Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0165
BEWARE OF MIXTURE!
We pride ourselves as being mature people in the 21st century. However, when we consider a lot of what is happening today within our Christian circles, we soon discover that there is a lot of mixture that has crept into the hearts of people. Christianity is all about a personal relationship with the Son of God, Jesus Christ. This is made all the more real through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit Who comes to make Jesus “alive” in our hearts and to bring wonderful gifts to enable us to serve Him in a supernatural way. Christianity is essentially simple: “Whatever Jesus says to you, do it” (John 2:5).
Tragically, the enemy has been quite successful in infiltrating many Christian hearts and causing them to believe other things than the pure teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are seeing many who want “Jesus . . . and something or someone else.” We come across those who have a mixture of spirituality and spiritualism; a bit of Jesus and a lot of manipulation and control (like a “Christian” form of witchcraft); a bit of Jesus, but using Him and the Christian message to further a personal greedy cause; a bit of the New Covenant revelation, but mixed with a lot of Old Covenant beliefs, etc. Sadly, these mixtures all bring about one result: powerlessness in our personal lives and faith. Once we get away from the simple truth of JESUS CHRIST, there is then something within the heart of man that wants to go back under law, legalism, rules and regulations ~ which all then becomes a form of manipulation and control (see the Book of Galatians). In this situation people become afraid of their leaders, afraid to function in the Holy Spirit and His gifts, even afraid to witness for Jesus. Leaders often do not trust their people to personally obey the voice of the Lord. Yet we say we have the answer to all mankind’s problems! We do ~ in the simple and pure Gospel of the New Covenant Jesus. But once we drift away from that simplicity, an erosion within takes place, and we become more and more religious (and powerless) rather than being able to demonstrate that wonderful Gospel of the risen Christ as being the answer to the whole world.
Then there is the question of what worldliness is. The Bible clearly tells us: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world ~ the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life ~ is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17, NKJV). These verses clearly tell us what worldliness is. If we still love the things of the world, we are living in “mixture” ~ partly spiritual and partly worldly. Christianity does not thrive when there is a mixture.
- Christian, do you know where the world finishes and spirituality starts?
- And the reason why it is essential that we are born-again by the Holy Spirit?
- Do you know the standards that God has set for those who love and follow Him?
- Christianity is a very different life-style to that of the natural way of doing things.
- We are called to be God-pleasers more than man-pleasers.
- Mixture produces double standards and double standards rob us of the true life that Jesus came to give us.
DEVELOP A PERSONAL DEVOTIONAL LIFE
One of the main answers to avoid mixture is for every Christian to have their own personal and daily devotional life ~ where we give time daily to reading the Word of God and talking with Jesus ~ and listening to what He would say to us. We have to learn to feed ourselves on the word of God, and not to rely on Sunday sermons to get us through. If we do not know what the Bible teaches, then how will we be able to discern the difference between truth and error when it comes our way? The word of God is the only true means of knowing truth from error. Once we start accepting error, then we become mixed-up in our hearts and we are robbed of the supernatural of God that is available to all who truly believe what Jesus says.
Another important thing for Christians is to make sure you have trusted Christian friends that know you well enough that if they were concerned about what you are believing and/or following, that they have the freedom to come to you and to share their concerns. If we are isolated in our walk with Jesus and are not open to any correction, then we can easily go astray. Do you have such friends?
Let us encourage one another to be “hungry and thirsting after righteousness” continually, because God’s promise is that all who do will be filled with righteousness (Matthew 5:6). We have to demonstrate to God our love for Him, that our desire is for Him, and that we want to live to obey and glorify Him. That is what being a disciple of Jesus is about. Mixture will make us indecisive, lukewarm and powerless! Let us guard against it by being equipped with the knowledge of God’s will for our lives, and our walking and living to fulfil His will.
If Jesus does not personally “satisfy” or “fulfil” you, then there is something amiss with your relationship with Him. Be bold enough and brave enough to face the reality of where you are at with Him, and allow Him to become LORD of your life. Only Jesus alive in your heart can fully satisfy! He must retain the “Number One” priority of our hearts, focus and attention. Religion and other things can never give you what only Jesus can! Get rid of any mixtures that rob you of God’s indwelling power! Don’t miss His “knocking on the door of your heart today” (Revelation 3:20) – He has quite a “meal” waiting for you! ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Bible Readings: Ephesians 5:14-21 1 Timothy 4
Prayer: “Dear Lord God, I come to You in the name of Jesus Christ Your Son, and I ask You to help me to yield myself more to the leading of Your Holy Spirit. I ask You to help me to discern more clearly truth from error, and to see the benefits of doing what You have said. Help me to learn how to love people more in a real and genuine way. May I have a much bigger believing heart so that I can earnestly desire and persevere more, and demonstrate my faith and belief in You much more positively. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for hearing my prayer. In Jesus’ name I pray these things, Amen.”