Monday, July 8, 2013

Excuse My Rebellion, Please?

       The other night as I was drifting off to sleep this thought came to me. It wasn't the "fruit" that Adam and Eve ate that caused sin to enter into the world, but sin entered through their disobedience. The sin was not only their disobedience, but their rebellion against God's Word. God said "Don't eat" but they ate anyway. That same sin rules the world today. God tells us in His Word how to live a life of godliness, how to have a relationship with Him as He intended when He placed man in the garden. But we rebel against God and His Word to His children, bringing us into disobedience and enmity with God our Heavenly Father.
Adam and Eve’s sin was not only in their disobedience, but in their rebellion towards what God had spoken to them. Genesis 2:16-17 shows us that God spoke His word to them. He told them that they could eat of anything they wanted, except the one tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He even told them why they could not eat of it, He warned them ahead of time. He told them that it would kill them, that they would surely die if they ate of it. Yet what happened? They rebelled.
The serpent comes to Eve and challenges God’s word. He asks, “has God indeed said”. Sin will question God’s word, it will challenge what God has spoken to us as truth. It causes us to rebel against God and His word. God’s word is given to us to live a life of godliness, and to show us how to have a relationship with Him as He intended for us to have. Yet, we choose to sin rather than resist. As I have pondered on these thoughts that the Lord gave to me a few nights ago, I began to look at my life. How many times have I read the Word of God, seen the warnings, heard the Holy Spirit telling me not to do something, yet I have chosen to do it anyway?
I have chosen to rebel against God. Many of you are probably going to say that we are sinners; we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. This is true, we do fall short, we do sin, and we sin without even realizing it sometimes. But what if the Lord God is telling us that He is tired of our excuses? What if the Lord is looking at our hearts and telling us that we are still in rebellion towards Him because we still choose sin over Him? This is a hard reality for me to grasp, because I have been taught by many preachers and pastors that we can never truly be free from a life a sin until we are with Him in heaven. As long as we are in this flesh, then we are sinners. But does the Bible not also tell us that Jesus Christ came to save us from this sinful flesh; that He died so that we might live in newness of life, no more held captive by the sins of our flesh?
David writes in verse 1-4 of Psalm 19 that the glory of the Lord is declared in the heavens, the earth, the sun, the moon and the stars, all of creation declares to us the glory of the Lord. Romans 1:18-21 tells us that “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” God has declared Himself to the whole world through His creation and through His word; there is not a single one of us that can claim any excuse of not knowing Him, because He has clearly given all He can to show us that He is God Almighty. Yet, we find ourselves falling into sin, falling into temptations and walking down the paths of unrighteousness. What if we are without excuse? What if we who call ourselves Christians are without excuse as well?
2 Peter 1:3 tells us that “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” If this is true, then why are we still walking in the fleshly sins of death and not walking in the glory of eternal life that we have been given? This is heavy on my heart this morning, because I believe more and more of us are in denial. We have taken God for granted over and over again. We sin, we ask for His forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ and go and sin again. We do not even try to resist the temptation of sin anymore; we just blame it on our flesh.
We take His word for granted. We read our bibles and go to Church but we chose to do what we want to do the rest of the week. We say we love our brothers and sisters in the Lord, but in the next breath we are speaking against them. We are a rebellious nation, a people that has chosen to make excuses for our sins instead of repenting of them. We pray for one another, we lift up our hands in worship, but our hearts are full of presumptuous sins, and secret faults. (Psalm 19:12-13)

We need cleansed; we need to be washed daily by His word. Not just read it and thank Him for it, but live it. We need to heed the warnings He has laid before us in His word, we need to listen to His voice when it tells us “no”. We sin and then we make the excuse to Him that it is this wretched flesh that we are stuck in. But Christ came to free us from sin and death, this eternal life that we have been given was given to us the day we accepted Him into our hearts. Yet we choose to walk around in sin and death instead of the freedom from it. We need to be on our knees, children of God. We need to stop taking God’s word and His forgiveness for granted. Stop sinning. Stop willfully sinning against Him. He speaks His word not for His pleasure but for your good. His word is for our benefit, it is to warn us and equip us to battle the evil that is in this world and in our hearts.
Adam and Eve rebelled against God and His word. We are doing the same thing when we choose to ignore His word and live the lives we desire.  God even tells us that He wants us to come out of this rebellion that we are in, to stop making excuses for our sins and admit that we need Him, His word and we need to heed Him in all things. God spoke through Isaiah and is speaking the same thing to us today, “I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people. Who walk in a way that is not good, according to their own thoughts.” (Isaiah 65:2) We are breaking the heart of our heavenly Father, and we do not even care. How long can He go on like this? How long can we go on like this? He is longsuffering, yes, but we must realize that our excuses for our sins can go on no longer.
Romans 8:2 tell us that “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Paul also tells us in Romans 6:18 and 6:22 that we are free, free from sin. No longer do we have to allow sin to rule us. God tells us in His word to resist, resist sin. Hebrews 12:4 tells us that we have not even resisted to the point of blood yet. We barely resist sin at all, we give in because rebelling against God is easier and we can just blame it on our flesh.
 We have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us, He tells us “no” and we are to heed Him. We have to stop taking God for granted, we have to stop choosing to rebel against His word. We either follow His word or we don’t. We cannot do both. You can’t say you love God on Sunday and follow the desires of your flesh on Monday. Your flesh has been crucified with Christ Jesus, do not let sin reign in your members any longer. (Romans 6:12) Be separate, be holy, be who God desires you to be. There are no more excuses for God has said there are none, and we have to listen if we want to be true children of God. Amen and Amen.