Summary: What is one of the hardest things for believers today?
What is one of the hardest parts of being a Christian? For most people, I would have to say, walking out their faith amidst an unchristian world. With all the distraction and attractions which pull at our lives, the walk of a believer is tested on a daily basis, sometimes hourly, it seems.
Consider even Noah, were he alive today, would have problems were the Genesis flood to happen today. Here is how that conversation between Noah and God might turn out. The Lord spoke to Noah and said, "In six months I’m going to make it rain until the whole earth is covered with water and all the evil people are destroyed. But I want to save a few good people, and two of every kind of living thing on the planet. I am commanding you to build an Ark."
And in a flash of lightning, He delivered the specifications for an Ark. "Okay," said Noah, trembling with fear and fumbling with the blueprints.
"Six months, and it starts to rain," thundered the Lord. "You’d better have the Ark completed, or learn to swim for a very long time."
Six months passed, the skies clouded up and rain began to fall. The Lord saw that Noah was sitting in his front yard, weeping. ..... and there was no Ark.
"Noah," shouted the Lord, "Where is the Ark?"
"Lord, please forgive me!" begged Noah. "I did my best. But there were big problems. First, I had to get a building permit for the Ark construction project, and your plans didn’t meet code. So I had to hire an engineer to re- draw the plans. Then I got into a big fight over whether or not the Ark needed a fire sprinkler system.
"Then my neighbor objected, claiming I was violating zoning by building the Ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning commission.
"Then I had problems getting enough wood for the Ark, because there was a ban on cutting trees to save the Spotted Owl. I had to convince the U.S. Fish and Wildlife that I need the wood to save the Owls. But they wouldn’t let me catch any owls. So, no owls.
"The carpenters formed a union and went out on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board before anyone would pick up a saw or hammer. Now we have sixteen carpenters going on the boat, and still no owls.
"Then I started gathering up animals, and got sued by an animal rights group. They objected to me taking only two of each kind.
"Just when I got the suit dismissed, EPA notified me that I couldn’t complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood. They didn’t take kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of a Supreme Being.
"Then the Army Corp of Engineers wanted a map of the proposed new flood plain. I sent them a globe.
"Right now, I’m still trying to resolve a complaint from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over how many Croatians I’m supposed to hire. The IRS has seized all my assets, claiming I’m trying to avoid paying taxes by leaving the country. And I just got a notice from the state about owing them some kind of use tax. I really don’t think I can finish the Ark for at least another five years," Noah wailed.
The sky began to clear. The sun began to shine. A rainbow arched across the sky. Noah looked up and smiled.
"You mean you’re not going to destroy the earth?" Noah asked hopefully.
"No," said the Lord sadly. "People already have.”
While we may laugh at the plight of a modern day Noah, it is no laughing matter when it comes to eternal life decisions we make everyday. The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:17-24 lays out the framework for how a believer is to live out their walk on earth, principles which worked then and work today. He beings by pointing out…
I. Believers are to avoid immoral lifestyles. In verses 17-19 he lays out areas which will draw believers of Christ away from their primary mission on earth and down the pathway to destruction. In verse 17, he warns of…
1. Confused Thoughts. Paul writes: “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.” We are familiar with several statements on thinking, “garbage in—garbage out” or the fact there is so much stinkin’ thinking which takes place today. If you want confused thinking, turn on talk radio and run the gambit of stations or listen to some of the callers and it will not take you long to get confused. Today we have revisionist historians, these are people who take the facts of history and change them. Paul tells us not to live like the Gentiles who had confused thoughts, where right is wrong and wrong can seem to be right. Or where right and wrong is determined by the situation not the actions of people. Paul said avoid that lifestyle.