I once heard Todd White share a similar story: a man had died and now stood in front of Heaven’s Gates. The gatekeeper was there, and so was satan. As the man approached the gates and asked for entrance, he was denied. Shocked, he asked, “What do you mean I am denied entrance into Heaven? I never chose hell! All my life I remained on the fence!”
At that comment, satan replied, “Ah ha… You see, the fence is mine!”
What is it about living so close to the edge that we find appealing? Do we believe that a life in Christ will be boring…or is our life in Christ boring? Do we believe that life on the edge will bring excitement and glamour into our lives? Do we believe that by riding the fence we are “safely standing” on neutral ground?
According to Luke 11:23, “Anyone who isn’t with Me opposes Me, and anyone who isn’t working with Me is actually working against Me.” This is clearly stated, Beloved. There is no neutral ground. Allow me to paraphrase: if we are not serving the Kingdom of God, then we are serving the kingdom of darkness. Yes, this will be offensive to many; however I did warn you in a previous post that I may offend some by sharing Truth. So I ask you to read Luke 11:23 again…mediate on it…and ask Holy Spirit for revelation. Can God be anymore straightforward than He has been? If we are not in God’s camp, then we are residing in the enemy’s. If this shakes you to the core, then that’s good – God’s Word has been effective in reaching your heart. Maybe you need a heart check. For you see, Truth either brings revelation and reconciliation, or repulsion and revolt. No neutral ground.
So what does compromise mean? The dictionary defines it as an agreement/settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions; to meet each other halfway; give and take; accepting standards that are lower than desirable; to bring into disrepute or danger by indiscreet, foolish or reckless behavior.
So who are we making an agreement with? Accepting lower standards from? Entering into danger with? James 4:4 declares that it’s the world…”You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” So if I agree with the world, I risk disrepute, compromised values and danger. Wow.
(Now we can all think of an example where compromise is good and may be needed, such as “I’ll take your laundry to the cleaners today, but I’ll need you to start supper since I’m working late this week.” You get the idea. However, when it comes to God’s Word, a believer should never compromise. Ever. Period.)
My daughter and I were discussing compromise in the life of a believer, and she didn’t see compromise as the issue, but rather disobedience. That’s good. Really good. But I’m going to need to ponder that a bit more, so for now I’ll continue on with compromise – why we do it and its consequences.
I gave the definition of compromise earlier in the post, so now let’s explore why we choose to compromise the Word. A few reasons can be to earn material gain, respect from others, love from friends and family, and to avoid confrontation. Mark 8:36 asks, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his own soul?” We can seek to acquire wealth, respect and love, but if not motivated by the Spirit of God, then we have compromised His Word that declares to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
I believe that we choose to compromise because we do not trust God to fulfill His promises to us. We doubt His goodness and hang on to the things of this world “just in case…” I recently heard from Kyle Winkler that there is no Hebrew word for promise as we know it – a contract (covenant) that can be breakable. The Hebrew word used in scripture for promise is debar, which translates to “I said”. Pause for a moment and ponder that. God never said “I promise” in the sense that it could be broken, as with man who may or may not honor his word. But God declared “I SAID”. Psalm 138:2 reveals the supremacy of His Word: “…for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” So when God promises something, His Word is literally unbreakable. When God speaks, it is settled.
In July of 2010, I was supernaturally (without man’s intervention) healed of hypothyroidism and many other ailments. After my healing, I purchased supplements that were supposedly good for my thyroid. They were expensive and tasted horrible. After three months of taking them twice daily, I reached once again for the tablets and heard the Lord say, “What are you doing?” I explained (ha!) that I was taking supplements to support my thyroid. He replied, “I SAID that you were healed. And when I SAID that I had healed you, I SAID that I healed you completely. You’ve simply replaced the medication with supplements.” At His prompting, I tossed the supplements and have never taken any since.
If I had allowed myself to see God in the light of man, then I would have doubted that He would keep His promise to heal me. But when we view God in the light of…God…then we see that His promises are unbreakable. God is unable to break His Word. If God has promised us something in scripture or through an intimate, personal word to us, then He has SAID it. Declared it. And He will fulfill it.
So why don’t we trust God? Fear. Unbelief. Let’s first examine fear. Fear has many faces – fear of man, poverty, rejection, disaster, disease and many more. Yet 2 Timothy 1:7 declares that we have not been given a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind. So we can see that any fear is an attempt of satan to distract and paralyze us from the call of God. If satan cannot keep us from embracing Jesus, then he will attempt to render us ineffective for the Kingdom. Scripture also reveals that fear is a spirit, and we are told to cast out any unclean spirit (Mark 16:17). Please pay close attention: this verse also reveals that we have a sound (free from disease, flaw or defect; solid, firm, stable, secure and reliable; based on thorough knowledge and experience) mind. Anything that would attempt to come against our mind is demonic. Born again believers have a sound mind. Period. Timothy has shown us that we are capable of living a fearless life in Christ!
