Psalm 119:57-60 ESV
The Lord is my portion;
I promise to keep your words.
I entreat your favor with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
When I think on my ways,
I turn my feet to your testimonies;
I hasten and do not delay
to keep your commandments.
From early on in my life I believed in Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior, to leave my life of sin behind me, and to follow him in his ways. And, early on in my adult years he began to show me his plan and his purpose for my life, i.e. his calling on my life. And, I took him, his word and his calling very seriously. I was very sensitized to the Spirit’s voice, and I had childlike faith which believed God for his many promises. And, I did follow his leading.
But, as the church in America, in general, became more worldly, I, too, began to adopt many of the ways of this sinful world and to incorporate them into my life. And, I abandoned God’s calling on my life to largely follow after the flesh, instead. But, God wasn’t finished with me. He still had a plan and a purpose for my life, and so he brought me back, and he made his calling on my life even more sure and even more specific.
And, so I shut the door on my former way of living, and I chose to follow the Lord no matter where he took me or what he called me to do, and no matter what rejection or persecution I might face because of it. For, what he called me to do is to say to whomever he wills what he gives me to say, no matter how difficult it may seem, or how unpopular it may be.
For, he has called me to shine his light into the darkness, to expose what is in the darkness for what it is, and to teach what is true in opposition to the lies that are being passed off as truth. For, many people are being led astray by liars and deceivers and by false gospels which are of human origin and not of God, but of Satan, who is the great deceiver. And, it is of necessity that they be reached with the truth, for their eternity depends on it.
Psalm 119:61-64 ESV
Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me,
I do not forget your law.
At midnight I rise to praise you,
because of your righteous rules.
I am a companion of all who fear you,
of those who keep your precepts.
The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love;
teach me your statutes!
There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing within the gatherings of the church here in America, and I imagine in other countries, as well. And, they are teaching a flesh-driven gospel which allows for “believers” in Jesus Christ to remain consumers of the flesh. For, their “gospel” is very broad in nature, like the broad road which leads to destruction, as opposed to the narrow road which leads to eternal life. So, it makes room for the flesh rather than puts the flesh to death, so that the life of the Spirit might dwell in our hearts.
This “broad” gospel message is insensitive to the Spirit’s voice, hardened to the whole counsel of God in scripture, diluted, and watered-down in order to make it more appealing and acceptable to human flesh. It is also very “You” focused (shaped) in character, for it coddles the flesh, makes breathing room for it, and it makes no demands for repentance, for obedience to Christ and his Word, or for submission to the Lordship of Christ.
This flesh-driven and “You” shaped gospel is also an add-on to the Word of God, our Sword of the Spirit, as it comes from Satan, the father of lies. It is fleshly and sensual in nature, soft on sin, short on truth, and light on obedience. And, it was the worldly and the fleshly church which invited this flesh-driven gospel into the church gatherings. And, the worldly and sensual church doesn’t seem to care that the naïve and the immature are in danger of believing the lies, of rejecting the truth, and of holding on to a false hope.
Much of today’s leadership within these flesh-driven and market-driven church gatherings have handed their people over to this “You” shaped gospel message, too, and they are themselves unwilling to seek out the truth and to follow after the truth, for they have bought into the lies, too. And, so the church in America today is severely lacking in pastors and teachers of the Word who are telling people the truth about sin, hell, judgment and our salvation. Rather, they are entertaining them.
So, the Lord is calling whomever will listen and who will follow him in truth to expose these lies of Satan which are leading people away from the Lord, and to teach what is true, so that people will be called out of the darkness into the light, and so they will be turned from Satan to God, so that they can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ. For, they need to know the truth which will set them free.
Psalm 119:69-72 ESV
The insolent smear me with lies,
but with my whole heart I keep your precepts;
their heart is unfeeling like fat,
but I delight in your law.
It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I might learn your statutes.
The law of your mouth is better to me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Yet, when we expose the lies of Satan, and we tell the truth, so that people can be rescued from the darkness and from the control of Satan over their lives, so that they can walk in holiness and in truth, this angers Satan. And, it is arousing these liars and deceivers who hate the light. So, Satan and his followers are on the attack of the true gospel and its messengers.
And, so they are lying about the true gospel and its messengers in hopes that no one will listen to the truth but that they will continue to believe the lies. For, they are unfriendly and cold towards the gospel as Jesus and his NT apostles taught it, and so they are secretly devising ways in which to discredit the gospel and its messengers in order to bring them into disrepute so that people will reject them in favor of the lies.
For, they want to stop the spreading of the true gospel, for they also want to stop the moving of the Holy Spirit in people’s hearts. And, so they attack the gospel of Jesus and they call it works-based salvation, or legalism, hatred, bigotry, and intolerance and the like. And, a plot is afoot to create internet rules that will censor what can be said and what can’t be said with regard to the truth of the gospel, too, in order to keep people from hearing the truth and to keep them in the dark, believing the lies.
Nonetheless, despite what they do to us or say about us, even behind our backs, without our knowledge, we need to hold strong to the truth of God’s Word and not cease to keep spreading the truth which will set people free. We have to remain steadfast in faith, committed to our Lord and to his Word, and to following our Lord in obedience and in surrender to his will. And, we also need to remain faithful to our callings, too, no matter what.
For, people need to know the truth that Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness. They need to know, too, that if we walk (in lifestyle) according to our flesh, we will die in our sins. But, if we are walking according to the Spirit and we are, by the Spirit, putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we have eternal life with God in heaven (Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-25; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Eph. 4:17-24).
For, we will all reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8). So, believe the truth, for your eternity depends on it.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.