This is another of those posts that is difficult to write. It is difficult to write because it has been prompted by yet another conflict with one of God’s people. It is also difficult to write because I am being prevented from writing what I want to write. I feel the Lord’s hand upon me, and it is holding me down while telling me to share what I have learned from this latest conflict with His people. I would prefer to lecture others, because I am a hypocrite. But the Lord is infinitely gracious to all of us, even when His blessing comes in the form of a painful rebuke. So, instead of telling you how and why this other believer was wrong, I am going to share how the Lord took it as an opportunity to hold it up as a mirror to my face. What follows is not about anyone else. It is about the reflection I saw in my fight with another believer.
On the surface, this ‘fight’ was over whether or not a Christian should support a certain political candidate. However, in reality, it was actually over something much more important than that. The fight between me and this other believer was about whether or not a believer should support or join forces with someone they know (or should know) is not a fellow believer. God’s Word speaks to this subject over and over again, and His answer is easily discovered, crystal clear in meaning and forceful in its command. The problem is, we are very good at ignoring God’s Word when it disagrees with our own desires. It was in the reflection of my own desires that I saw my own guilt over this very same issue.
The first thing I have to tell you is that I learned that I am no one you should count as friend. This is not my ‘opinion,’ it is The Word of the Lord! My initial reaction to this other believer was to throw Scripture at them, so I started looking up all the Scriptures I could use as ammunition. And I am ashamed to admit, I used some of it in reply. Fortunately, however, I used it after the Lord had showed me my reflection. I replied because, even though I knew everything I was telling this other believer applied to me, Scripture still commands us to offer correction when we see other believers going astray and I want to be obedient. So, when the Lord showed me that everything I was about to hurl at my brother/sister was speaking to and about me, I still offered the Scriptures to them, but in a totally different heart. I offered it to try to help them avoid the same mistakes the Lord had shown me I have been making my whole life. Now, let me share the reflection I saw with you. After I do, you will understand why I am not someone another believer should call a friend.
The first thing I discovered is that God clearly speaks to His people about staying away from joining themselves to the lost:
14 Do not be [a]bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with [b]Belial, or [c]what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
11 But [a]actually, I wrote to you not to associate [b]with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
Why does the Lord tell us not to join with the lost? Because the lost are of this world, not the Lord:
Do Not Love the World
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
And, if you join with the lost, it is not you who will teach them to be a lover of God, but they who will teach you to be a lover of the world:
33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 34 Become sober-minded [a]as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
20 He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Enemies use their words as a mask.
They hide their evil plans in their hearts.
25 Even though what they say can be charming, don’t believe them.
That’s because seven things God hates fill that person’s heart.
26 Their hatred can be hidden by lies.
But their evil plans will be shown to everyone.
[I found so many scriptures warning God’s people to stay away from the lost, and that joining with them will harm the believer. I have just shred a few of them, but you can find a list of more Scriptures addressing this subject here, here and here. A good article on this subject can be found here.]
Now, was this other believer I fought with guilty of going against God’s Word? Yes! But that was a speck in their eye, and the Lord made me know it by showing me the forest in my own. With every verse I read, I saw my own guilt. How many times have I chased after worldly wisdom, and lent my voice to theirs? How many times have I turned my back on God’s wisdom in favor of my own? How many times have a let myself be swayed into doing wrong by ‘friends’ who did not know or even mocked the Lord? I can’t count them. All I can do is cry, “Mercy!” because my guilt is before my own eyes. So be warned, reader: I am not fit for any believer to calla friend.
However, this does not mean I am unfit to warn others on this subject — far from it. For, first, it is not I who warns. I am merely a messenger. It is God Who warns — as evidenced by His Word. And what better messenger than one who is not only guilty, but knows he is guilty? I am Lazarus telling you, my brothers, not to do as I have done. But, thankfully, I am also forgiven — not because of anything I have done or deserve, for I deserve death. No, I am forgiven because God is love and He has forgiven my sins out of His Grace and Grace alone. He will do the same for you, too — if only you accept His Son as your Lord and Savior. But, understand — all of us — that making the Lord your Lord means obeying His commands, and He has commanded us not to befriend the world. This does not mean we are not to have an agape love for the lost, because we most certainly are! It means we are not to join with them as brother and sister, nor are we to give them our support in anything that goes against God and God’s Law. This applies to personal relationships, business relationships and most certainly to our relationship with our leaders. Now, let those who have ears to hear, hear…
[NOTE: I no longer think of my voice as anything special. There was a time when I believed I had something important to say, but not so much these days. I write now because I feel driven to do so. Something inside me will not let me rest until I post the pages you just read. I’d just as soon not bother anymore. It all seems like no one is listening and I do more harm than good. So I have come to trust that whatever it is driving me has all this under control. Personally, I believe it is God, but others may not. All I ask is that, if anything I write helps you, or you think it might help others in any way, please, share this page. Re-blog it, share it on FB or send the link to your friends. So long as you feel it will do more good than harm, then please, use this page however you wish. Thank you.]