When I was a babe in Christ, fumbling my way around the Word, there was a major issue I need to confront...the lies I told myself. When confronted with Faith, or my lack thereof, I would deny, in the face of evidence, the weakness of my budding Faith. To the detriment of spiritual growth, I would excuse my impromptu speech and/or action, that conveyed the very essence of doubt, the true source of the evil that exists in the world. Hebrews 3:12
If we should not bear false witness against another, as an express command of the Lord (Exodus 20:16), how much worse is our false witness to ourselves, when the Holy God considers ALL without excuse?
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" -- Romans 1:18-20
And if Paul, in this passage, speaks of the unbelieving society, how much more so, are we, tabernacles of the living God, without excuse? Truly the lies we tell ourselves, are lies we tell to the Lord!
The Proof is in the Pudding
As a youth in Christ, my departure in thought and knowledge, from God was evident. I praised Him in church and joyfully singing, but when faced with the trials and tests of life, doubt, anxiousness and fretfulness set in. While trying not to appear unfaithful, those feelings were my main motivators in trying to accomplish a "solution" to those tests. Those feelings, or truths would not be suppressed, no matter how I "behaved" faithfully, or contentedly, they slipped out in actions or words that revealed the truth of the condition of my heart. Me...of little faith...
Christ taught unreservedly the matters of the heart and the truth that lives therein. This principle is undeniable in every existing human on this planet, out of the abundance of the heart does the MOUTH speaks. Don't confuse this simple principle, it does not reference a "slip of the tongue" once or twice, but the way a person's life is lived on a consistent and continuous basis...is a reflection of the status of their heart.
"For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"-- Luke 6:44-46
Indeed many do call Him "Lord, Lord" and do not the things He commands (love, faith). Only the doers of the Word are justified in His sight. (Romans 2:13) I, too, was once an unjustified "hearer", with an evil heart of unbelief, which deceived me into believing I, myself, had to actively live a "moral" life (dead works) to be righteous in His sight. I thank the LORD, my God for the renewing of my mind, by the power of the blood of Christ Jesus, that I have no capacity or ability to do this, but I REST, upon Him for my salvation. No, not the Sabbath, be it Saturday or Sunday, (or any other day in dispute in these forums) not ONE day of the week, I rest, but with every breath I take, I REST upon Him, for that alone is my justification. With my heart I believe He will finish what He started, with my heart I believe His promises to me. For He, my God, my LORD has been nothing but Faithful to me, and has the best interests of me, by which He does by His Holy Wisdom. For this I accept the cup of salvation and declare His works...for He has loosened me from the bonds of a deceitful heart, my sin.
"What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds."-- Psalms 116:12-16
The Heart Cannot Lie
Does this post make you a little uncomfortable perhaps? Does it expose, to yourself, the truth behind that meek, and oh so humble smile? It is not my intent to shame, but expose the truth of sin that the Devil has purported. The lie that sin (singular, departing from God) should be conquered by the flesh, it has been perpetuated in the commands of church attendance as a way of salvation. It has been distorted into rituals of Sabbath-keeping, physical baptisms, tithing, fasting, prayers and yes, bible studies. If you want to keep the Sabbath, keep it because you LOVE the Lord with all your heart! If you want to be baptized do it because your true heartfelt confession and as a witness to Him! If you want to tithe, don't tithe a portion (ten percent) but tithe it ALL, Luke 21:4 and not to a church organization, but to someone who ACTUALLY needs it! James 2:15-16 If you desire to fast, do it in secret, for your own edification and spiritual growth, to solidify your own relationship with God the Father, through Jesus Christ, the Son. Matthew 6:17-18 If you want to pray, do it because you can't stand living another minute on this earth without speaking to the One, you Love! If you want to study do it because you desire to know Him on HIS terms, do it patiently knowing He will reveal all things to to you in HIS time, do it Faithfully. If anything is done because you believe your "works" pave the way to salvation, yet inwardly your faith and love for and in the Lord is lacking, it becomes religious, ritualistic, unpleasant in the sight of God (Hebrews 11:6) and a load of dead works. Yes, the heart cannot and does not lie, it is why its the one and only place the Lord will look to determine the salvation of a soul. The heart is the one place the Lord will look for righteousness or not, in which, His wrath will one day expose an unfaithful heart.
So hold fast to the profession of your Faith, (Hebrews 4:14) realizing that your fight lies in rebuking the lies of the Devil. Holding on to your Faith in an unbelieving society of ritualistic, religious Christians and unbelievers is our fight until the return of Christ Jesus of Nazareth!!
Hear His call!
"I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth." -- Revelation 2:13
"But that which ye have already hold fast till I come."-- Revelation 2:25
"Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." -- Revelation 3:3
"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." -- Revelation 3:11
QUICKLY COME LORD JESUS!
There is no "more" :)