Thursday, October 17, 2013

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Loss of Liberty

Loss of Liberty
          The loss of liberty for an individual and a nation stems from the same root cause – forgetting God.  It is only in Christ that we have liberty to walk in freedom from captivity to sin.  Sin always produces destruction and death.  Choosing to live in rebellion against God and His law is certain spiritual death to the individual and certain destruction to the nation. 
          On the surface, being obedient to God’s law might appear to place us in chains of servitude.  That is definitely what Satan would have us believe. He is constantly trying to lure us into disobedience to God by offering us the ‘freedom’ to obtain all the ‘desires of our hearts’ by simply departing from God’s ways.  He tries to makes us believe that he offers us all the pleasure and fun that we could ever want, but never exposes the truth that giving in to his deception will only open the pit of hell, forever spiraling us downward until we are held in enslavement to the very thing that appeared to be so enticing, yet is true torture and enslavement.  For a vivid example, we need to look no further than the death and destruction caused by alcohol and drugs.  It is only through adherence to the word of God that we are set free from the deception of Satan, his lies, and the torture of sin.  As our loving Father, God gives us His ‘rules’ to follow to keep us from having to suffer the harm that He knows is out there waiting to destroy and devour us. 
          The Word tells us that “I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.”(Psalm 119: 45) The Psalmist presents our options in a clear manner: choose to follow the laws of God to walk in freedom from enslavement to sin, or forget God and go your own way. God’s path is straight and narrow providing boundaries that keep you from veering off into dangerous cliffs, quicksand, and destructive landslides.  By seeking God’s precepts, we are given God’s protection against the fiery darts of the enemy, and provided the opportunity to become all that He has planned and designed us to be, both as an individual and as a nation.  Yes, He has given us free will.  However, that free will was given that we might choose to submit our will to His will.  Yet, there are many that choose to follow the broad path of their own will in rebellion against God.  That broad path has no protective boundaries and leads into a maze of turns, drop-off cliffs, and many diversions and detours which only distract and block us from ever becoming the person we were meant to be.  Think of all the twists and turns in a labyrinth or maze, these only lead to confusion, causing us to loose our way.  In the end, what seemed to be enticing and a neat thing to explore and become a part of, turns out to be a horrible journey further away from God into a dark and dangerous wilderness.  This is a life that is constantly characterized by an unending introspective journey, always looking inward instead of upward to God.   Fulfillment, contentment, or peace can never be found, for when one’s goal is to feed the desires of ‘self,’ we find that ‘self’ has a ferocious appetite that can never be satisfied, for it always wants more.  It’s a life without vision, always held in captivity of seeking and longing for the next thing that just might fill the void in one’s life.  “If I only had more money, fame, pleasure, things, power, etc., then I would be happy and content.” The appetite of ‘self’ can never be satisfied and always craves more and more. What you really needed or wanted was never found. This is readily seen in the lives of many a movie star who has attained all the fame and fortune that the world has to offer only to realize the emptiness of it all, often leading one to desperation, depression, lack of all hope, and even to suicide.  It’s may not be the things themselves that have been harmful, but rather the love of them, above God, that has caused the destruction. 
          The same destructive results that are suffered by the individual that is determined to forget God, is just as prevalent in the nation that decides to remove God and all of His ways from the foundations of the public arena.  “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (II Corinthians 3: 17)  The very Spirit of the Lord that prepared the way for America to be a nation of freedom and liberty is being removed, for it is now perceived to be something that should be shunned, as if the fear of the Lord was the very source of bigotry and hatred.  Oh yes, as a nation, we are confirming the truth of the scriptures, whether we are aware of it or not.  It’s not religion that America is seeking to be free of.  Diversity of religion is alive and well, being multiplied into more and more forms of every kind of ism that can be imagined and created by mankind.  No one finds fault with someone touting the path of any of the latest gurus, false prophets, and false religions.  The only faith that is being marginalized, demonized, and blatantly subject to persecution and even eradication is the Judeo/Christian faith.  Satan doesn’t care if we believe in many gods.  The militant atheist cries out with boundless rage against any exclusive belief in the exceptionality of one God, specifically anyone believing in the name of Jesus Christ.   Yes, mankind is busy as a bee joining the ranks of Satan and all of his demons in the effort to rid the world of the One True Living God. 
