I think a major hindrance in advancing the Gospel today is those who call themselves Christians yet consistently act like the world around them. Note I use the word consistently. We as humans will never be perfect and will fall short of God’s best. God’s grace is available to forgive us. What I am talking about are those believers who are content to stay on the sidelines of our great spiritual battle, content to even identify as Christian–as long as it doesn’t put undue pressure on their busy lives. They want to look like the world, talk like the world, and act like the world, all the while claiming “God as their guide” and “an important part of their lives.” Let us be perfectly clear–God is to be our life, our everything.
When a soldier goes off to war, he voluntarily gives up his old life. The war is his life. Why? Because the consequences of not going to war are far worse than the discomfort of leaving home. If one does not leave home to fight, he may not have a home for very much longer. The enemy of our souls, Satan, does not spare anyone under his control from destruction. He lulls you to sleep with promises of comfort, ease, and pleasure. Life at home during the war eventually ends badly when you awake one morning to find the enemy forces encamped all around you with no way of escape. So we must go off to war and fight.
Many of us have gone off to war and wear the Christian uniform well. There is just one problem–we brought our enemy posters with us. The Bible speaks to this in Ezekiel 23. In this chapter, the prophet compares Israel and Judah to two sisters who grow fascinated with the pictures of the army men dressed in blue and red, the Assyrians and Babylonians respectively. They see the pictures that portray them as gallant warriors. They give themselves to them only to find that the men are less than gallant. In fact, they are ruthless killers bent on enslaving them. This fact the sisters learn too late. We in the modern day have our own pictures. We stare at the pictures of Hollywood and of sport and dream that we could be like them. We invite them into our homes every week through the mass media and ignore their shortcomings. We use them to make our sermon points, fill our conversations, and shape our values. But in the end, they steal our innocence, destroy our witness, and enslave us. They keep us from the battle. The men in blue and red of today march on our homes, our schools, and our churches while we sit in an invisible prison still wearing the Christian uniform.
Today is a new day. Tear down the enemy posters. Push the devil back into his own territory. We are the children of God and we will not cower before the enemy. We will boldly stand with the King and press forward. This is our land and this is our time.