Growing up on the farm, my cousins and I use to play house. We would trample the tall weeds architecting the floor plan, playing for hours acting like we were grown ups. We would cook pretend meals and drive imaginary cars to work. In all our make-believe, it didn't make us adults.
Just like playing house didn't make us fully grown, 'playing church' does not make us spiritually mature. How does one 'play church', you ask? Going through the motions pretending we're something we are not. We talk the talk, but we're not walking the walk. We might be saying we love God, but our behavior depicts otherwise. Mat. 15:8-9 "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me...." We cannot deceive the Lord God. Jer. 17:10 (TLB) "Only the Lord knows! He searches all hearts and examines deepest motives so he can give to each person his right reward, according to his deeds—how he has lived."
With the Lord there is no grey, no middle of the road. It's either, yes or no, black or white, hot or cold. There is no mediocre. Rev.3:15-16 "I know your work that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of My mouth." It's time to make a decision to go all in for God! As Mr. Miyagi, in The Karate Kid, said, "Walk on road, home? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later get squish just like grape.."
Many people go day to day with the pretense, that one day, down the road, when it's convenient they will live right. At that specific time, when they are done partying, sleeping around, lying, cheating, and basking in the pleasures of life, they will stop and serve God. In all our years of ministry, we've seen a lot of people living rough and careless, end in tragedy. Others justify their behavior, believing they aren't doing anything wrong, or have grounds for their actions. While many in the latter years of life wish they could have a 'do over'. There are no 'do overs'! We only get one life - yet we get many opportunities to turn our life over to God. 2 Pet. 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." However, countless people continually reject His urgings. Heb. 10:26 says, "If we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." It's possible for one to be educated in truth of the Word, attend church, but not allow the Word to transform him. That's called rejecting the Truth, which is a deliberate sin.
Rom. 12:2 tells us, don't follow the trends of the world by being like them. Drinking, cursing, using God's name in vain, dressing scantily, or following the crowd, are enticing tactics of the flesh to be popular. Trying to fit in or be accepted is a ploy of the devil to trap us in the world. We are to be transformed, metamorphosed, like a caterpillar changes into a butterfly, by the renewing of our mind. Rom. 12:2 (EXB) " Do not be shaped by [conformed to; pressed into a mold by] this world [age]; instead be changed within [transformed] by a new way of thinking [or changing the way you think; Like the renewing of your mind]. Then you will be able to decide [discern; test and approve] what God wants for you [is God’s will]; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect." Deciding to accept and believe the Word brings transformation. Search your heart, have you rejected the Truth or even just part of it? If so, you can decide right now to believe with your heart and confess with you mouth.
Make a decision today to be transformed! Pray this prayer, then purpose to study God's Word and go to a Spirit filled faith church, to learn and grow. Prayer: Father, today I decide to change! I no longer want the desires of the world to control me. I choose to follow after You and Your desires. I repent for my sin and ask for Your forgiveness. I want to live for You! I am self-controlled and resisting the devil steadfast in faith. Amen.
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."