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Today is Monday, July 15, 2024

Do we love sin more than God?

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A few weeks ago, we talked about a man named Achan and how his secret sin was not a secret to God. The book of Joshua in chapters 6 and 7 reveals this was not a situation where a person steals something and they alone are punished for it. Since he and his family were a part of the community of Israel, they were associated as a group and when one member did something bad; it affected not only the family but the nation. Everything this man loved, his life, children, all of his livestock, his dwelling, and personal possessions, were stoned and burned. Does this sound like the punishment was too harsh? Was this fair to those who were not even aware of what he had done? Some might say this specific story should not be taken out of context and applied to today's church, but let us consider if Bible stories can be taken from scripture as a relevant analogy for us today.

Jesus taught parables, but can His lessons pertain to our modern society and culture? Do the hidden sin of Achan be associated with why some families suffer and certain churches are cold and lifeless? I realize when it's discovered that people have secret lives of sin they are not killed under the law of Moses, but what about God punishing individuals who are wolves in sheep's clothing? Is the dry and discouraged atmospheres of many assemblies a representation of rebellious and powerless Christians who say they love God while privately serving their carnality? Does the spiritual condition of the human heart have anything to do with being aware of God's presence? Absolutely. Does this bleed into the environment of the local assembly? I believe so.

So what about those who attend church and hold tightly to their unrepentant sins such as pornography? Does their undisclosed defiant attitude have a negative effect on the sermon and worship? Does it affect family members that live with them? Does it infect the atmosphere where they work? Is this why some people say they feel bad vibes or pessimistic energy around certain people? Can this be blamed as the reason why many churches are void of any demonstration of God's glory? If Christians are serving intentional sin, they have no expectation or excitement that God will make Himself known in their midst. In fact, they would hope that He would not appear for fear of them being exposed and convicted. This is where religious deception makes deals and promotes false securities to individuals who would rather play games than abide with God in holiness and sanctification.

Worshiping in Spirit and Truth means a pure heart is required and all transgressions and temptations must be cast down. The carnal mind must be taken out to the graveyard and buried as we must be dead to sin to the place where sin makes us nauseous. When our mind is renewed and transformed, Christ is invited to convict and rule on the throne of our conscience as Lord. If the body of Christ would allow a personal revival of the Holy Spirit to transform their thinking, it would turn the church and the world upside down. The sheer release of faith and joy would activate sermons, testimonies, and songs of God's endless love and mercy. It is the lack of purity that holds back revival fires and victorious manifestations and declarations of His glory, and yet very few seem to be concerned. Let us awaken from the slumber of carnality.

The condition of the heart, reveals the state of an assembly. We've heard how the responsibility is with the pastor, but a leader can only do so much with a group of parishioners who will not accept what God wants them to be. The Holy Spirit can bring conviction when God's word is spoken, but repentance and obedience are a constant choice of the listener. Everyone is given the chance to surrender their will to God or run as fast as they can in the opposite direction. Which do you choose? Luke 11:2 says to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done" but God is saying that our will is also being done. We choose who we serve and it's probable our private sins could be bringing curses on ourselves and our family. Which do we love more; God or sin? Jesus died for the lost and will rescue those who realize they are.

Dr. Holland is a Christian minister, author, and community chaplain. Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com.

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