It seems there are two things that keep people from making Jesus the Lord of their life.
The first is false ideas. There are a million counterfeit ideas dressed up as truth, parading through social media, songs, books, popular culture, and from our own bruised and battered hearts. Some are more crafty and cunning than others. Some are clearly and maliciously evil, and others are milder and more likable, but just as evil.
The second thing that keeps people from Jesus is false people. There are people who vehemently oppose all things Christian and they try to limit or hinder the hopes of Christians. Also, there are often Christian leaders who, either through hypocrisy or legalism, make it harder for people to know and surrender to Jesus. Literally, the deeply religious Pharisees of Jesus’ day told their people not to associate with Jesus or to even speak about Him. They were the people who were supposed to know and teach the truth, but instead became false people. They looked like they were close to God on the outside, but they were far from Him on the inside. Today, there are still many hypocritical fakers in the church that can talk a good game, but their walk is a shame.
The saddest part to me is that, when we are false people, we limit what Jesus can do in our lives. We are supposed to be receiving righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit, but we allow the false ideas and false people to overwhelm us and turn us away. I really don’t want that to happen to me or to anyone else who calls Living Streams their home.
So I’ve done a little research and come up with a checklist to help you see if you are a legalistic, Pharisaical faker, or if your heart is ripe and ready to see and know all that God is up to. (I mentioned this list in my sermon last Sunday, but only one person emailed me about it. Ha ha.)
Here it is:
Do you listen to critique rather than to understand?
Do you find faults in others where Jesus saw needs?
Do you spend more time telling people what you stand against, than being known for you are willing to stand with?
Do you use the Bible to confirm your convictions, instead of letting it shape you into God’s image?
Do you have all answers and no questions about God and life?
If you answered “yes” to any of these, you could be in danger of missing out on what God is up to in your life because of your mindset.
Another good question is…
Have you said a sincere “sorry” to anyone in a while?
If you answered “no” to this question, you may be hard-hearted and blinded by pride, which can cause you to miss what God is doing around you.
Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their pride, lack of compassion, and hypocrisy. We have to be vigilant to not fall into the same trap. The heart that God seeks is humble, grateful, generous, and quick to serve.
Lord, please help us where we are limiting or resisting You, and help us to repent and surrender control to Your mighty hands.