Have you been listening to our culture lately? Are they not saying this about professing christians (the church, the religious right, the evangelical activists, the cross-wearing political conservatives)…‘These are the people of the LORD, and yet they had to go out of his land.’ (Ex 36:20)
Are we characterized by our banners rather than ‘holiness’? Is our banner still ‘Love’?
There are some who are teaching that God is no longer using…working through the church today. WRONG! But even as there is much false teaching going on and many false teachers, there are also ‘unclean churches’ whose ways and deeds defile the word of the LORD and who lead many astray. When I see this going on around me, I am tempted to become incensed (and have) and to take up the proverbial sword and fight with weapons that I can put my hands on and use and see an outcome (equally sinful, though it may be) with my own eyes.
BUT, God is faithful, always. First, He instructs me in his Word. He then reproves my fleshly responses through the counsel of His word. He gently corrects me by bringing me back into line with the Truth, and then He retests me. He trains me in righteousness…right thinking…right action…Spirit-controlled responses.
AND, through this ongoing process of sanctification…He takes what He has made holy and He makes me holy in my thoughts, words and deeds. He prepares me for His kingdom. He teaches me to walk by faith…something I simply cannot and will not ever do without micro-second by micro-second dependence upon the ‘Christ-in-me’ power that saved me and now sustains me.
Consider holiness…I have been made holy and have been given a ‘heart of flesh’ indwelt by the Holy Spirit to cause me to walk according to God’s statutes and to be careful to obey His rules. This ‘holiness’ is what will cause others to worship my King! This holy living will manifest the glory of God to the nations. And…it is has all been and is being accomplished by the sovereign grace of God…acting for the sake of His name…and He will cause his holiness to be manifested in his church – you and I.
Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the LORD; I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it. (Ez 36:36)
When you are tempted to believe that sin is abounding more than the grace of God, look again with eyes of faith and see the free, unlimited, over-abounding, all-sufficient grace that our Shepherd and King lavishes upon us; and, rest in the assurance that Ezekiel rested in…
And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” (Ez 37:3) (emphasis mine)
Thank you, LORD…You KNOW. Amen. Brother, sister, questioning one…GOD KNOWS. Obey His command to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.