Sunday, September 13, 2009

You Don’t Know

In our Psalms from the Pen of the Ready Writer, we took a lyrical look at the type of person who goes their own way rather than seeking God’s way.  No, we are not talking about an atheist or agnostic.  This is a person who feels that they are the height of spiritual perfection.  The truth, however, would suggest otherwise.

I was listening to a few ex-Christians pontificating about how ridiculous and worthless they felt religion was.  In a sense, they were correct.  However, it is always a bad idea to throw the proverbial baby out with the proverbial bathwater.  While certain ceremonial practices may be archaic and even unscriptural, it is dangerous to assume that because men are flawed that the entire concept of serving God is flawed.

However, this message is not about those ex-Christians but, rather, the religious person whose lifestyle and behavior may have driven the ex-Christian to a lifestyle that is lived without the daily experience of the love of God.  So what kind of religion should we be practicing.  Well, according to the scriptures:

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
James 1:27
He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Micah 6:8
Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? and in Thy Name have cast out devils? and in Thy Name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.
Matthew 7:22-23
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
2nd Timothy 3:5
The following lyric may help drive home the point that we are trying to make:
Three-piece suit and pure silk a tie
Such a pious Christian guy
Raise your hands and sing those songs
Just like nothing could be wrong

But you don’t know what “Christian” means
You don’t know... You don’t know...
Oh, you might think you’re born again
You might think it’s so, but...

Have you opened your heart to the lost?
Have you ever counted the cost?
Do you give freely
supporting His work
Is your body
His temple, His church?

No, you don’t know...

Call His Name like a magic charm
Your religion on your arm
Hang His “picture” up on your wall
Thinking you could never fall

But you don’t know who Jesus is
You don’t know... You don’t know...
Oh, you might think you’re serving Him
You might think it’s so, but...

Do you love Him with all of your heart?
From His presence, never depart?
Is He your Savior
and also your Lord
Within your heart,
are you hiding His word?

No, you don’t know...

Sing those songs and say those prayers
Sitting in your holy chair
Praised by the congregation each week
Affirmation (is) all you seek

Oh, you don’t know what religion is
You don’t know...
You don’t know...
You go to church and think you’re in
My friend, you should know, that...

If you fail to submit to the Lord
If your ears are closed to His word
If you think God is impressed with your work
or the building is really the church

Then, you don’t know...

Will you remain an ignorant fool?
Will you be used as the enemy’s tool?
Open your ears and listen to this
Ignorance just isn’t bliss

You need to know what Jesus says
You should know...
You should know...
You need to give your life to Him
Then you’ll truly know that...

You can live life in true victory
You can have joy, eternally!
Make Him your Saviour
Make Him your Lord
Open your heart, and give to the poor.

Then you will know...
You know, God has an awesome way of getting his word to us. I recently checked my overflowing inbox and found the following gem from Pastor Francis in Singapore that drives home the point much better than I might attempt to:

“He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.”
Psalm 106:15 [NKJV]
When you insist on wanting something that God in His wisdom is withholding, sometimes He steps back and says, “Okay, have it your way.” After God brought His people through the Red Sea and delivered them from the hand of Pharaoh, we read, “They believed His words; they sang His praise” (Psalm 106:12 NKJV).

That sounds good. But notice what happened next, for it happens to us: “They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness and tested God in the desert. And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul” (vs.13-15).

Wanting our own way can lead to Spiritual emptiness.

When God called Moses to deliver His people from Egypt, Moses decided to do it his own way. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave, but instead of consulting God he took matters into his own hands. The Bible says, “He looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand” (Exodus 2:12 NKJV).

Obviously, Moses was more concerned with the opinions of people than how God felt about it. So God had to teach Moses that his orders came from Him. After Moses dug a hole and tried to hide the work of his flesh, God allowed it to be exposed.

He showed Moses that by doing things his own way he couldn’t keep a single soldier buried in the sand. Whereas, by doing things God’s way, a whole army could be buried in the depths of the Red Sea.
So today, make up your mind to do it God’s way.

Have a superb week!

Pastor Ng Francis

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