We live in a society where people think a whole lot of themselves and their opinions. Many believe their opinions have higher merit than facts, and even in the face of proven fact they still “decide” they don’t agree. I have never seen anything like this society before.
Yeah, there have always been those who refused to listen, and are doggedly determined to go their own way right or wrong; however, our society is now being strangled to death with postmodernism and the push to live by “your own” truth. Sadly, it is a big part of today’s “church” as personal opinion trumps the Word of God and causes individuals to turn a side eye to those who choose to live by the Bible. The truth is, personal opinion can be poison and we have to guard against it. What is opinion, and why is personal opinion so potentially dangerous?
Opinions are a part of life. I don’t believe anyone travels through this world without having opinions. Our own self-centeredness, our personal desire for comfort and pleasure is often the foundation of the thoughts and feelings held towards any given thing. Opinions are also easily manipulated, shaped by our friends, the things we watch and what we listen to etc…
The danger so evident these days is the UNwillingness to defer to truth, to let truth be the deciding factor instead of opinion. Dig slightly below that surface and you will find pride. Yes pride, the bane of man’s existence.
Today, when so many believe truth is relative…truth is what you say it is, many fail to see the eternal landmine in that view. The flesh appealing belief that one can determine for themselves what is true and what is not will find many in hell, because to reject truth is to reject The Word of God – it is to reject God Himself, man’s only hope and salvation. But it is not only the ungodly who are ensnared by this seemingly innocuous trap. It is also dangerous for professing believers.
So many times, I see individuals in the church who actually believe they can live by their own design and “still be saved.” I have watched as individuals falter between two opinions. I can see the struggle inside of them. Yes, they want God, but they want their own way too. They know they need, and say they want the Holy Ghost operating in their lives, but they don’t want to give God full control of their lives. They believe God is real, and they know hell is real, but their love for and grip on the world is so very strong. What happens? They live unstable lives as they try to put one foot in the church and keep the other in the world.
Living by our own opinions keeps us from fully committing ourselves to God. Instead, we become double minded individuals living lives fraught with compromise. For example, we know the Bible tells us what music to sing and listen to, but we just love this particular secular artist. Therefore, based on our personal opinion, we decide their music is okay because it doesn’t have certain lyrics in it. We then compromise and just listen to it sometimes but not every day. Another example, we know God wants us to be modest in how we dress and carry ourselves. So, we decide to dress modest when we go to church while telling ourselves worldly, inappropriate attire is okay at home and around friends. We indulge our sinful desires and lie to ourselves that its okay with God under our self-determined circumstances. If you believe these sorts of things are acceptable to God then the enemy has really pulled all the wool over your eyes, and you need to wake up!
I have watched individuals who, I believe, sincerely want the Spirit of God. When in church they are sincere in the worship and prayers they are willing to offer; however, that heart of compromise is their obstacle, and they refuse to accept the truth of it and give it up. They want to serve God and themselves too.God will not share the throne of our hearts with us. Click To Tweet
The world is full of instruction to follow your heart, believe in yourself, be true to you, follow your truth and other tripe. There are many who adhere to this worldly advice. They have stuffed themselves at satan’s trough and now want to come to God while keeping that same mind and heart trained in the world’s ways. The difference we see today is that people want to come to God but without giving up their old way of thinking and doing. It does not work this way people.
The Bible explains why.
Jeremiah 17:9 explains, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Jesus said, “For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.” (Mark 7:21-23 NLT)
Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. (Heb 3:12)
…As long as people live, their minds are full of evil and madness, and suddenly they die. (Ecc 9:3b)
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool; but whoever walks wisely, he shall be delivered. (Pro 28:26)
That is why the mind that focuses on human nature is hostile toward God. It refuses to submit to the authority of God’s Law because it is powerless to do so. (Rom 8:7 ISV)
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever desires to be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (Jas 4:4 MKJV)
Without the transforming work of the Holy Ghost, all human beings maintain hearts and minds that are wicked, deceitful and hostile towards God. Why would anyone live by their treacherous heart and mind? The Bible says if you do that you are a fool (Prov 28:26a). Yet many choose to live as fools every day of their lives. Even though their eternity hangs in the balance, many still try to outsmart God in order to have their cake and eat it too.
