Summary: Last week I preached on 2nd Cor. 6 where Paul talks about not being yoked with unbelievers. But how can we know if that’s happening to us? In order to find out if we are heading in that dangerous direction we need to ask ourselves some key questions.
HOW CAN I TELL IF I’M BECOMING YOKED WITH THE WORLD?
INTRODUCTION: Last week I preached on 2nd Cor. 6 where Paul talks about not being yoked with unbelievers. But how can we know if that’s happening to us? Oftentimes it’s not easy to tell. Satan is tricky; he’s subtle. It starts with one and like a trail of bread crumbs he tries to get us to follow it until we are trapped. So I think in order to find out if we are heading in that dangerous direction we need to ask ourselves some key questions.
1) Do we want to conform or do we want to transform? Rom. 12:1-2.
In view of God’s mercy, our response should be to honor him with living for Him. Since we have received undeserved grace we should respond by sacrificing our will for his. There are those who do that consistently and there are those who do that sometimes and there are those who rarely do that. Maybe we start out the right way but along the way we start to drift, then we start to compromise then we start conforming more and more and transform less and less.
In doing so we care less and less about being holy and pleasing to God. We lose sight of his mercy and grace. We don’t strive to be different anymore we instead blend back into the pattern of the world. The will of God becomes less important to us because it ceases to be good, pleasing and perfect to us. Instead, the world becomes good and pleasing to us.
However, when we are appreciative of God’s mercy toward us we will dedicate ourselves to holy living. We will make a commitment to not live by the pattern we once did but we will change-we will be different-we will be focused on changing our mindset. That’s where it all starts-the mind-if our thoughts are transformed then so will our actions be.
And if our mindset is transformed to focus on spiritual things then we will be able to not only discern what God’s will is but also we will approve of it. If we are conforming back to the way of the world then we are disapproving of God’s will. We are not seeing it as good and pleasing; we are not seeing it as something to follow and be connected to.
We can know God’s will but not approve of it. I can know what God wants me to do and I can know that God wants me to avoid certain things but not care enough to do something about it.
But if I dare to be different, if I care to be transformed then I will not only know God’s will but I will also want it; I’ll be able to see that God’s will is the better thing. And that means I will be acting in wisdom. If we want to avoid becoming yoked with unbelievers than we need to respond correctly to God’s mercy. If we want to know God’s will then we need to commit to being transformed.
2) What is my heart set on? Col. 3:1-17.
Since we have been born-again we need to set our hearts on spiritual things. Because our old self died and we have been raised to life we are called to put to death whatever belongs to our old ways-the ways in which we used to walk and live. We’re not to be connected any longer to sexual immorality, greed, impurity, lust, anger, rage and malice, slander and filthy language.