Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
As I read through the Old Testament, now into the book of Joshua, I see a clear theme.
Even the greatest bible men and women struggled with it at times.
Abraham. Jacob. Moses. Joshua.
These men were so very faithful to God, yet, at some time or another they partially obeyed God in a situation.
Partial and/or delayed obedience...is not obedience.
I have learned this the very hard way.
There have been times that I have felt the conviction of a certain sin...but I put off fully obeying God in that area. I would convince myself that it wasn't "reasonable" to be able to fully obey, so it would be just fine if I delayed and/or partially obeyed Him in that area most of the time.
We, as a church, as His people, have gotten very lukewarm. We are passionate and loyal to many causes...except the One that desires our loyalty the most....God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
We are lukewarm, at best.
Many times we say all the godly and right things, we check off our missionary duty list, we have our 5 minute quiet time...but our hearts are not surrendered.
We convince ourselves that it is just too hard. Certainly God doesn't expect all of our obedience. He should be happy with what we can give Him and not ask for so much of us.
Herein lies the problem. Due to prideful hearts, we negotiate with God. We try to make deals with Him to lessen the work of true surrender and discipleship.
Can I just be really honest? Many of us are failing at being His disciples. Many of us parents are failing at raising up a generation of disciples. Because it is just too....hard.
The Truth is murky these days. We have no center of Purpose or Gravity. We just do what we feel like doing...quoting scripture along the way.
We make our own rules. We set our own standards of holiness. We are lacking God's wisdom desperately.
As parents, we have become very lackadaisical with our very own children. Often our children are ruling the roost, having their way and their say...whether we ever realize it or not. They are posting pictures and words on social media that would sicken a mother's poor heart and break it into pieces.
Yet, we just do not bother to check on them. To monitor their devices or their social activity.
I have heard many parents say, "My kid needs privacy. I trust them."
Gosh, we need wisdom.
Teenagers are not capable of making sound decisions because their little brains have not fully developed. They do not yet have foresight to see consequences of certain behavior.
Their consciences are still being formed and molded as well. That is why we can see a very strong sounding Christian teenager on stage being a leader at a church event, and then by the weekend they are posting pictures of their heads hung over toilets partially clothed at a party.
They do not yet comprehend the dire consequences of disobedience.
However, as parents, we know the consequences of sin. We have lived it and we know it is real.
We have the knowledge and the ability to teach and guide our children...but so often we just don't.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1
Our culture today defies obedience. Our culture believes that we should do what feels right. Our culture does not prize wisdom, obedience, or honoring authority. Our culture scoffs and mocks holiness.
Our children are being taught to love themselves. To put themselves first. To make themselves popular and well liked at all costs. To be crafty and mischievous. To love pleasure and leisure over discipline.
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Lord, forgive us. We are unknowingly failing as parents. I will be the first to admit my own failures.
We must sober up and wise up.
Our children's lives are on the line.
Today, let us repent. Let us ask God for wisdom. Let us fall to our knees and ask Him to help us be obedient.
Our children will see us. They will learn from us. They are always, always watching us. They see more than we think they do. Yes, it is a hard and holy calling. No one has ever denied this.
But, He is Faithful. He will help us. He will lead us. He will guide us. We must be willing to obey Him. At all costs.