A few years ago I was talking to a young man about his faith and asked him if he had accepted Jesus Christ. He said, “Yes I have.” I followed up the question by asking him how secure he was in that decision. He felt like he was pretty sure, but showed some doubt, because of some sin in his life. He was even at the point of questioning as to whether he was still saved or not. The reason we started talking was because of some questionable things that had been a part of his life for quite awhile. It seemed like he was trying to live a double life; one for Christ and one for himself. The end result was confusion for him and a lack of growth in the wonderful faith he had entered into. This has been the testimony of many who surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ and then due to a lack of follow up by the church, their faith hasn’t grown at all. Ministering to people through the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and now 2000’s has let me see first hand the lack of following God’s Word in the evangelism and discipleship process. We try to conform God’s Word to programs that are lacking and temporal at best. When those programs get a few years on them, we reinvent the wheel. In the midst of all this “wisdom” we forget God’s Word and the depth of answers it has for ALL questions. We water down the pure source and exchange it for our impressions. You know where our impressions come from don’t you? They come from someone failing us in our life and we vow to never let it happen to anyone else. Our emotional mood swings and past failings replace the truth with our “own” way of doing things. The only problem is that way is also polluted with human weakness. It’s no wonder there are so many weak and apathetic believers who are coasting through life with no direction or purpose. We have let a “sin spill” take place and it is polluting our “natural resource”… God’s Word. This should not be.
The problem of emphasizing certain parts of God’s Word and not the full truth is seen at all levels of our faith. I heard of a church a few years back that was growing numerically by the hundreds and I was amazed that they could have such an organization in place to disciple all those new converts. Well, they didn’t have that in place, and in fact they became known as the church that was “a mile wide” and “an inch deep.” What that means is they were only doing half of the job and their spiritual depth was “shallow” at best. Years later their pastor left and the new pastor came in and went the other way. Deepening themselves in doctrine they became the “If God knows em, we ain’t gotta shows em” church and that only worsened the problem. Why? Because that “effort” became temporary at best. We have gone all over the map as Christians and look too many times to “Great Men of God” instead of looking to the “Great God of Men!”
Ok, you say, “There’s the problem. I see it. What is your solution?” Of course, the problem starts with one person…..ME! What will I do with this faith that is now my life, my purpose, my all? I start trusting God and not man. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” We have almost become “to cool for school” and trusting God seems to be an old school response to the “New Way” of the world. Let me help you with something. All your new ways are nothing compared to the fresh and powerful Word of God. In Ecclesiastes 1:9 it says, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Just about the time we think we have come up with the latest, greatest stuff God reminds us of one thing. There is only one God and we are not him. The writer of Ecclesiastes in his conclusions showed that great truth and we need to take it to heart. Don’t get too big for your britches you sinful generation.
The solution to all of this is exactly what it has been from the beginning. REVIVAL We need it and God is the one who gives it. REVIVAL Some “modern day churches” hate this word, but no more than satan does. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Want to stop the spill of “unauthorized” Christian lifestyles that are at the forefront of our faith? Want to respond to an active faith in the midst of an apathetic church and world? Want to see God move in our midst again? Then love God with all your heart, your mind, your soul, and your strength and then sit back and watch Him do great things for the kingdom in your life. Take one half of a turn……REPENT…….You will be lined up with the Maker of the Universe at that point. The rest is easy!
The question is Who Spilled the Oil? The answer is; We All Did. Let’s own up to it, repent, and let God do the clean up.
The Pilgrimage continues….. David Warren