1 Sep 2010
2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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.
Of the four conditions of the promise from God to hear from heaven and forgive our sins and heal our land we have focused little on the action of repentance. He says specifically that we must turn from our wicked ways.
A significant problem in our Christian culture today is our strong propensity to define much of our thought and activity as “normal” for Christians whereas God, when considering these same things sees many of them as sin. The bride of Christ is called to be pure. This word pure in the Greek connotes clean, innocent, modest, and perfect. What power would our Churches have in our communities if we could, in the eyes of God, live moment by moment clean, innocent, modest and perfect!
We desire the peace and power and protection of the Holy Spirit while at the same time refusing to bring our lives into obedience, by faith, to the word of God. We have bought into the perspectives and definitions of the world and thus we are effectively diluting and neutering the word of God. By so doing, we are refusing to uphold our responsibilities and then we wonder why God has chosen not to come through on His conditional promises. We want God to grade us on a generous curve and we want to grade Him! Oh what arrogance and ignorance we find in our lives! Without doubt God has, in His massive mercy, given us many blessings that are essentially unconditional. But we, like toddlers, want to lick off the icing of the cake of our relationship with God and leave the cake. We like the sweet and easy worship times and turn up our noses when it is time to ask God to:
Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
The primary impurity of the bride is the love of this world. We are told clearly in 1 John 2:15-16 (AMP)
15 Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself].
James further addresses this subject in James 4:4 (AMP):
You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God.
Paul gives us some practical guidance regarding our daily lives.
First let us consider our entertainment.
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. Philippians 4:8 (AMP)
Let us ask ourselves: is our entertainment consistent with true, worthy of reverence, honorable and just, pure and loveable and worthy of praise? Are those things in which we participate under the broad heading of entertainment more likely to be from pure motives of loving God and bringing Him glory or might many of them come under God’s heading of loving this world? Are you participating in any illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God?
May we say this week along with David: Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalms 139:23-24 (AMP)
This week pray specifically that the Lord will search your heart, that He will use the powerful search light of His Holy Spirit to find any spot or blemish that is keeping you from experiencing the power and joy of being the pure bride that He is calling you to become. Whatever is revealed we must confess and we must repent, turn away from this sin. Purity leads to intimacy which leads to ecstasy, this is God’s plan for His bride!