Summary: We talk, sing, and pray using the language of the Kingdom . . . words like Lord, King, and sovereign. However, citizenship in a democracy keeps us from understanding the throne.
Game of Thrones
Pt. 3 - Mixture
After 1 year we have finally come to the final battle in the attack on the 5 principalities that I identified for us. We have fought isolation, poverty, hopelessness and apathy. Now we square off against compartmentalism.
Compartmentalism is pervasive in our society and apparent in the church. We honestly believe we can cut our lives up into carefully controlled slices and that those slices can stay in their respective areas with no bleed over. Our spiritual slice has no bearing on our social slice so we can do things socially that contradict the standards that we embrace in our spiritual life with no guilt or any understanding of the hypocrisy this presents to those around us. We can lie when it is convenient. Cheat when it benefits us. The spiritual is a segmented slice that has no impact on business practices, entertainment choices, dating, or vice versa. Our spirit man is confined to spiritual matters and we will not allow the Spirit to have any rule or reign over any other area of life. We are literally playing a game of thrones.
I think we come to church and talk, sing, and even pray using the language of the Kingdom . . . Words like Lord, King, sovereign, and Jesus positions Himself to sit down on the throne of not just our church life but rather our entire life and then when He tries to rule over those areas we pull the chair our from under Him. We play a game of thrones. We only allow Him to sit on the throne in areas we choose based on whether we like the blessing and protection that comes from allowing Him to reign. If He tries to offer correction, then we pull the chair.
I read this to you last week . . . Matthew 13:3-9
Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
In parable form, Jesus identifies and calls out a problem we have . . . That problem is mixture. The good ground in same field with rocky ground, thorny ground and because of that compartmentlism we lose harvest. Jesus identifies the reality or existence of mixture and then gives us an overview of the cost of allowing that mixture. However, James, while dealing with the audible manifestation of compartmentlism that shows up in the way we use our mouth (your mouth reveals compartmentlism quickly) takes up the examination of this slicing of life and he takes a harsher tone than Jesus. He blasts us on it.
Text: James 3:10-16
10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Dear brothers, surely this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out first with fresh water and then with bitter water? 12 Can you pick olives from a fig tree, or figs from a grape vine? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty pool. 13 If you are wise, live a life of steady goodness so that only good deeds will pour forth. And if you don’t brag about them, then you will be truly wise! 14 And by all means don’t brag about being wise and good if you are bitter and jealous and selfish; that is the worst sort of lie. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, inspired by the devil. 16 For wherever there is jealousy or selfish ambition, there will be disorder and every other kind of evil.
James comes right out and says this mixture can't be right. One version says, "Brothers this must stop!"
In other words . . . Nix the mix!
The dishonest well . . . The split well. . . Bitter water and sweet water from the same point of origin. James says this "can't happen. Can't be." He doesn't allow for it or accept it as a fact of life. He demands that this come to an end immediately.
He then stops talking about talk and deals with our actions. If we are not careful and we continue to allow mixture it will show up in our talk, but then it will go deeper than just talk. (Again the power of language and the power of the tongue sets the course or direction of our lives.) James declares that mixture will always matriculate beyond mouth when unchecked and then it will begin to be exhibited in my actions! Unbridled tongue will lead to unbridled life.