one who portrays true holiness. People have grown accustomed to their sin, and they love their sin. They love their sin so much that anyone who dares to challenge it is met by harsh words and sometimes even worse. You won't find that term amongst the world so much as you find it in the church! That's because, again, many want to continue serving GOD “their way” and hoping that it is enough to get them into heaven. After all, they've been taught that by simply believing in CHRIST, that they are automatically saved! CHRIST said that we must confess HIM with our lips and believe in HIM! To believe doesn't mean the same “belief” system that you once applied to the Easter Bunny! To believe means to be changed through acceptance! If you believed in Santa Claus (which was a lie), you changed your habits on Christmas Eve! You went to bed early, and you got up looking for presents. You may even have tried to behave during the year to avoid getting that infamous lump of coal! To believe upon the LORD JESUS CHRIST is to be changed from the inside out! It illuminates on the outside! It's not just a spoken word that you profess after you have indulged in serving yourself! This is why so many won't enter Heaven because they are their idols!
Whoever you serve; it is him or her in which you will sacrifice to, give to and live for. Does your daily habits imply a life lived for GOD or for yourself? Do you only serve GOD for the promise of everlasting life and a chance to go to heaven or do you serve HIM because you love HIM?
Do you know and understand that GOD will NEVER accept to be your second choice? HE does not come behind your needs or the needs of the people that you have grown to love more than HIM! HE is GOD; Alpha (which means the beginning) and Omega (which means the end)! HE is not the middle! But, this type of teaching is shunned and many religious minded souls would say that it is a “judgmental” writing because it comes against their way of thinking and their way of living. It is easier to teach a cat to bark than it is to convince a religious mind that CHRIST will not accept them with their sins. It is easier to park a car in a cloud than it is to release a man or woman locked in the yoke of religion. Instead, to teach holiness is to be rebuked and challenged with religious thinking. People love their gossip; they love their fornication and they just love sin all around.
To only teach about the problem would be wrong because it convicts, but it does not free anyone. Therefore, below is a list of five things that you can do to free yourself from the cultural mindset and stench of tradition. After all, it doesn't matter how you thought you were supposed to love HIM...that won't get you into heaven! Because if the tools were available for you to learn how to love and serve HIM, yet you chose to serve yourself; heaven will not be your portion.
1. “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord; I die daily.”(1 Corinthians 15:31)
What does it mean to “die daily?” Every day, we have desires that we want to accomplish and our desires go against what GOD has called us to do. For example, HE said to feed the hungry. How often do you go out and feed someone that has nothing to eat? The average Christian walks right by a homeless man because they want to keep their last five bucks to get them a cheeseburger (even though there is plenty at their house for them to eat.) To die daily is to oppose, reject and restrain from sin. After all, our desires are 98% sinful! That is to keep your mouth from gossip, keep your ears and eyes protected, to pray to GOD, praise the LORD, avoid fornication, keep your tongue from cursing and to rebuke the wicked thoughts that plague a man. How many can say that they visit the prisons to witness to the lost? How many can say that they clothe someone who needs clothing? We watch commercials of needy children and many just flip through the channel because these people are asking for their sacrificial offering that they serve themselves with; their money. People think that money is the idol of many, but in truth...the average person erects himself as his god. His money is just his sacrificial offering to himself!
2. Stay away from average minds. It is easier for someone to push you down than it is for them to pull you down. What does this mean? A man who stands close to you is within distance of you; therefore, he can easily push you. But, someone who is at a distance can pull on you, and you can resist by pulling yourself in the opposite direction. If they let go, you just may fall back, but if you are falling back on the WORD of GOD; you have not fallen, but have taken a stand. When you recognize that the people that are “threatening” to be your friends have no zeal or desire to truly serve the LORD, pull backwards. You are to minister to them, not justify them by becoming someone that they can push! People often don't realize that there is a worldly sinner and a religious sinner, so people that are in church tend to hang out with religious sinners. In this, they begin to pick up their ways because they did not discern that the person was not serving GOD. They were serving themselves, and one of their treats was an occasional stop by the church or flipping through the bible. Many religious minded people love to surround themselves with other religious minded people and a few holy people. That way, they feel that they are “a part of” the Christian fold. What happens when CHRIST unfolds these characters and exposes their hidden follies? You don't want to be found with them. Instead, love them enough to pray for them, minister to them and to ask the LORD to lead you in your relationship with them.
3. Christ gave HIMSELF as a sacrificial offering to GOD for you! Let's get that part straight. It was “to GOD” and “for you.” Now, it's your turn to make a sacrifice for HIM. HE will NOT sacrifice HIS WORD so that you can continue to live in your sin! Therefore, stop making sacrifices to yourself. You want so badly to be a husband or a wife so you give your body as the sacrificial offering to get there. And then, when it doesn't work out, you find yourself sacrificing your body to another person and then another. In the end, heaven's gates won't let you in because you did not sacrifice to GOD, but you sacrificed to you and the many people you felt like could serve your desires and your needs! Then, you tried to bring that foolishness before GOD and thought HE would stand down and let you be your god and let HIM take the secondary spot in your heart. No! HE does not and will never do this!
4. Prepare to be ridiculed, mistreated, shunned, judged and talked about....and learn to be okay with it. It's part of the CHRISTIAN walk! If they hated JESUS, and you say that HE is in you; what makes you think they would or should love you?
5. Pay attention to your sins and lay them at the altar. This is a very important rule. The first part of deliverance is acknowledging that the sin is present in you and then deciding that you truly want to be free from it. Understand this: being free from a sin is NOT fasting from the sin! This is what most traditional and modern-day Christians think. They may take a break away from the sin, but fall right back into it after a period of time. To turn away from sin is to turn to GOD. If you turn north and head north, but after 5 miles, you decide to turn south and walk south...you aren't go anywhere. You're basically pacing back and forward. If someone says that you need to stop sinning, don't take offense...acknowledge it and take it before the LORD!
Today, again, holiness is shunned because people have erected themselves as their own gods. Their sin is no different than the very sin that got Satan cast out of heaven and away from GOD. Satan desired to serve himself and indulge himself in GOD'S glory. How are you any different? He was singing for GOD, and that didn't save him; so why is it that people think that by going into a building, learning scriptures, reading the bible and having Christian friends is good enough to get them into heaven? Because people somehow believe that they can pull the wool over GOD'S eyes. This is sad, but true. People are so busy trying to get at least a passing grade to get into heaven, not understanding that with GOD, there is no mid-way or barely getting in. You're either an A student, or you've failed. That's not to say that you have to be perfect, but that is to say, that you must strive for perfection and any imperfection in you should only be there because you did not know you were sinning. It cannot be a sinful choice that you make and think that the LORD will give you extra credit for good behavior on Sundays.
Renounce yourself as your god today and begin to serve the LORD. Ask HIM to help you in this journey. Dying to self isn't easy, however it can be done. It is done day by day. Just like living for one's self didn't just happen in a day; it happened over a period of time. Know this: GOD loved and loves you so much that HE gave HIS only begotten Son for you; now HE requires that you love HIM so much that you give yourself to HIM.