Does anyone else have that lost friend or loved one that says “I have my own thing with God”? How do you respond to that? We certainly can’t judge others relationships with the Lord. That is between them and God. What if they are not bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control? That would be an easy answer. What about the one’s who appear to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit? They are loving, happy, kind and in control…but do they truly have the peace that can only come from the Holy Spirit?
PLEASE understand, I’m not judging anyone. I am speaking from experience alone. If you would have asked me 3 years ago if I was a Christian I would have emphatically replied “YES”! However, that yes would have had a twofold reason. Number one would have been, yes I believe in Jesus – period. Number two would have been, yes, I believe in Jesus so don’t talk to me about it right now. Don’t talk to me about Him because I have it “under control” so leave me alone. I was loving, happy, kind and in control. Morality was my religion (according to the worldly standards – NOT the Bible’s) and I had the strength necessary to survive in this dog eat dog world. But I had no peace; no rest. Our strength does not allow peace to abide in us. Our strength is always at combat with our peace; it is greedy, prideful, stubborn and unforgiving. Our strength eventually gives out because our soul needs peace. Our strength IS our deceit. It is the veil over our eyes.
Relying on our strength and morality does not get us to Heaven. Galatians 5:19-21 “ Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” It turns out “my moral religion” wasn’t getting me anywhere but to hell. Sounds harsh but it was the truth. I thought my little corner of the world was just fine, not hurting anyone.
I too, have been on the receiving end of this double edge sword known as the Word of God. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword” Matthew 10:34. The Gospel of Jesus Christ will bring division between light and dark. The Lord does not bring peace, He IS peace. For those of us who claimed or are claiming to be a child of God, He will separate. The Bible is the Word of God. God watches over His Word. If we claim to belong to Him but we truly do not, He will divide us from the light.
For example, from the outside looking in at my life years ago, I claimed to be a Christian. However, my works of the flesh were quite evident. What kind of stumbling block was I putting in front of others? “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42. When the Bible is our mirror instead of our vanity mirror, we become quite humbled. A millstone around my neck wasn’t very becoming in my vanity mirror.
The enemy uses our strength to deceive us. I praise God for His double edge sword because without it I too would be straddling both sides of the fence. Not on purpose but because satan had me deceived. When we minister the Gospel of Jesus and expose the enemy’s deceit to the lost they must be the ones to decide their eternity. They have to be the ones who respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit….and for them we pray. There is only one way to have both peace and strength and that is through our Lord, Jesus Christ. – Donna Warren