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Wednesday
Jul112018

What prevents us from drawing closer to God? 

Your deeds won't let you return to your God. You are a prostitute through and through, and you do not know the LORD.                             -Hosea 5:4

I never have thought about being a ‘prostitute’ with my thoughts and deeds. The scripture uses this terminology quite often as it refers to Israel giving herself to other gods in the land. In a recent conversation I had about a church whose reputation has been tarnished by cult-like practices of its staff, it was mentioned that the people at this church love the Lord but they remain deceived. In light of what Hosea is saying here, do we prostitute ourselves through the kind of theology we choose to practice? I have been around preachers who are so entrenched in their theological foundation that you would think their theology had replaced Jesus as their first love. I think the question should be asked, “Have I prostituted myself in such a manner that my ability to know God has been curtailed or denied?” The great myth we adhere to is that our faith in God is determined by simply a decision we made for Christ. Granted, accepting Christ is the beginning of our journey with God and nothing else is required for salvation other than believing in Him, yet our lifestyle must change to reflect that decision, and a lifestyle change is directly connected to a changed heart. That is why Jesus said you would know a tree by its fruit. You can’t make a decision for Christ and keep your lifestyle in violation of His principles and values. When I first came to Christ my mentors taught me that you make wrong things right, and you constantly work at keeping things right, every day of your life. The term used back then was “keeping short accounts;” in other words, don’t let the sun go down without making things right - first with God, and then with people.

Prostitution is so degrading and it cheapens life at the core of who a person is and enslaves them to a lifestyle of captivity. Yet God says we have prostituted ourselves by our deeds, by making them the love of our lives. We eventually become what we love, what we spend our time doing, and what we support. The simplest way to analyze our behavior is through reflection and prayer. 

Psalm 5:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

Pastor John Piper writes, Jesus knows everyone’s idol. Jesus knows perfectly what is competing in your heart with affection for him. He looks every one of us in the face and sees right to our heart.

What is competing with God in your heart? 

Churches have felt this competition as the Star and Tribune has reported in a series of articles in the Star and Tribune called “Christianity at a Crossroads”. The author says, Steep drops in church attendance, aging congregations, and cultural shifts away from organized religion have left most of Minnesota’s mainline Christian denominations facing unprecedented declines.” 

http://m.startribune.com/as-minnesota-churches-close-a-way-of-life-fades/486037461/

Modern life is in competition for your soul and it is being felt throughout Christianity. Most of these churches mentioned in the Strib article have left true Christianity and it is only their tradition that keeps the congregation on life support. Churches that offer the hope of a life-changing Christianity are growing and pushing back against the modern lifestyle that ignores God. 

This is why the Prophet Hosea wrote to ancient Israel; they too had issues with living their lives without God, and their deeds proved it. They loved their deeds more than they did God, and that is mirrored around us today. 

Competition for your attention and allegiance is finding people compromising their beliefs for the easier lifestyle without the foundation of faith and it’s principles. Without a transfusion of Godly principles we will continue to promote deeds that will keep people from knowing God. In another article by the Star and Tribune, they write about a library reading program that is being done by libraries in St Paul. Here is the headline: 

The St. Paul Public Library's Drag Story Hour celebrates Pride while teaching self-acceptance.”

With big lavender hair, spiraled silver sequins and a mermaid fit-and-flare skirt, she was ready to read.

Fierce, 24, is one of six drag performers to participate in the St. Paul Public Library’s Drag Story Hour program, which invites them to public libraries around St. Paul to read a book of their choosing, followed by a musical performance.

“There’s an adult sphere and there’s a sphere for children,” said Kim Crockett, vice president of the think tank Center for the American Experiment. “It is very clear to me that the St. Paul Library has forgotten that.”

http://m.startribune.com/as-minnesota-churches-close-a-way-of-life-fades/486037461/ 

The age of innocence is slowly being lost to programs that indoctrinate children to adult perversion. This is yet another example of how evil is competing to corrupt the souls of human beings. 

I cannot help but hear the echo of the prophet’s warning of how the indoctrination of deeds will keep us from knowing the one true God.

Your deeds won't let you return to your God. You are a prostitute through and through, and you do not know the LORD.       -Hosea 5:4

Keeping it honest and truthful. 

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