I was up early this morning reflecting on the goodness of God and the favor He has been giving me in my daily devotional time with Him.
It seems He comes daily to me and challenges me regarding my lifestyle and witness to those who are in the world. I need and pray for change each day. I need more of God and less of this world. However, we cannot and should not shut ourselves off from the men and women who need Christ. Our lifestyle should reflect Christ living in and through us. This is my cry today: “Our Father in heaven, come and change me today as I submit my heart to you in worship to honor and lift up the name of Christ.”
Around 6:30 am as I was driving through the intersection of Kansas and West Sunshine, this thought came to me: ‘the church is full of mud puddle Christianity.’ As I continued to drive I had to pull over into the parking lot of the Journey Church on West Sunshine (I know it is not good to write notes while driving) and begin to write down these thoughts that I am going to share with you as best as I can.
My fear is that what I sensed in my spirit and heart is true. What is my lifestyle really like during the week and on Sunday morning? Is my heart sold out to God to the degree He desires me to serve Him or am I going through the motions in vain?
I begin to see a picture of little children playing in a mud puddle, laughing and jumping up and down and having fun with no end in sight. Mud was everywhere. If you have children, I’m sure you know exactly what I am referring to. A child will go out of their way to go and jump in a mud puddle even when wearing their good clothing on the way to some special event or church and require a change of attire before leaving the house.
Now a mud puddle is made with soil and water to the delight of children and adults. Some adults love the mud adventure so much they will spend thousands of dollars to obtain a mud truck or vehicle to go play in the mud. What happens when playing the mud puddle? The soil of the earth gets mixed in with the water available at the site of the mud puddle. You cannot have a mud puddle without some soil and water.
Second, you cannot have too much water or it would be a stream not a mud puddle. If the water is standing on rocks or concrete, something solid, one cannot have a mud puddle.
Here is the core of the issue: is there just enough water to mix with the dirt of the world to create a spiritual mud puddle?
Do I splash around all week enjoying the mud puddle and then at the last minute rush in, remove my filthy garments and change into my nice clothing and rush to church out of obligation and put on the superficial appearance that all is well with my soul all the while hoping God will be pleased with my actions during the week?
The filth of this world comes in many forms: movies, television programs, television celebrities, ungodly musicians, actors and the list could go on and on. Even in the pleasures of hobbies, if we neglect the word of God and prayer to do them are not wrong within the context of spending a little time relaxing but to the exclusion of and in the framework of the word of God and prayer – are dirt.
So do I splash around all week and then show up on Sunday dressed neatly on the outward man with a heart that is filled with mud and debris from living as if I am of this world? The tapestry of my heart is tainted with the effluence of the world and not a single scripture has been embroidered into the tapestry of my heart – rather it is soiled with the cares of this life. It is little wonder mud puddle Christians know so few scriptures; they don’t know enough scripture to feed and care for self let along others.
We watch as our children enjoy splashing and jumping up and down but when the fun is over, things can turn ugly fast. Children did not want to quit and go clean up. They will argue with their parents and break down and cry because they are so childish and they do not understand the importance and value of time and life in general. They often would rather wear their dirty clothes to bed than to be forced to take a shower.
Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:1-3 KJV):
“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking,
2 As newborn babies, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
Some people have been in church all their life and are still babies in Christ and have to be bottle fed each week and need the Holy Spirit to hose them down with a garden hose to get rid of the filth of the world creeping into their lifestyle without their recognition. Some need to be washed with a fire hose and others need to go through a car wash to get rid of the contamination and thinking of the world.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:11 (KJV):
11 “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (spake in the original in the KJV, my notation).
Paul writing in Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV):
25” Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
I do not see this church in operation in my world today. It is tough to get people to regularly attend church much less serve their fellow members in the Body of Christ.
What does it mean to be washed by the Word? When we take the word of God into our heart and allow Him to burn away the dross of the heart; he will wash us and write His words up the walls of our heart.
Proverbs 3:2-4 (KJV):
2” For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”
Proverbs 7:2-4 (KJV):
2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. 3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. 4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
Psalm 44:20-22 (KJV):
20””If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; 21 Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart. 22 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV):
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (I encourage you to look up Scriptures on a deceitful tongue).
We need to sow the seed of God’s word into our life daily or we will discover we are in the mud puddle of the cares of this life. The focus upon what we build our lifestyle and passion will have eternal consequences. Other Scriptures to look up are Matthew 22 and Mark 4.
“And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.”
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”
“Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.”
Seed will not grow in a mud puddle so we need to get out the mud puddles of life and start living like Jesus lived.
My cry this morning is for my heart to wake up and be aware of what God is doing in the earth today.
Isaiah 52 (NASB):
“Awake, awake, clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; clothe yourself in your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city; for the uncircumcised and the unclean will no longer come into you.
2 Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
3 For thus says the LORD, “You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed without money.” 4 For thus says the Lord GOD, “My people went down at the first into Egypt to reside there; then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 Now therefore, what do I have here,” declares the LORD, “seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?” Again the LORD declares, “Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long. 6 Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, ‘Here I am.’”
7 How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices, they shout joyfully together; for they will see with their own eyes when the LORD restores Zion. 9 Break forth, shout joyfully together, you waste places of Jerusalem; for the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The LORD has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God.”
John 9:4 (KJV):
4 “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”
I do not have time to waste my time playing in the mud puddle of this world. Let us arise and pray for a Mighty Awakening for our day. This is my prayer this morning.
Sam Biggers 05/12/2016