Now let’s dissect unbelief. What is unbelief? Lack of faith? Lack of belief? I don’t think so. According to scripture, we can have both belief and unbelief at the same time. Check out this revealing conversation between Jesus and the father of the demoniac son found in Mark 9:22-24:
“…But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” “If You can?” echoed Jesus. “All things are possible to him who believes!” Immediately the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief!”
As we see here, both belief and unbelief can be present at the same time. So where does unbelief come from? From accepting the things of this world as Truth, such as medical reports, economic news, and well intended counsel from friends that has no basis in the Word. How do we rid ourselves of unbelief? Scripture says, “And he said unto them, ‘This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.’ ” (Side note: many read this as “this kind” refers to a particularly powerful demon. This is not so. No where in scripture does God refer to a “super demon”. satan is an angel; no more or less powerful than any of God’s created angels. Therefore, no super demon exists. “This kind” refers to the subject of unbelief in this passage.) Unbelief will depart as we lay down our worldly belief system and press into God through prayer and fasting.
Referring back to my earlier testimony of being healed of hypothyroidism, the Lord had told me to stop my medication. For two days I battled His command, for I was full of fear. I so desired to be obedient to my Papa, so on the third day I prayed and fasted, and cried out, “Lord! Help my unbelief!” The next morning He woke me at 6AM and commanded me to take communion with Him. As I did, Papa said, “This (communion) is now your medication.” And I have walked in divine health ever since. Yes, the enemy still slings his fiery darts and I am tempted with symptoms, but I resist and always have the victory! But if I hadn’t rid myself of unbelief, I believe I would still be bound to disease.
(Brothers and sisters, this is MY testimony. Please NEVER cease taking any medication without hearing from God on the matter.)
I mentioned before that we often hang onto things of this world because we don’t trust that God will honor His Word. Below is an example of trusting in oneself and worldly things, and the painful consequences that can follow:
ABC NEWS Jan 17, 2013: Lance Armstrong, formerly cycling’s most decorated champion and considered one of America’s greatest athletes, confessed to cheating for at least a decade, admitting on Thursday that he owed all seven of his Tour de France titles and the millions of dollars in endorsements that followed to his use of illicit performance-enhancing drugs.
“I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times,” he said. “I know the truth. The truth isn’t what was out there. The truth isn’t what I said.”
“I’m a flawed character, as I well know,” Armstrong added. “All the fault and all the blame here falls on me.”
Armstrong said he was driven to cheat by a “ruthless desire to win.”
Due to these findings, Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles.
How do we build trust in God? Scripture tells us that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. If we desire faith in God, we must read, hear and mediate on His Word. Faith can also come by hearing the word of the world. So when we hold fast to the world’s distorted word, then we will have a distorted faith – a faith based on the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). James 1:6-8 tells us to have single vision: “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” These are strong words, Beloved. But when we adhere to and implement the Word of God in our lives, that is when we will see mountains move!
Seeing the invisible God is crucial to our walking with integrity to His Word, without a hint of compromise. Abraham kept his vision focused on God, and “…he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27). Start small and ASK! Ask for wisdom! Ask for discernment! Ask for God to help you walk with the spirit and not your flesh! Listen to these precious words in Jeremiah 33:3 and allow God to build you up: “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known!” Remember, this is a promise for you! Not a fragile, breakable covenant such as the world knows, but a solid, paid-in-Blood promise (an “I SAID” covenant) that God Almighty has given to you!
To avoid the snare of compromise, we must not remain lukewarm. Jesus tells the church in Laodicea, “…because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” Dear ones, again, strong words! Will we heed His ways, or continue to compromise and dabble with the evil ways of this world? King Saul was tempted by the entanglements of this world, and he lost his kingdom. Yes, the trinkets are shiny and draw our attention, and the praise of man is so alluring. Yet they are nothing but a snare. King Saul sought man’s approval and disobeyed the Word of the Lord. And it cost everything dear to him – including his own son – for by following after the flesh he opened a door to enemy interference. He compromised, losing favor with God, his kingdom, his son and his life. The stakes are high and the consequences severe when we tamper with the Word and mold it to our liking.
Compromise; living in the gray. We choose to live close to the edge for many reasons, such as fearing a dull life and not trusting God to fulfill His promises. Instead of choosing the light, we choose a life of gray. Gray – dull; nondescript; ordinary; without interest or character; lacking cheer; dismal. Gray – one shade away from utter darkness…
BUT GOD…!!! No matter how far away you find yourself living – in addiction, despair, hopelessness, grief, disease – there is a Name above ALL names that saves! Delivers! Heals! Restores! Makes new… JESUS! Just as plants turn toward the light and receive their growth and nourishment there, so, too, can you! Turn from the dark and fully face the Light of Jesus Christ! He’s waiting with arms wide open!
If you have found that you have wandered away from the Word and have been building a kingdom of your own in the Land of Gray, then repent (turn from) your ways, and embrace His! Draw a line today – not in the sand, for sand shifts with every passing wave – but draw a line on the solid Rock of Jesus Christ! Stay in His Word, trust His Word and know your identity in Him. Self feed. Study the Word for yourself and trust that Holy Spirit will lead you into all Truth!
Get off of that fence and into the abundant life that Christ died to give YOU!