A few weeks ago I posted a message based on a sermon I delivered about submission. The message was basically about how Christians are to live differently from the rest of the world and they are to live their lives in submission to God. I’m not sure what people thought when they heard, or read the message. Hopefully they heard or read some truths from God’s word that made them want seek God more, and bring their lives more into submission to Him.
I couldn’t help but wonder though, what did my non-Christian friends think of the message. For the people that really know me, how did they view the message? And what about the folks that don’t know me all that well, what did they think?
No doubt, some of my friends who read the part of the message where I said that it wasn’t ok to go out and drink on weekends thought, “Wow, what a hypocrite! I’ve seen him drink and get drunk before.” This is true. I wish I could say that since I’ve been a Christian I haven’t gone out and drank too much. I can’t. There have been times when I’ve been with my friends, and in wanting to just have a good time, I’ve drank, and gotten tipsy. But does this make it ok? Not at all! My failures in my Christian walk do not negate the word of God.
Now we must differentiate the difference between “drinking” and “getting drunk”. In my personal opinion, it is ok to have the occasional glass of wine, but it is not ok to get drunk. The Bible says to not get drunk with wine, but in several instances it speaks of people drinking wine, with no indication that it is wrong. Even the Apostle Paul exhorts his young Pastor friend Timothy to “drink a little wine for his stomach”. The Bible speaks against being a drunkard, but not drinking altogether. I know many people have differing opinions on this, but this is how I see it.
This isn’t the point I’m trying to make though. The point I want to make is, that yes sometimes I fail too. I spoke against sexual immorality in my message. Well several times in my Christian walk, I have failed in this. No doubt some people who read the message said, “I know Chris has done this, or done that. Who is he to tell me what I’m doing or have done is wrong.” They’d be right. I’ve messed up a lot in the past. But again, because I’ve failed doesn’t make God’s word any less true. As the Apostle Paul says, “What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar…(Romans 3:3-4)
The point I’m trying to make is this. When I preach, or when I write, I’m preaching just as much to myself as anyone else. Generally the things I preach on are things that God has laid on my heart that I need to work on, and I need to change. He reveals to me my weaknesses or my unfaithfulness, and shows me that I need to be seeking Him and His Spirit, His power more. I know that the things I have struggled with or am struggling with, others struggle with also. When I preach or write, it isn’t meant to be in a condescending or judgmental way. I’ve been there, or I am there. Sometimes I can see a sin or an area in my life that I was struggling with at one time or another, but God has delivered me from that sin. Perhaps God can use my testimony to help others see that God is faithful, and can and will provide a way of victory over that sin.
I don’t know exactly how God is going to use me. I don’t even know why He would want to use a miserable, fallen sinner such as myself for His glory. But I believe that is what He is going to do. I believe He is doing that even now. In the past year God has been revealing more and more to me. He is revealing to me how far I myself am, and how far the Church is from being what He desires it to be. That is why I preached and wrote on submission. Because I believe that is what is missing. I must bring my life into submission to God and His will. The church must also. We all must begin to live our lives like we are the people of God. For those that aren’t Christians, well they too must submit to God. If you don’t here on this earth, you will at the judgment seat of God, “For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; as it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”(Romans 14:11)
So to sum it up, yes I am a sinner. Yes I have drank too much, yes I have been sexually immoral, yes I have used language that I shouldn’t, yes I have told jokes I shouldn’t, yes in general, I just suck! But that doesn’t take away from who God is. That doesn’t take away from the truth of His word. I am seeking Him more, I repent of those sinful ways, and I am now seeking to live my life completely for Him. How about you? I believe it all starts with confessing our sins. Why don’t we do that today? “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”(1 John 1:8-10) “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”(James 5:16)