“How long LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” ~ Psalm 13:1-6
The question from a viewer across the water is why do people believe the gospel, get baptized but find it hard to obey scriptures? [*]
We, Christians, sometimes do not take heed to biblical warnings regarding hazardous toxics call sin. For example, to stand against Satan’s schemes, we are told to put on the whole armor of God prior to walking out into the world. Oftentime, we do not for second guessing the Word of God with our opinions, thoughts and feelings. This causes harm to the temple of the Holy Spirit. Just as manufacturers instruct us to effectively use hazardous chemicals, scriptures guide and govern our lives to effectively lower risk of spiritual death and loss of our soul’s salvation.
Consumers heed to manufacturers warnings regarding hazardous toxic chemicals without question. For example, to prevent illness or death, we are instructed to wear protective clothing prior to using their harmful products. We do not second guess the manufacturers’ knowledge in their area of expertise.
When you read this section perhaps some of you will wonder what does it have to do with the blog’s topic. As my husband always say when setting up his sermons “Stay on the bus I am going somewhere.” I was a firm believer that generic products were not as effective as brand name products. For example, enroute to Woodland Place Church of Christ Ladies Day Program in Ocala, Florida on Saturday, November 2, 2019, I spilled coffee on my White dress. Some of you are probably thinking like I was when it happened—you have got to be kidding! However, there is cost-effective lesson learned from the coffee stain incident. One of my spiritual mothers saw a Family Dollar store so we stopped; but the employee was unable to recommend a product to immediately remove the stain—no more drinking and driving for me [coffee that is…].
As I walked toward the checkout counter, I turned around to a customer saying “Excuse me, try this. You look like you’re in a hurry so I’ll pay for it.” She gave me a $2 bottle of Oxi Clean Laundry Stain Remover. I took it and paid for it even though I had doubt of its effectiveness.
The first task later that day was to spray my dress and allow it to soak then hand wash it. I did exactly that and to my surprise the coffee stain disappeared. In addition to the coffee stained dress, I used it on one of my favorite dresses not worn in six months due to ink stains, and on one of my husband’s blood stain shirts. We were both shocked that the ink and blood stains disappeared. Cost-effective lesson learned is generic products are as effective as brand name products.
Now, when it comes to the gospel, generic doctrines are not effective on our spiritual journeys, or for our souls’ salvation. “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel which is no gospel at all” ~ Galatians 1:6.
How long will we continue to absorb toxic behaviors of sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envious, covetousness, gossiping, slander, busybody, backbiting, unforgiveness, haughty eyes, idleness, self-centeredness, proud looks, lying tongues, hatred, cunningness, forsaking the assembly, favoritism, immodest dressing, disunity, cliques, disobedience, and the like?
I have no doubt that we all struggle with some kind of toxic behavior. In fact, you might even be struggling with it right now. Regardless, we must bring our mind and body into subjection with the Word of God. Apostle Paul also struggled with the flesh in Romans 7:24-25, and called himself a “wretched man” in state of living in the flesh of inner struggles.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”~ Ephesians 6:12.
How long will it be before Jesus return? “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” ~ Matthew 24:36.
Just Be Ready!
“Therefore, [sisters] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” ~ II Peter 1:10-11 [12-21].
Be encouraged and take up the shield of faith to extinguish all flaming arrows of the evil one. Take everywhere you go the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Remember, pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” ~ Ephesians 6:16-24.
Viewer, I hope to have adequately answered your question. [*] You can go to Facebook page Sermons of Felton D. Woods to hear three sermons related to your questions. Sermons titles are “Obedience” and “When Obedience is Hard”—Parts I & II.