Are you breaking God’s heart?

13 Jun

So many of us cannot get to the place where we want to be in Christ not because we don’t have the potential to get there, but because we allow negative thinking to cancel out the that blessings God has for us.  Or, we want all of God’s blessings, but we don’t want to be set apart and holy.  We want to live like the world, but still experience God’s blessings.  It just doesn’t work like that.

We want God to expand our ministry and the influence that we have on others, but we barely spend ten minutes each day in His word.  How can God renew your spirit, give you peace, and make you a vessel that pours life and joy into others when you are not spending time with Him and allowing Him to filter out all the junk that is inside of you?  (And no matter how long you have been “saved,” you’ll still always have some junk that God needs to deal with…we will never be perfect, since only God is perfect, so we constantly have to go before God, asking Him if there are any areas of our lives that He wants us to change.)

Another thing that breaks God’s heart is when we are put in a position of leadership over other people in the body of Christ, but our lives are so unholy that it turns others away from Him.  If you are out there fornicating, smoking up and drinking with the best of them, then why would you even want to be in leadership within the church?  Don’t you know that God’s word says that teachers must uphold a higher standard and will be more harshly judged?  (James 3:1) And if you want to live just like the world and not be an example, then it’s simple…just don’t accept the leadership position!  If you are choosing to sin, you should still come to church, but those who choose to live a lifestyle of sin should not be in leadership.

I remember when I was in undergrad and was doing things I knew I shouldn’t have been doing, my Pastor’s wife asked me if I would like to sing in the choir.  Well, I knew that if I was out getting drunk every Saturday night, I had no business singing on stage on Sunday as if I was some perfect little angel!  While the best thing to do would have been to stop sinning, unfortunately, my flesh won out and I didn’t want to stop at that time, (even though I knew it was wrong.)  But instead of getting up there like a hypocrite on Sundays, I didn’t join at all.  Although I knew my behavior was wrong – if I wasn’t going to stop – then I knew it would have been even worse to get up there like a hypocrite and make a mockery of God’s name by being part of a group that went to other churches singing and ministering.  What would have happened if someone had seen me the night before at the club acting like a fool, and now pretending that I had it all together?  God’s word says that we shouldn’t let anyone lead us astray because of their sin, but that’s exactly what I would have been doing if I had decided to be a part of that group while choosing to live in sin, (1 John 3:7.)

But too often these days, we think that we can live like the devil but still have our ministry, our cell group, and be on the prayer team laying hands on people.  Now I don’t mean that leaders can’t ever sin, (because no one is perfect,) but when sin has become  a part of your lifestyle, then it’s time to step down.  Why?  Because newer Christians may think that their behavior is all right since they see the “Christian leader” doing it.  They see you as a Christian leader out there sinning and think, “well if they’re a leader and it’s OK for them to get drunk, fornicate, and gossip on a regular basis, then maybe I shouldn’t feel so bad about doing it either…maybe it’s is OK…maybe I’m just being too hard on myself…”

At this point in my walk with Jesus, I don’t have the audacity to live a lifestyle of sin, and then go around laying hands on people as if I’ve got it all together…  Plus, I have no desire to  live a lifestyle of sin…I want to please God.  When you are really seeking God’s face every day through prayer, reading your Bible, and worship, that desire to sin becomes less.  Sure, you’ll still slip up from time to time, but you’ll also find yourself falling so in love with God that you don’t want to break His heart by living an ungodly lifestyle, or by seeing how close you can get to sin without actually “sinning.”  When you really get close to God, you have no desire to be a “lukewarm” Christian.  God says that if we are lukewarm, He’ll spit us out…He’d rather us be hot or cold, (or in other words, He would rather have us serve Him wholeheartedly or not at all,) (Revelation 3:15.)  God is a jealous God, and He does not want to share us with the world – (Exodus 20:4-5) – He wants to live in us 24/7, and not just on Sunday mornings.

And if you find that you still want to take part in activities that you know are wrong, don’t beat yourself up…we’ve all been there…just keep on growing closer to God, and watch those desires become less and less…but please don’t take a leadership position, as this could cause others in the body of Christ to think that your sinful behavior is all all right when it’s not.

I’m not saying that when you mess up it’s time to stop going to church and get yourself together on your own, because the opposite is true.  The church is the place to go for healing.  But if you’re caught up in a lifestyle of sin, then it may be time to re-evaluate if this is a good time to be leading others.  Maybe you slipped up on Saturday and had a few too many drinks.  That is different than going out every Saturday night with friends getting drunk…  The first instance was a mistake, (hopefully!,) but the second instance is an example of a lifestyle choice.  If you are choosing to live in sin on a constant basis, then what business do you have leading other Christians when your own lifestyle doesn’t line up with God’s word?

It is not that we have to “clean up” before coming to church and being involved, because God wants us to come as we are – burdens and all – and He will give us rest, (Matthew 11:28.)  But if we are leaders, we should be at the point where we’re done living a lifestyle of sin that causes others to think that constant, everyday compromise is OK…because it’s not.

I pray that God blesses you and keeps you as you draw closer to Him, and spend time in His presence and His word, allowing Him to change you and to rid you of the junk that is so easy to hold onto.  Allow Him to make you into the pure and holy vessel that He desires for you to be – it will take time and won’t be easy – but this is the only way to experience a life that is truly blessed, and that truly has a lasting impact on others.

***If you like this, please subscribe to my blog!  I am almost done editing them all into a book.  🙂

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