Friday, August 14, 2009

Looby Loo!

Remember the game we used to play as children called Looby Loo? Put your left foot in, take your left foot out, put your whole self in, take your whole self out, etc. I believe that many Christians play this game with their faith. These past few days I've been re-evaluating my walk and realized that it is so easy to have one foot in and one foot out at the same time. This world is so challenging right now that we have our hands full just trying to manage and get through our days.

You want to please those around you; your family, your boss, your friends, your co-workers, etc. The question we rarely ask ourselves is are we pleasing Yehoveh God? Are we putting the way people think about us above what He thinks about us.

Over and over the past few days Yehoveh has put His Word in front of me with the answer. He has put people in my path with the answer. The answer is that I have been more concerned with what others think of me than I have with being obedient to Him. I have thought about and worried what they might think of me, how they might treat me, if they would like me anymore or even walk away from me if I stood up for truth. Would I lose business? Would I lose a friendship? Would I lose a close family member? Would I get ridiculed, laughed at, ignored, hated, called names, rejected? Would they remove me as a friend from Facebook - sad, but true.

I had one foot in with Yehoveh and the other one firmly in the world. This morning He led me to the first three chapters in Revelation. He made me realize that living that way leads to destruction. Those three chapters are written to His believing church. They were not written to the unbelievers of the world or even seekers. He was admonishing His people to step up and do right by Him, not right by the world. He also let them know quite frankly that if they didn't, the consequences would be severe. Eternity without Him.

Gasp! Yes - contrary to the popular belief that is taught in today's churches, you can walk away from Him. You have free will and can choose your eternity. Messiah Yeshua spoke about this very issue in Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord! will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in Heaven wants. 22 On that Day, many will say to me, Lord, Lord! Didn't we prophesy in your name? Didn't we expel demons in your name? Didn't we perform many miracles in your name? 23 Then I will tell them to their faces, I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!"

He was not talking to unbelievers. Unbelievers don't do these things. He was talking to people who were doing things in His Holy name. Believers.

Revelation 1:3 Blessed are the reader and hearers of the words of this prophecy, provided they obey the things written in it! For the time is near!

In the time of John the word hear did not just mean to hear something, it was an action word. It meant that you had to DO something to show that you heard and understood. If you trust Yeshua/Jesus then hear and obey! If you have a foot in the world NOW is the time to pull it out and firmly stand on the Rock of Salvation. It's all or nothing - you can't have it both ways.

Joshua 24: 14-15 Therefore fear Yehoveh, and serve Him truly and sincerely. Put away the gods your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve Yehoveh! 15 If it seems bad to you to serve Yehoveh, then choose today whom you are going to serve! Will it be the gods your ancestors served beyond the River? or the gods of the Emori, in whose land you are living?

As for me and my household, we will serve Yehoveh!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What's in a Word? - SYNCRETISM

According to the American Heritage Dictionary the definition of syncretism is "Reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief, as in philosophy or religion, especially when success is partial or the result is heterogeneous".

I recently finished a study on the book of Judges. It is a good example of syncretism. Yehovah instructed Joshua to enter Canaan and give the people living there a choice. Either pack up and leave or die. There was no middle ground. He did not want His chosen people to live with people who held other beliefs and other gods. Syncretism happened because Israel did not obey God. Instead they decided to tolerate the Canaanites and allowed them to live along side of the Hebrews. They tolerated the many gods including Baal and Ashteroth.

It didn't take long for syncretism to rear its ugly head. It happened very quickly and before the Israelites knew what happened to them they were worshiping not only Yehovah but the gods of the Canaanites as well. They worked together, worshiped together, married each other and so on. The Torah was not being followed and the priesthood and sacrificial system set up by Yehovah at Mt. Sinai was completely watered down.

Today we are seeing the same thing happen to both the Jews and the Christian church. Instead of following Yehovah's Word, we are building churches based on doctrine. Doctrine that in many cases has no real basis in the Bible. Doctrine that is falling short of readying the church for the fast approaching Kingdom of Yehovah.

The church has adopted the ways of the world to such an extent that it's hard to tell the difference between the two. When a person listens to the same music, watches the same movies and television shows, reads the same books, talks the same talk and basically lives the same life as someone who doesn't know Messiah Yeshua, how are they living the life of a set-apart people?

One reason Yehovah set down the Torah laws was to show how His people were different from all other peoples of the world. We are not supposed to be the same. We are different; set apart for a Holy God. That God expects His people to be different than the rest of the world.

I ask myself daily if someone was watching me could they tell by my actions that I am a follower of Messiah Yeshua. Am I keeping both feet where they belong or do I have one foot in this world?

Many Christians today are living a life of syncretism. They don't even realize that they have combined the world and their faith. I pray that you are keeping yourself set apart for Him.