All throughout the bible God lays out the human condition in relation to who He is as, us being on one side or the other. In much of His estimation of things, if we aren't doing one thing, then we ARE in fact doing another.
Matthew 12:30 (NLT)
"Anyone who isn't with me opposes me, and anyone who isn't working with me is actually working against me."
Or how about in Matthew 6:24 (NLT)
"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money."
In true fashion, Jesus is giving us a real clue here as to a major principle that we just can't mess around with. The principle of His Father's Lordship over all things. Jesus is emphasizing what happens when we compromise, even a little bit of our dependance on Him; He is to be all that we need. Beyond this, He is pointing out that even when we aren't doing what we should do, we end up doing something we shouldn't do. In other words the sins of omission, always lead to the sins of commission (Genesis 3:6). From the beginnings of this world all the way through to the end of the bible, this theme carries a heavy price and a consistent need for God to intervene with a specific message per era, as we read here in:
Revelation 3:16 (NLT)
"But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!"
See, here we have another big clue as to the actual problem. Lukewarm water is ONLY created by MIXING hot AND cold. It could be a hot cup of water that you leave out on a chilly day & the cold turns the heat down; or alternatively it could be an ice cold cup of water on a hot day and that outside temperature seeps into the cup and heats it up to luke. No matter how you do it, you cannot escape the fact that a MIXTURE has taken place. So why would this verse need to be included in the final book of the bible in the midst of the times and seasons towards the end of all things getting chaotic and unruly?
For ages God laid things out for us simply.
Isaiah 45:5-6 (NLT)
"I am the Lord; there is no other God. I have equipped you for battle, though you don't even know me, so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God."
If we weren't sure before this scripture, we were definitely meant to be after it. Yet still, there came the need for God to chuck another hint our way even though, He gave us His only Son and was blowing people's minds by the miraculous events that followed Jesus everywhere He went; simplicity and clarity were still of great need.
John 14:6 (NLT)
"Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.""
Yeah, that sounds pretty clear, it seems very simple. And STILL we needed a little help to figure it out.
John 14:26 (NLT)
"But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative- that is, the Holy Spirit- He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you."
Time and again and again, God has been accommodating our inability to 'get it'. He has been making things plain and simple from the start of everything and yet even at the very back of the book in Revelation chapter 3, He reveals the need for us to be reminded of the same old thing He's been saying all along; only this time the big reveal isn't that we are doubtful that He is God (we KNOW He is); it isn't even that we are somehow forgetful of His power and might (we KNOW these things); so then what could it possibly be that He would see the need to hit us with one more big wake up call in the middle of chaos brewing all around us? MIXING.
Never before has there been a time when we (the Church) have been so intertwined with both God's ways and human (natural) ways. We have touched on this subject only briefly within the context of other subject matters; but the need for this very issue to take center stage is crucial as we continue treading through unheard of world events from now on. As it has been building toward over the last few decades, the church at large is the most sophisticated mixture of spiritual and natural in just about (if not all entirely) everything it does. Sure, we still have healing meetings here and there; but even those are only as effective as the DOCTOR'S REPORT to CONFIRM that a healing ACTUALLY took place. It's true, we even still have prayer meetings regularly; ensuring that all of the lives of the people who are praying and those within the congregation are spoken of, only AFTER the big purposes of new building money, increase in givings and big turns outs for the conference coming up are covered as the PRIORITY. Wo. Did we say that out loud?
In the spirit of painful honesty, the church we know and love and devote our life and time and money into, is only as successful as her ability to mix (tastefully of course) with the world around her, or so we've been trained to believe. So what does all of this touchy subject-ness translate to on an individual church (us) level?
Revelation 22:18-19 (NASB)
"I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book."
All throughout the bible God has made statements against mixing the purity of His sovereignty with ANYTHING else. God was against farmer's mixing their seeds and hybridization; He was against people mixing their loyalties to other god's, by adapting to the gods of other nations (just to name a couple). As well, Jesus (as He taught in Luke 14:25-33) declares that those who follow Him must be either 100% in or they won't make it through their lifespan to the finish; they won't have enough faith endurance to finish what they start. If we find ourselves coming up short with what we need to make it through the tough times of living like Jesus, we can sure enough trace it back to not making a 100% investment of our ENTIRE LIVES into His cause. Either Jesus IS the way the truth and the life, the only access to the Father; or He isn't and there are other ways.
Well, this blog took an intense turn somewhere, once again we need emphasize that we are not in the business of hating on the corporate church models of the 21st Century, what good would that do, really? What we ARE in the business of is addressing the anemic level of the health of the body of Christ universally, as we see (even in our own lives) areas of compromise that MUST be weeded out. As we can see from the afore mentioned scripture, the Lord puts a big onus on anyone that tampers with or changes the purity and potency of the words of our God. Why is that, we may ask? This is because God is preeminent and He is supposed to be our ultimate source for everything in this life. This is why the bible says in Hebrews 11:6 that it is impossible to please Him without faith. He requires nothing less than our TOTAL dependency on Him by faith. As an unusual people, if we are ever going to partake of the Kingdom of Heaven here and now on this earth, we must STOP and RESIST the urge to MIX our dependance on Him with the ways of life established by smart humans.