Are the influences of society too difficult to stay away from? Are you getting yourself pulled in by greed, lust, and pride? This is just a few of the ways the master of lies persuades Christians into his world. That’s why as believers we have to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Who are you serving? If you are serving Christ then you must be living in His spiritual Kingdom here on earth. If you say you are a Christian then you must be living for Christ, right? There is no other way, unless you are fooling yourself. Can someone say they are a Christian, and then live a different life than who they say they are? Could it be this is how the evil one deceives people – he is so cunning and wise that he will trick you into believing you are serving God when in effect you are only lip-serving. But that isn’t enough for God — He wants action-serving.
The Bible clearly points out how a Christ One is to live his or her life. There is no straddling the fence, you either are or you aren’t. Which are you? Believers in Jesus Christ have to be smarter and wiser than satan if they want to be able to really do God’s work.
Let’s look at some subtle ways
that we may become distracted from actually serving God.
Greed is the desire for money, status and power. Having expensive cars and homes that are way beyond our means just for appearances sake. Indulging in selfish practices and accumulating more stuff that we do not need. What is that? It’s a lie! People are so busy living this lie they have no time for serving the Lord.
Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely spout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. Proverbs 23:4-5 NIV
God does not want believers to spend their time chasing after wealth and status, instead we are to get wise in Him by storing up our treasures in heaven, for our treasures in heaven can never be stolen or lost.
In fact, Jesus said in Luke 12:33,34 – NIV,
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.”
The problem with selling your possessions is most people don’t even own what they have! They are in debt. Their homes are getting mortgaged and their vehicles are getting reclaimed. Their stuff is sprouting wings and flying off to the sky just like an eagle – just like scripture says!
2. To Concerned With Outside Appearance
Many Christians appear to be happy and content with their life. They seem to have it all, happiness, love, nice home, wealth, beautiful children, great careers, etc. These same people really are not what they seem. Appearances are deceiving. Do you see what really goes on behind closed doors? Church is only two hours one day a week. Do you really see what is going on with the life of these people every single day?
“Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matthew 23:27-28 NIV
What is pride? Pride believes in self more than in God. Humanistic behavior feeds on pride and spiritual behavior feeds on God. That is the difference. Behaving prideful is part of the appearance thing. Some people do not behave as they really are – they are afraid of what people will think and so keep up appearances. I see a lot of this going on over the Internet and in forums, although it does not only happen on the Internet, but anywhere where people feel the need to look righteous to others.
But you see, anyone can talk. Don’t think God is not watching – He knows if you are walking your talk or not. Whose praise do you seek? The religious leaders enjoyed great stature in Israel, but their stamp of approval meant nothing to Jesus. He was concerned about God’s approval. This is a good principle for us. Even if the highest officials in the world approve of our actions and God does not, we should be concerned. But if God approves, even though others don’t, we should be content.
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all. Mark 9:35 NIV
4. Worshiping People and Self Over God
Does you Church worship Jesus Christ as the Leader? Does your Church preach the Kingdom of Heaven is here now for all who believe? All believers of Christ Jesus should be living in the spiritual Kingdom of God now! Are you a member of God’s spiritual Kingdom now? What are you waiting for?
“So, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:31-34 NIV