“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Romans 12:1-2 tells us “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
How do we determine what matters? What is important in life? How is it measured? Is it what brings us happiness, peace and joy?
As believers, children of the most high God, heirs with Jesus to the Kingdom of heaven, the royal priesthood, we are instructed on the following according to the Word of God.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
We are to keep our eyes affixed on God! As my eldest son says, “Everything we do we do it for Jesus!” I love it! It is in Christ and Christ only will we dwell in complete happiness, peace and joy. What the things in the world offer are a shady substitute…… It’s a fake! If you are looking to find completeness in things outside of God, you are setting yourself up for failure and extreme disappointment. The enemy’s deception clouds your thinking to make you believe the temporary joy and peace you are experiencing is the real deal. Well, it’s not…it’s a set up! This temporary satisfaction will always lead you down a road to regret, pain, heartache, disappointment, shame and bitterness. Just to name a few….
This is called compromise family. It is unfortunate that we compromise daily and it breaks Gods heart!
2 Corinthians 6:14 – 7:1
Starting at Chapter 6 – “14 Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? 16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.18 And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
Chapter 7 – “1 Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.”
Satan always disguises himself as an angel of light in his attempt to overthrow the purposes of God and confuse the people of God.
Let me share a biblical story of young men that chose not to compromise. Daniel 1 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+1&version=NLT (Click link to read the entire passage)
To summarize, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, took the elite leaders of the nation of Israel, all the young men who were gifted and capable, and he took them in order that he might brainwash them in Chaldean culture because he needed somebody to administer Jewish affairs. Of those taken into captivity were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Upon their arrival to Babylon one of the first things the King commanded to be done was to have their names changed to Babylonian names.
Daniel means “God is judge,” they named Belteshazzar. Hananiah means “the Lord is gracious”, they named Shadrach, also known as “Aku” or “Marduk,” one of the idols of Babylon. Mishael, means “who is like the Lord?” Meshach means “who is what Aku is”. Aku was the Babylonian moon god. Azariah means “the Lord is my help,” they named Abednego, a servant of Nebo who was the Babylonian god of wisdom.
Let me pause here and let’s have a selah moment…God has given each of us names…when the enemy pulls us into his camp the first thing, he does is change our name. It’s a spirit of confusion…we must know who and whose we are in God. When we are grounded in this the enemy can call us whatever he likes…it is then what we respond to. What name are you answering to? Are you responding to the enemy’s call or are you standing not wavering in who you know you are in Christ? Selah!
Now let’s continue…after they were taken and given new names, they were pressed to take on the Babylonian culture which was made up of magic, sorcery, enchantments, omens, prayers and hymns to their deities.
These pagan traditions were part of the Babylonian worship, how and what they ate, what they drank. But these Hebrew boys went to the officials seeking permission not to defile themselves. Defile means to stain or pollute. They did everything in their power to avoid compromise! In the end, God blessed them for their non-compromising spirit.
What is in your life that is polluting your spirit? Avoid compromise at all costs!!! God will honor and bless you for your obedience. Yes, it can be difficult…yes, you may find yourself in a fiery furnace or surrounded deadly lions! Yes, you may be called to separate yourself from all you have become accustomed to! But remember the testimony of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah….God was with them! God shut the mouths of the lions and they brought no harm to Daniel while he was in the den. The other three not only survived the fiery furnace but they came out without spot, they didn’t even smell like smoke! Don’t you know when God delivers you out of a situation you won’t look or smell like the thing you were in? He will bring you out refreshed and renewed and empowered in Him! Can I get a Hallelujah??!!! You all better praise Him this morning!!!
Meditation verse – Colossians 3:5 “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”