I love Skillet….they’re fresh, rockin, and entertaining to say the least….and their use of pyro?? EXPLOSIVE!!! 🙂 Now do you think I would like them as much if I couldn’t hear them? How spectacular would they be if I couldn’t see them? Understand what their meaning or purpose was for their craft? Why on earth would I care to see them, listen to them or believe in their music?
Have you ever wondered how Jesus did it while on earth? Listening to all the negativity in their voices and all the numbness in their ears. Jesus, in every way, showed us all the signs to pay attention to in getting to the Father. Yet, not all the parables, lessons or stories; could bring the people close enough to the Father, during His life on earth . So again I ask for pondering….why would Jesus care to continue loving others if He couldn’t gain them all?
I drive a lot. Sometimes more than I really care to. In each and every journey that I take behind the wheel of that truck, signs are everywhere. Along the road big signs in the field and even little bitty signs that warn us of entry ways or mile markers. What would those signs be worth though if all of them were blank? As you see from the examples above, every one of us might be able to recognize the type of warning, caution or concern they give; but ultimately we wouldn’t know how to obey or be concerned with what those signs are trying to tell us. In other words, these blank signs could lead to wide open interpretations to whatever we deemed they should or want them to say.
You might be thinking to yourself, why in the world would I care about any of this information Chad? I want you to think about the meaning of these blank signs, and how they intertwined with the meaning and interpretation of church. Signs give us directions, they give us information that is a must in our life. The church is the same way. The Bible gives us direction for what we should do in our lives and how we should live. But so many of us, take what the Bible says and interpret it for ourselves for our own meanings and benefits. When we make the Bible work for us, there is no real direction that has to submit greater obedience.
Here’s another question to ponder…. When we get used to doing our own thing for so long, what happens when we try to get back on track and obey what the words really mean, and what the signs really say? Well I can tell you what we would do, when anybody that has flesh on their bones would do, we’d rebell! We’d fight! We’d scratch and claw to get our way and to keep our way! And the sad truth is, that’s kind of how the world has been treating us for so long now; an overabundance of free will and rights….and we pretty much can almost do anything we want.
Jesus knew that this was going to ultimately happen. The more we would question, rebell, or even ignore His teachings; the more grieved he became knowing how much of a deep control the flesh has got on us.
Ephesians 6:12 NLT
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
2 Timothy 4:3 NLT
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.
The end result of this? Peter knocks it home in Acts 28:25-27:
And after they had argued back and forth among themselves, they left with this final word from Paul: “The Holy Spirit was right when he said to your ancestors through Isaiah the prophet, ‘Go and say to this people: When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend. For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’
Their ears become numb drums. The voice of God through the Holy Spirit becomes foreign to them and not only do they not see the signs ahead of Christ’s….but they cannot hear His guidance either.
Camouflaged sin as I call it, does this to so many Christians and they don’t even realize it. The saddest part about the whole thing is, we have the seeds of the Savior planted in our hearts, dwelling within our souls, but we’re so locked into the trance of the here and now that the world offers. When asked what we truly believe then, we give a sugar coated answer. When we pray, it just seems like mimicking words of repetitive “blah blah blahs”. I know what I have preached at many churches, looking into the eyes of those in the audience you can just see the blank stares of unpenetrateable truth. It scares me for those I love and for those who claim to walk with Jesus as well as those who don’t.
We read God’s word that says things like:
Jeremiah 11:7-8 NLT
For I solemnly warned your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, “Obey me!” I have repeated this warning over and over to this day, but your ancestors did not listen or even pay attention. Instead, they stubbornly followed their own evil desires. And because they refused to obey, I brought upon them all the curses described in this covenant.’”
Job 9:4-8 NLT
For God is so wise and so mighty. Who has ever challenged him successfully? “Without warning, he moves the mountains, overturning them in his anger. He shakes the earth from its place, and its foundations tremble. If he commands it, the sun won’t rise and the stars won’t shine. He alone has spread out the heavens and marches on the waves of the sea.
1 John 2:24-27 NLT
So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us. I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.
Caution!!….BAM. Warning!!!!….BAM. STOP!!!!….BAM! The signs are ever present and the truth stares us in the face! WHY…..WHY do we IGNORE IT?
Our game of life is not over when we scored just one run, one victory. We have to continue on fighting the battle every single day, gaining victories every single day, having God write our stories through His Son Jesus Christ every single day. This is our testimony of why it’s so important to know who Jesus Christ is! If we don’t do this, our life, and our testimony of who Jesus is to others will look no different than the picture above. If we truly can look at street signs and obey them, then the pages of the Bible shouldn’t be that hard to obey either. It depends on who we love to obey the most.
Now don’t you give me that look! I know your sitting here reading this going, “Man this stuff I’ve heard all too much before“. But you know what? It obviously hasn’t sunk in yet! We are pouting about this, rebelling over that, and are too stubborn about nothing to fix it! We refuse to give it over to God. See….you can cross your arms, shake your head, roll your eyes, but heed this my dear brothers and sisters in Christ; we must do better than we are! Way too many people are going to never know what heaven is like, or what hope can do for them; unless we get off our bums and do something about it in love!
Why are there so many churches dying? Why are there so many that are so overpopulated and with so many programs, that the programs are becoming more important than simple loving one another? It’s because of the fact that the world has put its imprint too much on what the church does, what it means, and what it allows any more. They ignore the signs for a long time, or as mentioned earlier, they make their own signs and ask you to obey what they say instead of what scripture says. Then when the select few, leaders of the church begin to grow a set, and say what the boldness of Scripture really means; that’s when those set in their church cover their ears because they don’t want to hear it and get out of their comfort zones! Do you think Jesus wants us truly to take His words spoken to us and twist them into our own whimpy ways of obedience?
Quit forcefully numbing your drums! Quit turning your attention from Jesus and placing it on your agendas! Quit trying to rewrite the truth that Jesus spoke for us and sugar coating the importance of fear and reverence for our God Almighty! WE MUST SUBMIT AND OBEY TO HIS WORD AND HIS CALLING UPON US! And one of Paul’s last letters to Timothy, he emphasized for him the deep importance of holding on to his faith in what he knows is the truth:
1 Timothy 1:19 NLT
Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.
Being shipwrecked away from God sucks! At some point in our life we’ve all been there, whether we want to admit it or not….We NEED His influence in our life. Our signs we may follow are not eternal and will be destroyed by the rust of sin’s grasp. For this reason alone, our ears need to listen and respond to what He says to us through the Holy Spirit moment-by-moment. I’m am pleading in love my family in Christ….take your eyes off the blind signs and feel the presence of the Lord beat LIFE through your drums….again.
IN JESUS NAME…. 🙂