Compromise #2-Don’t go very far!
As mentioned in the previous post, compromise in areas of Christian living is a source of danger. While we can compromise in areas that do not contradict Biblical teaching, “walking worthily of the calling with which we have been called” requires that we walk in the straight and narrow path, not wander closer to the broad and wide path-which leads to destruction.
A lesson about compromise can be learned in the account of Moses and Pharaoh. Moses was sent by God with a message to “Let my People go!” and Pharaoh responded with stubbornness and “offers” that were in effect, compromise. His first compromise we discussed in the last post, the 2nd one is found at Exodus 8:28
So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only you must not go very far away. Plead for me.”
Even as Pharaoh asked Moses to pray for him, he was not allowing Moses to take the Israelites “very far away”
Satan is like that too. If you must leave the world to serve God (e.g. become a Christian), then do not go very far away from the world. Don’t get too involved in the Church, don’t spend time studying and learning about God’s ways and desires for your life, don’t mature in the faith.
Satan doesn’t want you so far away from the world that you can’t see it. He wants the allure of the world’s ways to be ever present before you. Yet, it is so apparent in the Scriptures that we are to be as far away from the world as we can possibly be. Far enough away that the people of the world take notice
For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; (1Pe 4:3-4)
Paul reminds the Corinthians of the type of people that they once were but no longer are:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1Co 6:9-11)
But it isn’t just leaving the “big” sins mentioned above. Our whole life needs to say we are different from the world and have left it. This means even our attitudes will reflect it. One of the saddest portions of the Parable of the Sower is the third soil. It is the soil that also heard and accepted the word which was implanted but when the harvest time came, it proved unfruitful. Why?
but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it prove(d) unfruitful. (Mar 4:19)
Three things created weeds and thorns in the third soil. All of those things belong to the world. Leaving the world behind and focusing on what is ahead, pressing on toward the high calling of Jesus Christ desensitizes to the ways of the world. We can be IN the world but not OF the world.
The Gentiles care about the things of the world but God knows what we need. The riches of the world will not buy happiness, contentment, or our salvation. The contentment with what we have-not the striving after bigger and better will keep us centered on what is truly important not desiring things which we do not have and often don’t satisfy if we get them.
Just as Moses was not planning to go a short distance out of Egypt, we should not plan to go a short distance away from the world. We need to speak as if we are on a journey. Just like Abraham left his land to go to a land which God was to show him, we journey to a land (Heaven) which God will show us…but we can get to Heaven if the world is always before us. No, let us set Christ before our eyes and follow his path even if it means our death because that will mean our exaltation!
Don’t accept Satan’s compromise.