There are hundreds of Bible verses about holiness, separating yourself from sin, and surrendering your daily desires and actions to God. Below are enough to show that this is a biblical command.
- “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15)”
- “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.(2 Cor. 6:17)”
- “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Rom. 12:1-2)”
- “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (2 Cor. 7:1)”
- “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. (1Tim. 4:8)”
- “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (1 Tim. 6:11)”
I titled this blog “The Call to a Generation of Lazy Men” for a specific reason. The call to holiness is heralded to deaf ears. Men today have become lazy in the command to pursue holiness. “How?” you may say. “I do not drink, smoke, curse, go out breaking the law, ect.” as if holiness concerned mere behavior without a heart change. Men of God have become lazy. They are trivializing themselves with vain things while denying or ignoring avenues the Lord has promised to bless. We have changed certain behaviors the world usually does but have left others. This my friends is not holiness. This is subtle compromise. As John Piper has said:
“The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night…the greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of the earth. For when these replace an appetite or desire for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.”
Do you want some examples?
- Video games- Men, there is a problem when you can play a video game for three hours straight but cannot spend fifteen minutes in the Psalms. What does your heart say about Christ when you play video games instead of reading the most exciting story the world will ever know, the Gospel?
- Facebook- Hours upon hours are spent on the social networking site creating and revamping an image you want people to see. As one pastor recently said, “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.” What does your heart say about Christ when you spend hours upon a social networking site instead of cultivating true, biblical fellowship with someone right down the hall?
- Sports- When the Superbowl becomes more important than the Son of God dangling lifelessly upon a tree, you’ve got your priorities backwards. What does your heart say about Christ when you can quote your bracket flawlessly and predict this and that yet cannot quote anything other than John 3:16?
- Theology- The keenest and most unrecognizable idol…When John Calvin or even Jason Snyder’s words become more important than the Apostle Paul’s, we have got ourselves into a jam. John Calvin and Jason Snyder are astute theologians because of the years spent in God’s Word pursuing a relationship with Christ, the full revelation of God. Do not talk theology with someone if you do not meet the Lord on your knees in the morning. What does your heart say about Christ when you can quote the five points of a various system yet have trouble recalling the last time you spent more than a minute with Christ in prayer?
- Dating relationships- You pray and seek guidance on whether or not it is God’s will to date this specific girl. You want to know where God’s will is found…read the Word. Guys today spend more time with their prospective girlfriends than they do with the Lord of glory. Which relationship is more important? The girlfriend you find so inspiring and glorious has the ability to breathe because of the Sovereign king of the universe allows her to do so. Spend some time with Him. You may say “God wants me to be the man and lead her spiritually.” Wrong! Not now. You’re not her husband. You want to be a spiritual leader when you’re married, spend time with the greatest husband of all time, Jesus. What does your heart say about Christ when you spend more time saying intimate things to his daughters and neglect even speaking to him?
Spiritual laziness has set in and God’s men are remaining in their seats while women stand in pulpits. Get off facebook and go preach the Gospel. What about Christian freedom? I have the freedom to play videogames, drink, watch lude movies, listen to crude music, say certain things, ect. D.A. Carson once said,
People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.
It would be wise for men to examine their hearts to see if their freedom is really freeing. You have the Christian freedom to play a few video games once and a while. You do not have the Christian freedom to ignore God’s revealed will. You do not have the Christian freedom to ignore sweet times of intimacy in prayer with him. You do not have the Christian freedom to call what Jesus died for entertainment. You do not have the Christian freedom to not go to Church because you have so much class work.
The call- Men, arise! Quit being lazy. The most critical need of the church at this moment is men, bold men, free men. The church must seek, in prayer and much humility, the coming again of men made of the stuff of which prophets and martyrs are made. Look to Christ! Jesus…is the Lion of Judah (Rev. 5:5) and the Lamb of God (Rev. 5:6) – He was lionhearted and lamblike, strong and meek, tough and tender, aggressive and responsive, bold and brokenhearted. He sets the pattern for manhood. Let’s pursue Christ with reckless abandon and sacrifice all we have for his glory. Being lazy or lax in our walks is not an option. Not when we follow such an enduring Savior who gave his all upon a tree.
Guy, this is me sometimes. Yet, this is not the will of God. I cannot lead others effectively and be lazy at the same time.