          If God says something is wrong and we should have nothing to do with it, America, as a nation, is busily proclaiming that very thing which God has called evil, to be good. There you have it – the prophecy of the word of God is being fulfilled right before our eyes even here in our beloved nation that once stood as a beacon of light to the entire world.  Our nation is embroiled in a battle for its very life, just as we as individuals are also.  This battle appears to be Republicans vs. Democrats, nation against nation, one race against another, men against women, Pro-Choice against Pro Life, etc.  However, in reality it is a great spiritual battle that is not against flesh and blood, but rather between Satan and all of his powers and principalities of the darkness of this world and Almighty God together with His Army of the Hosts of Heaven.  The Church, the body of believers, is presently acting as if it is either sound asleep or just sick with decay and apathy.  The Word tells us that a house divided can not stand.  Right now, Satan is doing a pretty good job of keeping us divided against one another so that we can not be the strong and effective body that God has meant us to be on earth.  We stand by quietly while all the walls against the enemy are crumbling and falling down around us, opening the flood gates for every form of ungodliness of the enemy to walk right in and decimate our very foundations.
          We are not one united body, for we have fallen into parsing the word of God, watering down its truth, not standing strong in the faith, or ignoring God and His ways altogether.  Every time Satan tried to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus responded: “It is written!” and spoke forth in the power and truth of the word of God.  How have we responded when confronted with the lies of the world as they have been presented in opposition to the truth of the Word?  As Christians, have we stood strong in the faith of the truth of the Word? In stead, have we caved in to conform to the world?  Unfortunately, we have been opening the door wide, enabling society to replace God’s truth with that which seems to be true and right in the eyes of mankind?  Sure sounds like that old liar himself back in the Garden of Eden when he tempted Eve by saying – “Hath God REALLY Said….?” (My paraphrasing.)  He loves to twist God’s word and place just enough truth in his lies in order to deceive any and all who will listen to his voice.  He knows the word of God well is a pro at distorting it in order to cause doubt and unbelief to raise its ugly head. 
          When it comes to blame for the deteriorating condition of us as individuals and as a nation, there is plenty of that to spread around.  However, I submit that the greater amount of that blame lies squarely on the shoulders of each Bible believing, born again Christian.  When it comes to deciding what is good and evil and standing up for it as proclaimed in the Word, do we stand firm, not veering to the right or left?  The answer has to be a resounding and definite NO!  All of this Pro Choice vs. Pro Life, Equality of marriage, legal immigration vs. illegal immigration, gay vs. straight, and so on down the line, could not be in question if we would only stand firm and stop conforming to the way of the world.  Instead of making a statement of what is right or wrong based upon my own opinions, I choose to follow Jesus’ example by joining with Him in the declaration of the Word as He did.
Is it not written?
II Tim. 3: 1-5
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
I Corinthians 6: 9 – 11
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were (emphasis mine) some of you: but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
          If we choose to remove any part of the scripture and say it does not apply to today, what else will we change or edit out thereby negating all of the truth of God’s Word?  As we water-down the truth of the Word, we undermine it and make it of little or no effect in our lives.  By doing so, we diminish ourselves as the salt of the earth and reduce the light that was meant to shine in order to expose the evil darkness of the world.  Unfortunately, as apostasy comes flooding into the body of Christ, we have often joined our voices in unity with unbelievers, becoming more like the world, instead of  being an instrument used of the Lord to draw others into the family of God.
