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When The Standard Is Missing

10 Go through, the gates, Clear the way for the people; Build up the highway, Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples.  -Isaiah 62:10

Our standards are being replaced (or updated as some would say,) to reflect the godless society. I spoke with a pastor today whose education taught him to be socially oriented, at the expense of being Biblically based. What has your education taught you? What has your church taught you? Are you more Biblically oriented today than you were ten years ago? Are you finding more satisfaction in your spiritual life today than you did when you first came to Christ?  Most messages on holiness, consecrated lives, and yielded lives have all been replaced with upgraded themes of preserving a social awareness. The messages of the living and dying for the cross of Christ have long escaped the lips of the Sunday morning preacher. As I engaged a local pastor today, I was made aware that his experience with God is through the reading of books and in the pursuit of an intellectual God.

It is not a bad thing to pursue a more intellectual path to understand God, but that will never get you to the heart of God. It will broaden your foundation for conversation about God, but it will never get you closer to God. God wants a standard of holiness as a path to really know Him.

These are the standards God expects from those who want to come close to Him:

1Lord, who can dwell in Your tent?

Who can live on Your holy mountain?

The one who lives honestly, practices righteousness,
and acknowledges the truth in his heart—
who does not slander with his tongue,
who does not harm his friend
or discredit his neighbor,
who despises the one rejected by the Lord
but honors those who fear the Lord,
who keeps his word whatever the cost,
who does not lend his money at interest
or take a bribe against the innocent—
the one who does these things will never be moved.

-Psalm 15:1-5

What we use as a standard in our lives is important to God. If our standard falls short of what is listed here, you will be religious, but never spiritual.

Practice righteousness

  1. Knowing truth
  2. Does not slander
  3. Does not harm anyone
  4. Does not discredit others
  5. Does not despise the outcast
  6. Honors and fears the Lord
  7. Keeps his word at all costs
  8. Does not lend money to profit
  9. Does not take a bribe against the innocent 

These are the standards in a person’s life that will build a foundation upon which God will be honored, and those who practice such standards will be allowed to dwell next to Him. (verse 1)

There are no excuses for not drawing closer to God. Going to church doesn’t cut it anymore. I think there was a day when we would tell people to go to church if you wanted to draw closer to God. That is not true in many cases today. I thought I would never say what I am about to say, but it needs to be said. Many churches are spiritually bankrupt, and have little to no understanding of the Biblical God. They preach a hybrid that is part Bible, part sociology, and part public relations.  Older people who once knew how inspiring church could be understand how things have changed. Telling someone to go to church is risky business today, because you are recommending a person get indoctrinated into the thinking of a denomination, or into the philosophy of a preacher. We are not here on earth as Christians to promote a denomination or uplift the ego of the local pastor. I have met many Christian couples that no longer attend church. Their reasons vary, but most of them state that there isn’t much that they can draw from church, so why should they attend? I don’t want you to get defensive at this point; I don’t care if your church is different, because the majority of churches are not what God has called the church to do. I am not advocating not attending church; I am advocating that we bring changes to the Bride of Christ. A bride doesn’t concern herself with the things that do not honor her future marriage. A bride doesn’t go off script from what she knows is best for preparing for her wedding. If the Church is His bride, then how should we live as we wait for Him to return?

I think the bride strengthens her standards, and removes any stone (obstacle) that prevents her from stumbling before her wedding. There is something missing in our churches, and I think it starts with revisiting who we are in Christ. Then compare that to how we have committed our lives to Him.

Keeping it honest and truthful….K

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