"They had become so worldly and so thoroughly assimilated into Persian culture that they'd lost their protective shield. God had told His people from the time of Moses that He'd protect them and fight their battles for the them as long as they worshiped Him only. If they forgot Him, He would still love them but He would not shield them. Instead, He'd use their enemies to turn His people back to Him." Pg 85 Beth Moore's "Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman."
We are called to live a life that is to be set apart. We are to be a beacon of light and salt of the Earth (Matthew 5:13-16), and yet Christians living in America have become very assimilated to worldly values thereby loosing our flavor and our protective shield. We have allowed the world to penetrate our homes via the Internet, television and music. Intrinsically, these things are not bad, but they are tools that have been used to desensitize us and our children and have coerced us into believing the standards of the world are what we need to strive to attain or become and that behaviors once considered unacceptable, inappropriate or went against the moral fiber taught in the Bible are now antiquated. We are no longer under God's protective shield.
It's easy to blame people on Wall Street, the CEOs of the automobile industry, bank heads, and congressional leaders for the dismal economy, failing housing market, rising unemployment, and the list could go on and on, but when we point one finger at someone else, there are three more pointing back at yourself. How many of us have bought into the world's view of living on credit? How about living in excess? How about living beyond our means? Buying houses that leave the household budget lacking forcing the owner to live on credit. Insisting on name brand and top of the line items, when it is more economical and reasonable to buy generic.
Ladies, the giant weight we are under is of our own making. Failing to be good stewards, participating in gossip and slander, allowing gluttony to be a daily event on every level literally and figuratively, failing to keep the Sabbath day holy, refusing to obey our parents or submitting to the authority in our lives, giving one's self to someone other than our spouse whether it is physical or emotional, failing to forgive and love our neighbors as ourselves, holding tighter to anger than to love, allowing our children to never be in want, refusing to respond to God's prompting to act, to minister, to repent, passing judgment and feeling more prideful than we aught, sitting idly by while unborn babies are being sacrificed, giving in to addictions of pornography, excessive shopping, computer time, designer drugs and alcohol, you name your poison -- but let's call it what it is. It's SIN.
And for too long, we've been trying to dress up our sin to make it more palatable, more pleasant and sometimes we even parade it at church. But if you put a dress on a pig, it's still a pig. No matter how we might try to dress up our sin, God sees to the heart of the matter. He doesn't see shades of gray either. There is a quote that says, "Those who are given to white lies soon become color blind." Meaning what we might consider a white lie now will consequently grow until they are all white lies and there are no shades of gray, and definitely no black.
I would like to make a recommendation because you may be sitting there like I am wondering what sin have I gussied up or dressed up that God sees, what is it that I need to be sensitized to, what has a hold on my life, my vision that needs to be addressed. I want you to consider fasting. Fast the 12 to 24 hours before your class on Monday night or Tuesday morning. Please be sure to drink water. We don't want anyone to become dehydrated, but abstain from food, candy, and gum. You may want to consider fasting from the computer, television, the newspapers and magazine, and choose to focus on the Word of God during this time. Make it a priority to meditate, pray and spend quiet time with God. When He speaks to you, be open and receptive, repent, and then make an action plan with God's guidance as to how to move forward.
I know this is a heavy blog this week, but this is what I was given.
We look forward to seeing you next week and getting back into the swing of the Bible study.