This world and its adherents are on a comet ride straight to the pit. In order to change one’s destination there must be repentance, a true change of mind. The heart and mind must change towards God. There must be a willingness to forsake the old way of living life according to personal opinion and embrace Jesus Christ’s as the Supreme Ruler of our lives.
Let me try and explain something here. All of humanity belongs to God; however, He gives us free will to choose to live in relationship with Him or not. Everyone will face the consequences of their decision, whether good or bad. If we choose wisely, we will accept His gift of salvation and live in obedience to the glory and honor of God. What we must understand, which seemingly many do not these days, is that we no longer belong to ourselves!
Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God; he bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God’s glory. (1Co 6:19-20 GNB)
Jesus Christ purchased you, and not at some penny-ante price either. The Lord found you and me so valuable that He paid with His life, He paid for us with His own blood (1 Peter 1:18-21). Therefore, what we are supposed to do is present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God. We are not to conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2).
So, what does that mean? I’m glad you asked! It means the Lord owns us. We have no say in the matter. When it comes to living for God, our personal opinions ain’t worth a hill of moldy beans (Prov 21:30). We belong to the Lord; therefore, everything about us should meet with His approval. He is the one who has the yay or nay regarding what we will or will not do, say, etc…. even how we dress and carry ourselves is not up to us. When was the last time you asked the Lord about anything regarding yourself? “Lord, I want to do such and such, but is that okay with You?”
I think it’s safe to say that most never even bother to think about the Lord when it comes to what we want to do. Therefore, we are worldly minded, led by our wicked hearts and minds. We think we are pleasing to God because that’s the way we see it.
When you step back and look at yourself, are you truly saved? Do you really belong to God? Who has the final say in your life? Is it You or is it God? Who do you live to please? Is it you or is it God? When your flesh rises up and wants you to appease it, who wins? Is it your flesh that rules or is it God? When your sinful nature connects with what the world says, and you agree its okay to “show some skin,” who decides what you will do? Is it you or is it the Lord? When the urge to rest your eyes upon that which is unclean begins to pressure you to the breaking point, who do you cave to? Is it to the temptation or is it to the will of God? Who is on the throne of your heart? Who’s will do you obey? If it is not the Lord then, I’m sorry you are none of His.
There is hope, however. God has not forsaken us. He still stands with arms outstretched willing to bring us into the fold and teach us His ways. He is patient and wants us to spend our lives, both here and hereafter, with Him! Be we have a responsibility in this relationship. He will not do our part for us.
We must repent, for putting the Lord on the back burner of our lives. Then begin the process of transformation. We must allow our hearts and minds to be washed, to be renewed, to be transformed.First and foremost, stay in contact with the King! Click To Tweet
We must accept the fact that the Lord sees further than we do. He knows more than we do. He is wiser than we will ever be. And, AND, He wants what is best for us even more than we want what’s best for ourselves.We must determine NOT to follow our own thinking. Click To Tweet
Go on and admit it, none of us understands as well as we think we do. Our little fickle feelings will never be good enough to navigate our journey from earth to glory. Most of the time we don’t even see the landmines that are right in front of our faces. The enemy uses the same tactics repeatedly and we continue to fall for the same dumb things, while thinking ourselves so smart. So how can we possibly expect to make it by following our own heart and mind? Decide right now that your days of doing that are over.
God has standards for His disciples to live by. It does not matter what we think or how we feel about that. You do not get to agree or disagree with God’s Word. We are not God; we do not set the parameters. He does not consult us before doing anything; He alone is God. What we have is a choice to make. We must choose whom we will serve. Who do you choose? You cannot serve God and yourself too.
I encourage all of us today to set our personal opinions aside and embrace the Lord. Allow the Holy Spirit to come in and transform our thinking, our desires and actions so that we take on the mind of Christ. Renounce your allegiance to yourself and place yourself under the authority of Almighty God. Trust me, the alternative is not what you want.
Until next time,