People can fight so vigorously in defense of tattoos, drinking, certain movies or even their lifestyle. This is not a post telling anyone that they're wrong and I'm right. God is speaking to the hearts of many who may be blind to their spiritual state. This post is as much for me as it is for anyone. This question really shook my heart: Is the very thing that you are defending a prison in disguise? It's so important that our hearts remain right before God. Let's find out if God is pointing out any areas in our life by asking: If God said give it up, could you?
This is the most important question. Regardless of how strongly you believe that you may be justified or right in your actions, if God showed up at your doorstep and told you it was wrong, would you be able to let go and give it up? I'm not trying to guilt you or change your mind. This is a valid question that we all need to ask ourselves daily about everything.
Does it make you mad when others question your stance on a "gray area"?
When another believer or friend shares that they don't believe drinking or getting tattoos or watching Star Wars is OK, do you spew out defenses and let anger boil up inside? Do you get frustrated at people who think contrary from you and feel the need to get on a soapbox and change their minds? Conviction can make us uncomfortable and often our natural self tends to put up an instant defense. We may feel attacked from all sides when in reality there is no war, no one is against us and it was simply the Holy Spirit pointing out a raw area in our lives. Sometimes what is right looks like putting aside a difference for the sake of relationship rather than burning bridges for the sake of justification.
Would your stance cause a non-believer or a new Christian to stumble in their walk with God?
This specific point is often thrown to the wayside. Our individualistic society couldn't care less about what others think. In God's culture, however, it is of the utmost importance how we are seen as Christians. You might not like that, and to be fair, it's not always easy, but feel free to take this one up with God. If our lifestyles are turning people away from God, then are we not accomplishing the goals of our enemy rather than the goals of the kingdom? This is why Paul would go so far as to take out certain meat from his diet, regardless of whether it was technically good or not, because he genuinely had a burning regard to bring people into the kingdom. He was willing not only die for the kingdom but also to live with holiness and purity for the kingdom. Are we willing to live according to a different standard for the sake of the kingdom?
Is there a hurt or offense in your life that could be filtering your stance?
We are emotional beings who tend to react based on hurts and offenses in our life. Without knowing it, our anger at past offenses can bend and twist our choices in life! If our choices are made to prove a point, spite someone else, or simply rebel against authority, then they have officially grieved the Holy Spirit. It's not that God doesn't care about the hurts in our life; it's that He has the power to heal us. When we neglect to allow God to heal and mend our wounds then He is grieved. He so desperately wants to break in with His awesome power! Our hearts become tainted and bitterness comes in like an infection when God is not allowed to come in and treat our hurts. It's important to continually ask God to reveal areas of hurt and offense so that He can come in and bring healing! Don't let the infection grow. Make an appointment with God and get treated!
I know these subjects are not easy to talk about but it's time for us to move past opinion and ask the hard questions that will test our heart attitude. If you are irked by any of the questions above, please consider prayerfully asking God to reveal if there is an area that needs to be addressed. We need more Christians running to the secret place and out of their prison cells!
Bailey Riza is a young, passionate, up-and-coming voice in the music industry. A worship leader, songwriter and recording artist, she has a wealth of experience and a dynamic approach to teaching and leading. She is a member of the Faith Alive Band and travels throughout North America performing and ministering in many different arenas. Her songs have been featured on the Faith Alive Show as well as on Daystar Television Network. Her latest EP, Coming Alive, topped the iTunes charts in Canada! She was born and raised in Saskatoon, SK, Canada, and attends Faith Alive Family Church, where her parents are senior pastors. She loves her family, church and country and has a zeal to see this generation experience a powerful outpouring of God's presence.
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