This past weekend, I was struggling with allergies, and camped out on the recliner. Many of my friends will tell you that I love entertainment, and I don’t say that as a happy, exhilarating exclamation. Rather, it’s a weakness that I have been steadily battling now for a few years. So, while laid up in the recliner, I began looking for something that wasn’t defiling, something wholesome, and I came away from that with such disappointment. The world’s version of wholesome and mine are way different!
Last year, while my car was getting worked on, I decided it would be great to hang out at a store called Vintage Stock and pass the time perusing the store with their vast selection of movies,music and games. I’d see one movie title after another of ones I had seen and liked, only to realize that it had content that made it a bad choice. Movie after movie was like this and when I left that store, my heart was so heavy from the realization of the heinous things I once approved of. So, here I was again, hoping against hope that I’d find something wholesome, and I perused the “Classics”.
The classics were a motley mix of all kinds of genres and categories, and as I was sitting there it just hit me, I’m looking for something that really isn’t there unless it’s Biblically related.
I’ve often felt like an old soul, longing for the days of yesteryear where family values didn’t include Drag Queen Story Hour, or worse, Drag Kids, for the TV shows that exemplified a Judeo-Christian ethic. But, here’s the rub, what we thought we had….was an illusion. From the years of silent movies hollywood lead the way with it’s Men of Valor, and Femme Fatales, or it’s slapstick comedy, there’s always been some element of the forbidden contained with in it. And we let it slide repeatedly, and it gained traction as well as more airtime, until now, it’s practically blatant pornography on the TV screen, movie screen, and all of our electronics. The church, if not fully, is partially to blame.
This lead me to considering the topic of gatekeepers, particularly in the old testament. I knew that certain individuals were responsible for watching at the gates for any sign of danger, or anything that shouldn’t be let into the city, so, I did a little research. What I found was fascinating and convicting. In 1 Chronicles 9:22 we see that David and Samuel appointed 212 gatekeepers for “positions of trust” in guarding the temple of the Lord. They were positioned at all four sides, east,west, north and south. Once a week the families of these gatekeepers would come to be with them. They took guarding the temple of the Lord very seriously, as they should have.
But do we?
Do we understand that we are the temple of the Lord through the cross of Jesus Christ? 2 Cor 6:14-18 says this in the NASB:
“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
“I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.
“And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you.
“And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.
This passage points out very clearly that we are the temple of the Lord and asks, what agreement has the temple of God with Idols? This portion of scripture has been really hitting close to home for me for the last 3 years as I’ve reckoned with my own battle with Idolatry and begun to work more steadily in keeping my temple clean. So I’m not unsympathetic with individuals who are struggling with their Idolatry and wanting to get free and cleansed.
But the church, in my opinion, isn’t doing what it can to highlight the truth about Idolatry, and it’s partly due to the capitulation on biblical truth to accommodate “feelings”. It has caused the presence of the Lord to leave their sanctuaries because He will not EVER be another one of our Idols. The other part is that the church has allowed and made room for, ongoing unrepentant sin that it’s lost it’s ability to call it out. So far I’ve yet to hear a sermon that challenges men and women to inquire of the Lord any Idolatry that competes with the Sovereignty of God in their lives.
I personally know many people devoted to TV, Gossip, TV Content full of sensuality and sexuality, Music that does not glorify the Lord or bring Him praise. Where’s the conviction about our fleshly appetites? Where’s the conviction of immoral content we’re allowing into our homes? The children see this and then I see parents mystified as to how their children can walk away from the faith! WHY IS THIS? BECAUSE THEY SEE THAT THEIR PARENTS DON’T ACTUALLY BELIEVE THE BIBLE! They don’t create an environment where the family life revolves around the sovereignty and holiness of God, the word of God, Prayer, a devotional life, all of which absolutely MUST be cultivated.
I have many friends that are truly seeking to be good stewards and faithful Sons and Daughters of the Most High God, and yes, we miss the mark so many times. The difference though, is what we do with truth when we are shown it. In my own life, I’ve failed many times, my children saw me loving the things of this world, they saw me choosing sin, saw me compromising, and unfortunately, they are sowing the same seeds I sewed into them. So trust me when I say I’m not singling anyone out. Truth is truth , however, and I’m beseeching the Lord to lead my children to Him in the only way HE can that will result in real fruit of repentance and life in Jesus Christ.
Friends, I know it’s not easy living a life that is fully surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. But if we are going to be one of the 5 wise virgins, then we have to be seeking for the oil of the Holy Spirit for our lamps. Our flesh will not suffice. Our wishing for it will not suffice. Our opinions and feelings about it will NOT suffice. It boils down to this:
Joshua 24:15 – If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Choose you this day whom you will serve. It really is THAT simple. May we all be found in faith, and faithful to Him when He returns. I want to be found ready. Maranatha.
Here’s a link to First Stone ministries new video: https://youtu.be/1f8exYT4h_4
and here is my testimony as well: https://www.firststone.org/articles/post/discovering-my-true-identity
As a full time staff member I am required to raise my own support. Please prayerfully consider supporting me monthly so that I can continue to flourish in my position as a men’s minister. https://www.firststone.org/donate