I was at a revival yesterday and the guest preacher was in Ephesians 5 talking about how a marriage is supposed to be a visualization of the relationship that Christ wants to have with the saints. Basically if you cannot get along with each other as Christians how can you claim to be close to God. It was a great sermon, but this morning it made me think about a few things and why we continue to remain in sin even though we say that we are Christians.
Do we really know God, or are we caught up in various positions in the church, or trying to have a transcendental experience with God when we continue to hate other people? When we strive to stay away from sin, there are two ways in which that is accomplished; the first is that we try to stay away from sin from a philosophical perspective because of what we know about the consequences of sin and how God feels about it, the second is actually having a relationship with God and getting closer to him, in that we do not have the desire for sin.
Do we really think that all desires that we have for sexual immorality, lying, gossipping, cheating, sowing discord, or the evil ways that come with money go away simply because we are Christians, when a lot of Christians do not have a close relationship with God and spend more time repenting of their own sin than they do helping someone else out of their sin? You can go to church all you want, but without prayer and spending time with God you will still fall short of the mark.
I have been one of those people that wanted to go to church to hear the Word, but did not want to have anything to do with the saints in the church because I did not approve of what is going on there. Then one wonders why they start to skip services and the desire to go to church fades away and the desire to sin increases. I wasn’t the individual that went out to the club until 4 in the morning and then rush off to church after a one night stand, because that was not my lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean that I did not sin. So what makes me think that I am in a position to judge anyone else?
If I am not friendly and cannot get along with other people in the church what makes me think that I am going to bring anyone else into the church? When I finally do bring someone else in, and they do not see me talking to anyone else because I am just there “for the Word”, what would encourage them to become a member, or even to seek out Christ for themselves? Philippians 2:5 tells us to have the same mindset as Jesus in our relationships, and Jesus actually approached people, he wasn’t introverted, he wasn’t quiet, he did not speak to some and not to other, and he wasn’t indifferent. I have been all of those things, preferring to stay in my own comfort zone.
Yet a relationship with God is about being uncomfortable, being challenged, and being called out on what you aren’t doing right. If I want to be close to God I have to love his creation, at the same time I have to respect his creation and part of staying out of sin involves showing that respect because we need others to sin. We have a relationship with those that encourage us to sin but do not have a relationship with those that are trying to help us to get into heaven. If you look at adult materials, you have developed, or will develop, a relationship with those individuals over time and develop a preference to see some people over others. Some men are sad when women leave the industry. So even though you never saw them in person, well some of you have, it is a relationship that you have formed in your mind and you have certain expectations of that relationship and when that other person does not hold up their end of the bargain there is disappointment, anger, sorrow. So people get philosophical and take it to a different level and go to an actual club, which is more dangerous and more exciting, and spend all night talking to someone they don’t even know but can’t stand to talk to their significant other for more than 5 minutes. It is still sin because you did not use that opportunity to do what Christ would have done in that situation.
This isn’t something that people want to talk about, but it is an inconvenient truth that needs to be put out there. What about that co-worker you get all excited when you are around? You know you aren’t talking to them about Christ because if you were everything would change and you would not have all of these secrets from your significant other. I have been in that situation, had to learn from that situation the hard way and at times still think about that other person and how I could have done things differently. In all sin, someone else enables to do it and someone else encourages and fosters the relationship, we rarely go out looking for it ourselves it just comes to us, and we have to realize that the sole purpose is to keep us away from God. If we love God, why do we love to see people engage in self-destructive behavior that we know is strictly for the purpose of seeing that individual in hell.
Christ was not anti-social, and didn’t need money there was always someone around and it was because of who he was not what he was. We spend a lot of effort trying to look a certain way and surround ourselves with expensive things and then complain when people are attracted to us for the wrong reason. Instead of using that opportunity to talk about God we use that opportunity to entertain our own flesh. The energy is the same, you don’t look that great and are not that different from anyone else, but there is a positive energy that people are attracted to. So why would anyone want to be an angel of darkness? A lot of us are, and then we wonder why people talk about us in that way.
If we do not seek relationships with each other we will end up in the wrong types of relationships, and we will continue to sin. It is that simple. That is the revelation that I have come out with. You cannot do this on your own without the support of the saints, because you need to get along with the saints in order to learn how to get along with God. If I want to learn how to love God and get closer to him I have to learn how to love people here on Earth. But they have to be the right people, and I have to remain prayerful.