          All have sinned and have come short of the mark.  However, for the believer, there should be a great difference in how we act after committing sin. If it does not result in acknowledging our sin and, out of true sorrow, turning to God in repentance and asking the Lord’s forgiveness, mercy, and grace, can we say that we are truly a follower of Christ?  God did not save us in order that we might be free to sin that much more. We are saved that we might do good works, are we not?  Can those, who willfully and rebelliously continually practice to do that which God’s word has so clearly stated to be sinful, choose to ignore God’s truth, change it to suit them selves without any degree of repentance, still proclaim to be a child of God and follower of Christ?  In truthfulness, if we are His, shouldn’t our response be to ask Him to show if there be any wicked way in us, shed His light upon it that in grief for how we have sinned against Him, we might turn from our wicked ways to be restored once again to a right relationship with Him?  Where do we stand?  Do we help or harm ourselves and others by accepting and condoning that which we know to be sin?  God loves the sinner; we are all sinners.  God does not love sin.  He will forgive us if we repent and ask for His forgiveness.  However, can there ever be forgiveness if we don’t first acknowledge the sin in our lives, repent, and ask for His forgiveness?  Either we are with the Lord or against Him.  There is no neutral in-between ground with Him.           
          While Rome burns, or rather in our case, while America burns, the people of our nation are pointing their fingers at each other, or group, either to lift up one faction or another as being the placebo to cure all the ills, or the poison that is causing all the ills.  While the futile blame game is being played, the judgment and destruction of our country for turning our back on God is raging like a fire out of control.  Meanwhile, the fiddle is continuing to be played as if everything is just fine, okay, couldn’t be better.  Yep, just as the tower of Babble was raised in defiance to God, so too, America is rebuilding her own tower of defiance against the will of God in our nation.  Refusing to repent, our nation is raising its fist to God declaring that we no longer need Him or His ‘bigoted’ ways.  No longer do we find pride in declaring that we are ‘One nation, indivisible under God, with liberty and justice for all.”  In stead we are working hard to trade in this old girl, the love of our youth, for a younger and much more enticing model. As we sink into the godless and lawless society of our own making, the new pledge of allegiance can be heard ringing out over all the nation: “We pledge allegiance to the flag of our One New World Order, Indivisible, under the Brotherhood of Mankind, with social justice and freedom at last from the nuisance of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  To Mankind be the glory, great things we have done!” 
          Ah yes, we can be so proud for we are quickly emancipating ourselves from the evils of this God, who has the self righteous audacity to proclaim that He alone is the One True God and author and finisher of our faith.  We are joining ranks with Satan as he raises his hand to deflect our view away from God and the price that was paid by Jesus the Christ upon the old rugged cross for our salvation.  Praise be to us, we alone art worthy of all praise and glory!  Never happen you say?  We have opened the gate to the labyrinth, strolling along its many twists and turns, and opening our minds and hearts to the notion that there are many paths to God. In so doing, we have all but lost our faith in the reality that Jesus has declared: “I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”  We have veered from loving the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and strength.  Like a married man who has chosen to defile the marriage bed by bringing in many mistresses, we have thought nothing of opening the door of our heart to every evil thing.  A bigamist, one who illegally marries two or more women, has reduced the status of his first wife to being only one of many, and removes her status of being cherished as exceptional and his only true love.  We have invited many other gods into our lives declaring the one True God to have no excusive exceptionality but rather equal in importance to a myriad of other foreign gods, or maybe replacing Him altogether.  No wonder God says that we have become as the harlot who has gone whoring after other strange gods.  What part of “Thou shalt have No Other gods before me” do we not understand?  No one can serve God, be obedient unto only Him, and serve other gods also.  Either we will serve God, or we will serve Satan.  No one can serve two masters, 
          So why do Christians deserve most of the blame for the loss of liberty for the individual and for our once glorious nation?  As judgment and loss came upon Israel for turning her back on God, so too will that same consequence be suffered by America. Does not the word of God once again sum it all up so clearly without any double talk at all?
Psalm 119: 53, 92
“Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.”
“Unless thy law had been my delights, I should have perished in mine affliction.”
II Chronicles 7: 14, 21, 22
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
“…Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and unto this house?  And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all evil upon them.”
          Awaken Christians, time is growing short, but it’s not too late for us to turn our hearts back to the Lord.  God is long suffering and His arm is still outstretched to us.  Without Him, we have lost more than liberty.  We will have lost everything.  His Word is established FOREVER! 
Revised  March 21, 2014


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