Who Has a Hold on You?

For some time, I have been troubled by the challenges in my mind as they relate to this sick, pleasure- seeking world.  Satan constantly reminds me of my past in which I lived to please myself.  I certainly had no interest in pleasing God.  Like the old Wayne, many “believers” are clinging to “cherished sin” and it doesn’t have to be a big, deep, dark ugly sin.  Just a simple sin will do in barricading us from eternal life in God’s perfect kingdom. 

I can miss out on eternity today, just as easily as I could have seven years ago, just prior to my conversion.  How is that?  Unless I make a continual effort to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit—and His requests for me to let go of the lies and self-pleasures that Satan dangles before me— I’m toast.  Now this may sound a bit discouraging.  But internally, I process this as a wake-up call from God.  These calls are not going to increase, but diminish if we allow ourselves to distance ourselves or procrastinate from the still small voice that is pleading with us to break off our relationship with the world.

If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you (John 15:19).

I never liked the idea of being disliked, let alone hated.  I craved acceptance and love from others—as though that would give meaning to my existence!  The only meaning that should hold significant weight, is my value to God, and His great love for me.

As I have witnessed the great atrocities in the church today, as well as my personal challenges as a child of God, I am seeking God’s solutions.  I am making it a point to respond to the concerns He is laying on my heart each day.

Many messages are circulating today that say I’m fine just the way I am, and that Jesus has done it all.  I can just sit and wait for His return.  Jesus certainly has “paid it all,” but He has commissioned me to live in agreement with His statues… which is certainly work (surrender) on my part.  I know all of you will agree that what comes easiest to you is sin… and living in it.  That is what comes natural to all of us.  If there’s nothing required of me except believing God’s truth, rather than acting upon it… why hasn’t Jesus come already?

So how do I pull away from the world?  How do I distance myself from things that are not good for me?  These temptations come any many forms.  Diet, what I listen to, what I look at, what I think about, what I do, what I read, and the quality of time I devote to my Father who continues to call and instruct me.  Do I want an “itchy ear” experience where I am seeking to be comfortable with God?  Or should I prick my flesh and mind with distinctive and radical convictions that God keeps putting before me?  Ultimately it is … His way… or my way.

There’s an inner desire at times to go to a remote, undisclosed location and live with God alone.  Would that purify me as He desires?  Is it possible to become the peculiar child He asks me to be?  It’s becoming pretty clear to me that “coming away from the world,” is certainly more about my mind than about a physical location.

I can read books, listen to sermons, watch seminars and delve into deep study.  But in the end, God places choices before me, just as He does with every living soul.  I may choose to obey, or disobey—and these decisions dictate my future and the final outcome.  Am I willing to become a “peculiar” life for Jesus Christ?

In the last five years I’ve written plenty of words and spoken in many places all over this world.  Sharing for Christ is the ultimate blessing He has graced me with.  Yet He is reminding me that what is of utmost importance, is my one-to-one personal and intimate relationship with Him.  Without Him… I am nothing. Each day I contemplate His requests made on my life.  How will I respond?

Today my reflections are on Enoch who “walked with God.”

Distressed by the increasing wickedness of the ungodly, and fearing that their infidelity might lessen his reverence for God, Enoch avoided constant association with them, and spent much time in solitude, giving himself to meditation and prayer. Thus he waited before the Lord, seeking a clearer knowledge of His will, that he might perform it. To him prayer was as the breath of the soul; he lived in the very atmosphere of heaven(PP 85).

I believe the kingdom of God is truly at hand. What Enoch saw in a vision is a reality on CNN, MNBC, Fox News, Reuter and even in some churches today.

He also saw the corrupt state of the world when Christ should appear the second time – that there wouldbe a boastful, presumptuous, self-willed generation, denying the only God and Lord Jesus Christ, trampling upon the law, and despising the atonementPP 86.

I praise God for the knowledge He has imparted to us.  We are not at a loss for encouragement through His Word which we need to hide in our hearts, as well as through the gift of prophecy He has graciously given to us for such a time as this.  I have the opportunity through my communion with God, to know His plan by maintaining a prayerful connection.  He will not mislead me.  He will not abandon me and requests that I not abandon Him.  I often ask myself if my conscience has been seared.  Have I immersed myself for so many years in sin that I will fail to live as God has instructed me?  Is it possible?

This is where it is clear to me that I cannot make a statement that “I’m saved.”  The choice has to be made in every moment.  “Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or to feel that they are saved” (COL 155).  It is not safe for us to be in a state of presumption, but in a constant state of surrender.

The godly character of this prophet (Enoch) represents the state of holiness which must be attained by those who shall be “redeemed from earth” (Revelation 14:3) at the time of Christ’s second advent. Then, as in the world before the Flood, iniquity will prevail.  Following the promptings of their corrupt hearts and the teachings of a deceptive philosophy, men will rebel against the authority of Heaven.  But like Enoch, God’s people will seek for purity of heart and conformity to His will, until they shall reflect the likeness of Christ  (PP 89).

We are in a crisis in this world now, as never before.  Lines are blurring.  Churches are arguing and in turmoil and even splitting.  Government is governing against God’s Holy Word to us.  Decisions are before you and me as never before.  Who are we deciding for?  Man?  Self?  Human knowledge above God’s knowledge?  Are we in danger of blaspheming God and all that He has foretold?  Where is our stronghold?  How holy are our thoughts and actions right now?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians  (3:16).

As I look at my own life, I believe that there are likely others who are doing self-examinations for the kingdom of God.  We need to be rooted in His Word.  That is our only safety!  We cannot lose if we trust in the One who breathed air into our lives.  He will never leave or forsake us.  Keep searching His Word, friend! Keep holding on.  Keep drawing to His holiness and allowing His transformation through you to take place here, in preparation for life in eternity.

Share your weakness with a trusted brother or sister in the faith of Jesus.  “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

See you in the kingdom!  

Wayne Blakely is Co-Director/Co-Founder of ‘Coming Out’ Ministries. www.ComingOutMinistries.org