Thursday, February 17, 2011

One Way Or The Other

In the One Way, or in the other, the name of the LORD *will* be glorified, both by my life and by yours, as surely as there is a Sun in the sky and night follows the day.

This truth requires nothing from us. Neither our consent, nor our acceptance, our compliance, our obedience, nor even our acknowledgement of its existence, are necessary. Hopefully, we receive the grace to know our true place, as slaves and bond-servants of either to sin, or to He Who ransoms us from it. Or perhaps through the parasitic cancer of pride we consider ourselves to be potential gods striving to "recover former glory". Or maybe we bow to no god but the idol of currency, like most of the world. Perhaps we merely hold *ourselves* in higher esteem than He Who created us. Whatever our worldview, OUR LIVES *WILL* GLORIFY HIM.

The Sovereign, Holy, Almighty LORD needs no one to worship Him, or be His people.

His Sovereignty is such that all of the Heavens are His roof, and the Earth is His footstool. It is such that if His followers had been silent rather than shouting their praise and glory as the Master entered Jerusalem, then the very *stones* would have cried out. His glory is magnified by all creation, whether it yields its will in submission, or refuses and is made into an example of His wrath. His Holiness is so intolerant of sin that the laws given to Israel simply could not be followed without a spirit and heart broken and contrite before the LORD. Pride must be *absent*, our souls completely cleansed of its terminal cancer, to see the utterly hopeless calamity of our soul's state; the complete unworthiness of us to anything but *death* beside His holiness. This remains so for those of us who are disciples of His Son today, because it was only by the Blood of Christ that we may stand before Him.

Yet from the time of Aristotle, on through to today's world, pride and self will are considered virtue and are exalted, while humility, and the denial of self necessary to follow Jesus are considered weakness and are shunned.

The LORD has made clear what is of value to Him.

"Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people, that they would become accursed and laid waste, and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD." 2 Kings 22:19

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." Psalm 51:17

"For this is what the high and lofty One says--he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite." Isaiah 57:15

"Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity." Joel 2:13

Those infested with Pride and the Will to wield it are impaled upon them both before the LORD. To wield them rather than *yield* them is unbowed rebellion against Him, and the Word shows that severe, lasting consequence follow, even when we are forgiven.

Yes, I said infested; Pride is a parasite with the benefit of a good press agent. It grows, and metastasizes, and KILLS; like cancer. It is an affliction which causes blindness to the condition of the soul it preys upon, until that soul is brought, naked, all pride and will torn away before the presence of the LORD in the day of judgment. By then it is too late, and the soul is delivered to the Second Death.

The theme of "Obey the LORD or be used as an example of wrath upon disobedience to Him," is not a state that has changed with the sacrifice and resurrection of His Son, folks; that was the only way in which the Father would accept restoring us to Him. It did not change the condition of God's Holiness and Sovereignty in any way.

"God is not like people. He tells no lies. He is not like humans. He doesn't change his mind. When He says something, He does it. When He makes a promise, He keeps it." Numbers 23:19

Are you one who thinks that your sense of right and wrong need not submit wholly to, or requires no alignment with, that of the LORD? Do you think that He will see the difference in your measurement and understand; excuse the differences? Do you think He sent His ONLY Son to be tortured and crushed so He could start winking with the rest of the world at that which He calls sin and abomination?

Do you even fear the LORD at all?

Consider the scriptures, both listed here, and the innumerable others within the Word which expose those thoughts of presumption for the deadly lie which they are, and consider where your worldview aligns with them, and THINK AGAIN. Jesus said that the way to life is narrow and few will find it because of those untold billions who think that same way; that their way is good enough.

Do you not like these questions I have asked? Do you consider them unfair? Intolerant? Inconsiderate of your feelings?

You would be correct. The truth doesn't take our feelings into any account whatsoever; we are either accepting of the Truth, allow ourselves to be branches of the Vine, be painfully pruned and roll with it, or we reject it, are cut off from the Vine, and are crushed by it as it rolls right over us... before we are summarily burned in the fire.

The truth is absolute and unchanging. Permanent. It is therefore intolerant of all your desired modifications to it.

This--this life--*being* here; the dates that will mark our headstones signifying the blink of an eye between our birth and our death--this is not about us. You do not breathe in and out for the sake of what you think is fair or what pleases you or makes *you* happy; the dream of pursuit of whatever pleases you is *not* the will of the LORD. You are placed here to love, worship, and glorify the One Who made you. That's it. Do it *His* way and live forever; do it your own way and die for all eternity. This is the central theme throughout the Word of the LORD from Genesis through the Revelation of John. It requires sacrifice, rejection, and enmity with the entire world, because it rejected the Truth long ago and *knows* you are removed from its fate, and are insulated from the evil of its dominion.

When Jesus said, "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." in Matthew 10:22, did you think he was playing? Did you think you had devised some clever way to be saved while avoiding the hatred and persecution that will come with it, when the LORD also said, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first."?

You still think you've "got this", *your* way, and don't need Him, don't you.

For your own sake; please think again. The lie only lasts for as long as you breathe, and the breathing can stop at any time; in your sleep, walking down the street, behind the wheel of your car, at your desk reading a blog...

No euphoric, temporal fa├žade, which defies the Absolute Truth of God's Sovereignty and lasts for precisely the split second we inhabit this place and no longer, is worth the burning agony of eternity separated from Him.

Behold two Kings of Israel. Both glorified God.

One Saul. One David.

Saul was chosen of the people in rejection of the LORD. David was chosen by the LORD in spite of the choice of the people, to establish His Kingdom forever.

Saul made decisions based upon fear of his own people, and forgot his true place. David made his choices based upon his fear of the LORD, and when he forgot his place, he truly repented, even as he was harshly punished.

Saul was blinded by his pride into thinking he could disobey the LORD, deceive the prophet Samuel, and get away with it, because he esteemed himself above his need to obey. David was blinded by his lust, disobeyed the LORD and repented when confronted by the prophet Nathan, because he loved the LORD above himself and knew in his heart that deceiving Him was impossible.

Saul reacted to the truth of his sin with fear rather than contrite submission, compounding the sin with ever more sin, until the LORD used him to make an example of what happens when a person abandons His way in favor of their own. David reacted to the truth of his sin with repentance, his heart broken by that truth, and the LORD used him to show that even as your sin has lasting consequence, if you repent and set your heart upon pleasing Him you will be forgiven, and be made into an example of His grace and mercy. (Even as David's first son born from Bathsheba died in infancy because of his sin in taking her for his wife, he received the punishment in full acceptance, and moved on in service to the LORD). That is severe punishment and lasting consequence for *the anointed King of Israel*, chosen of the LORD, recognized by the Almighty Himself as a man after His own heart... and some of us have the hubris to think we can escape consequence... we, the *creation*, *willing* our sense of right and wrong to be *complied* to by the *Creator*, instead of the other way around.

Saul was king for 2 years. *2 years.* He died abandoned by the LORD for having forsaken Him. The bodies of his sons were slain beside him, and there were no farewells. Even at the moment of his death, Saul fell upon his own sword for fear of what the enemy's humiliation would be once they caught him. David was king for *40 years* and died in his bed as a servant of the LORD. He said his farewells to Solomon his son, advising him to both observe what the LORD requires, and walk in His ways. His line was established forever, because his heart was after God's own.

Behold two kings of Israel. BOTH glorified God.

In one way, or in the other, our lives *will* do the very same, serving as examples of grace and mercy, or examples of wrath and destruction.

Please. Yield to the will of the LORD and serve Him. It is for no one's sake but your own, because He will be glorified by your example whether you do or not.

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