“And the Lord said:
‘Because this people draw near with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,'”
We say we love Jesus, but our lifestyle begs to differ. We profess Him as our Lord and Savior, Master of our life, yet our lives don’t bring Him glory in any way, shape, or form…
I can say I love Jesus until I’m blue in the face, but if I don’t represent Him in all that I do, if I’m not living according to His Word, my words mean nothing…all I’m doing is giving Him lip service. What does lip service look like?:
- One minute we’re praising and thanking Jesus for all that He has done in our lives, and in the next breath we’re cussing out that driver that just cut us off on the freeway…but what does God’s Word say???
“From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
- We serve faithfully in the church, pay our tithes, but we’re shacking up with our boyfriend or girlfriend…but what does God’s Word say???
1 Corinthians 6:18,
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”
- We haven’t been to church in a month of Sundays but we think Jesus understands because He knows our heart, plus we pray and read our Bible when we have time…but what does God’s Word say???
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
- We go to church faithfully, serve in different ministries, but have a jealousy so deep rooted in our hearts that it even shames Saul’s jealousy of David…but what does God’s Word say???
“But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.”
- We say we love Jesus, but we have bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, or deceitfulness rooted in our hearts…but what does God’s Word say???
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
God’s Word is perfectly clear on what it does and does not mean to be of Him. Not only does God warn us about giving Him lip service instead of our hearts, He tells us specifically to give Him our hearts.
“My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe My ways.”
Jesus wants our hearts not our empty words filled with so many promises we never even fulfill. So what does it mean to give Jesus our hearts? It means to literally devote our lives to Him. It means that everything we do, we do it to honor and please Him. It means obeying His commands even when we don’t feel like it. It means making Him number one in our lives. It means denying ourselves daily. It means being a true Christ follower, meaning that our lives should mirror Jesus’ life in all that we do. It means taking that saying, “What would Jesus do?” to heart and living it out. It means giving Jesus our lives. Think about this: we can live without certain organs, such as one of our kidneys or our gallbladder, but if our heart stops working or someone takes our heart out, that’s it, we are done because it is literally our lifeline. So when we give Jesus our hearts, we give Him our entire life. We are literally saying, “Jesus I will now live for You, I will please You in everything I do.”
So what now? We have to change. No more being lukewarm Christians. This is what Jesus says about lukewarm Christians:
“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot or cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”
Jesus is literally saying that because we choose to have one foot in this world and the other foot in the church, He will spit us out of His mouth because we are such a bad taste to Him. He would rather us either serve Him wholeheartedly or serve this world wholeheartedly. Us going to church every Sunday is not doing Jesus a favor. Us sending up a prayer every now and then or cracking open our Bibles every so often isn’t going to appease Jesus. Living this life as if we’re doing Jesus a favor and that this life is about us and what we want is the wrong attitude to have. This life isn’t ours to live any which way we choose. God breathed His very life into us! We didn’t create ourselves, He created us for Him!
“then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”
God’s very breath gave each and everyone of us life. Let that sink in. If we have the very breath of the Creator of the world, Creator of the universe, the breath of the Holy, Pure, All-Powerful God in us, then why are we living in mediocrity? Why aren’t we living in excellence? God created each and everyone of us with a purpose and a calling. This life is not our own to do as we please. Our body isn’t even our own.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20,
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
If we have truly accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, why are we still living like we did before we came to know Him? Why are we blending in with this world instead of standing out like the light of this world we were called to be (Matthew 5:14-16). When we truly come to know Jesus, the Holy Spirit begins to work in us, changing our lives day by day to make us look more and more like Jesus.
“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
When we have truly turned our lives over to Jesus, we will see a difference in ourselves. Our desires will change. Living life like we used to when we lived for this world won’t feel right to us. The Holy Spirit will convict us, we will feel a tug on our hearts if we do something that goes against God’s Word. If we’ve been knowing Jesus for some time and nothing about our lives has changed, then that’s a serious problem…
When we make that commitment to Jesus to give Him our hearts, we can’t keep living life like we did before. There are certain people we have to stop hanging around, certain music we have to stop listening to, certain movies and shows we have to stop watching. We need to be surrounded by those who push us closer to Jesus not pull us away from Him if we’re going to make it in this Christ walk. Us accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and then turning around and going back to hanging out with those same people who don’t want to have anything to do with Jesus or watching those shows and listening to that music that promotes fornication, drinking, cussing, is equivalent to taking a shower and putting on the same nasty, dirty clothes we had just taken off. The bath was useless because we went back to our same funk and stench.
“to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
This scripture nails it. In order for a change to occur in our lives, it starts with our mind. What are we putting into our minds? What thoughts are we dwelling on? Our thinking effects everything. Before we can do anything, we must think it first. We all have our struggles. There are certain struggles in our lives that we are going to see fade away quickly when we come to know Jesus. There are others that are going to require work on our part. For me, my biggest struggle was lustful thoughts. I had to get on my face before God daily. I had to pour my heart out to Him and lean on His strength to help me overcome. I found scriptures all about thoughts, the mind, lust, etc. I had to fight this with scripture. Get a concordance and find scriptures pertaining to your struggle and confess them daily. Start thanking and praising God for helping you to overcome even though you haven’t seen it manifested yet. For me, I also had to change what I listened to, watched, and read. I had to cut out all R&B music and Hip Hop, which was so hard for me because I loved me some R&B, but I loved Jesus more so I died to myself and made the sacrifice in order to make sure I stayed pure before Him. I don’t even watch TV anymore other than sports, re-runs of Fresh Prince, The Cosby Show, and other clean 90s shows. I love to read, but I had to stop reading romance books. I literally had to go through all my stuff and get rid of anything that could cause me to fall into lustful thoughts. I had to make a choice. Either I was going to be fully committed to Jesus or fully committed to this world. What’s your choice going to be? We can’t claim to know, love, and serve God, if we refuse to look and be like Him in all that we do.