2 Corinthians 6:14-18 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
“There goes Jim’s son”
“That’s Anne’s boy!’
When you come from a large family in a smaller community, people know you. My parents knew and found out about things without ever having been there – Why? The other parents of the community kept watch over their children as well as their friends kids – of which I happened to be.
If I hung around with the wrong crowd, Mom would tell me I had to find different friends. Though she was absolutely right, I didn’t always see her point. It wasn’t till I saw it through different eyes that I was guilty by association.
On June 18th, 1990; I made an association with One who is more than a friend, He became my Savior and I became a child of God. In an instant, I felt my heart went from hard and stingy to soft and giving. My politics from liberal to conservative. My persona from introvert to… well that one took some time!
I truly had changed. I had declared myself as a born-again, bible believing Christian. That, in and of itself was enough, but, I became a very vocal witness for the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
I became more and more aware of the newness as time went on. I truly believe the difference for me in my life was the man who mentored me and taught me and grounded me in the things of God. He would ask questions for which I did not have the answer. He would not be so simple as to be the ‘answer man’; but push me toward the Word of God to find the answer for myself.
I was thirsty for this new-found faith. I had found the truth and it beckoned me to swim out into the deeper waters.
As the years past, I found that my relationship with the Holy Spirit of God was vital. When I heard His voice, I heeded. When I sensed His urging, I obeyed. Not always mind you… I was not, nor will I ever be the perfect Christian. But I set a guiding principle in my heart: When God speaks; He’s right and I am wrong; everytime and always.
That link between me and the Holy Spirit is precious to me. He has saved me from some of the worst decisions that I did not see would hurt me at the time; but His urging prompted me to given in and trust Him.
But I must confess; there have been times when in rebellion or disobedience, I have felt cold, silent and distant from Him. It is in those times that meditating on what I’ve done; how I have truly hur God’s heart that I realize that He has always been there for me; loved me and continues to draw me to Himself.
That “God Link” was established at salvation and is the tie that binds my heart to His. It was sealed the day I got saved and can never be broken. We may experience the distance and coldness in the relationship that our disobedience and rebellion brings. But thank God for His chastening hand that comes to bring us back!
Hebrews 12:6-8 “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.“
God’s correction is one way that shows I belong to Him. If I were not His child, He would have no reason to correct me.
That understanding; that “God link”, extends to all the choices I make in life. Who I choose to marry, how I choose my friends, the company I keep, the places I go, and the entertainment I watch are all filtered through this one question: “Does this look like something God would approve; and does it line up with the Word of God?”
The only thing that complicates our decision-making is our will. Not one of us is devoid of that struggle. We are often presented with choices that challenge our will, our dreams and desires. Again, the simple choice is to allow God to always be right and mine to be wrong.
Giving in or giving over to God is not blind obedience. It is a decision based upon the understanding that anything that rises in my heart against what God would want for me gets put through the filter of Jeremiah 17:9:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it.”
If my own heart is deceitful, desperately wicked and I cannot know the depths of its deceitfulness or wickedness; then I must never trust what I think or feel over that which God tells me is good, right and true… NEVER.
We often feel passionate about a thing; even willing to justify it before God because it matches our sense of right. But it often becomes like a child arguing with a parent why they cannot go somewhere or do something – it becomes a matter of submission to authority.
Whether or not it fits into my view of right or wrong shouldn’t even be up for debate. God said it, that settles it – whether I believe, accept or agree with God or not!
That “God link” tests my submission and obedience and is rewarded with a closeness of His presence that words cannot describe. Because there is a link, I am chastened; corrected by a God who loves me and watches out for my best interest.
Lastly, because there is that “God link”; I can know that the storms I face, the trials I go through and the darkness that engulfs me is not something I will ever face alone. Jesus said we will face persecution and hard times because of who we are. That link back to God gives me hope.
Hope that one day, I will see His face and spend an eternity with Him. This world will wax worse and worse, but having that blessed hope of Heaven binds my heart to the most powerful force in the universe!