Nuggets – Just lingering – Banking on Retail

According to a newspaper article I read recently, queueing in a bank could be a little less dull if a plan by the National Australia Bank takes off. Customers there will be treated to iPads and computers for Internet access, delicately perfumed air and soothing music to help to ease the stresses of waiting in line for the bank teller. A prototype of the branch to be unveiled, dubbed the “bank of the future” had entertainment facilities in the form of children’s films, trivia and free Wi-Fi.

I was reflecting – if I start out to do my banking in the future during my lunchtime, I may end up being “acceptably” entertained  instead, during time which does not belong to me but my employer. The intent of the retailer is so that  I will not notice the time I spent lingering to obtain the service I came for.  Hopefully this does not translate to spiritual lives as well.

Definition of linger :

  1.  to continue to stay, especially through reluctance to leave
  2. to be unnecessarily slow in doing something; delay; loiter

Lingering concerns are that we could become so distracted that we
– fail to strike while the iron is hot for spiritual opportunities which may arise
–  John Greenleaf Whittier expressed the concept of regret poetically, “Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are, ‘It might have been.’”
– accept delays which should not be accepted due to inefficiencies or other distractions by those who would minister to us
– we lose focus in our pursuit of our goal for ministry and lose our way by emphasizing supporting structures and processes
– lingering could lead to compromises which lead to straying from God.

The psalmist of Psalm 111:10 writes, “A good understanding have all those who do His commandments,” and its converse is equally true. If we slacken our resolve to keep all of God’s commands, even those we might deem as less important, we will gradually lose our God-given understanding of His way to eternal life.

While Solomon lingered he compromised with God’s way because of expediency; he decided to give in to his wives’ idolatrous practices for personal and political peace or advantage I  Kings 11:1-8 .  Compromise weakens or gives up our principles or ideals for reasons of expediency. Expediency does or considers what is of selfish use or advantage rather than what is right or just. Wisdom is the right application of true knowledge, and compromise erodes it quickly. We cannot compromise the wisdom God has given us by His spiritual revelation if we are to “hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” Hebrews 3:14 . Compromise can steal away our eternal life if we are not careful! Solomon’s example teaches us a lesson about how dangerous compromise with God’s law is, particularly seemingly inconsequential compromises can lead to greater sins and the resultant difficulty in repentance.  The Bible gives no indication that Solomon repented before he died. The more we compromise, the harder it is to return to “the faith . . . once delivered” (Jude 3).  Solomon, having learned the hard way, writes, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death”.

 Satan  begins making his inroads in our lives by influencing us to compromise on God’s law and follow our own way. Once we compromise, the process of sin has begun, and its ultimate end is death James 1:14-16. The time to stop the process is in the beginning, when the situation and the pulls are still small and simple. Nip sin in the bud! And the enduring consequences of compromise will never have a chance to bloom. Solomon compromised on matters he probably considered well into the gray areas—to do things his way rather than God’s. The danger of such reasoning is that small compromises weaken character, and over time, they lead to major sins.

If  we are lingering in the worldliness that surrounds us? It will take faith to walk away. Lot believed to such depth that he urged his sons-in-law, and yet he lingered. Lot knew the angels were there, standing by and waiting for him and his family. He was trifling when he should have been hasty. He was cold when he should have been hot. He was loitering when he should have been hurrying. The world  around us is smoldering embers that will soon burst into the flames of the greatest tribulation that has ever hit the entirety of the earth. Are we lingering while the world is getting ready to burn? Is Lot  an example of us?

Are we thrilled to hear good, sound preaching;  believe that time is short, but act as though we wish it were long; holiness is beautiful  but it is impossible to be that holy and spiritual. We dread personal sacrifice and shrink from self-denial; have horror of being considered narrow-minded, and so go to the opposite extreme  becoming so tolerant to try to please everybody; forgetting to first please God, trying to keep up with the world; ingenious at discovering reasons for not separating from it, giving all kinds of justifications for attending questionable amusements; wild, violent, sexual movies; or holding on to questionable relationships;  persuading ourselves that it does good or mix a little with the world;  do not choose to battle with besetting sins – laziness, a bad temper,pride, excessive self-concern, vanity, or impatience, justifying them by thinking, “Well, that’s just the way I am, and I guess that’s the way I’ll always be.”

Do not be hot or cold or He will spew us out.  Though ceremonially going through the motions, the Laodiceans lacked thorough dedication and devotion to God’s way in every aspect of life. Do we see the Laodicean characteristics in congregations ? shallow and casual relationships that show little true concern,  intolerance, impatience, strong opinions about trivial things, offense, harsh judging, and division. It produces busy people who feel as if they are accomplishing a great deal because they seem to get many things done.  However, the busy-ness is spent on things of minor spiritual importance. Meanwhile, the relationship with God, while existent, is allowed to be neglected. That is what Laodiceanism is. People bring it in from the world where God is a figurehead but with whom there is no relationship.Laodiceanism is deceitful because the Bible reveals that the person afflicted with it is unaware that he has it. He is blind to it, but God certainly is not because He is being neglected in this relationship.  Having rejected traditional, biblical moral standards, many of such people have no stable moral code to fall back on. They handle each situation based on its own merits, historical precedent, and their own experiences, feelings, desires, and needs.

When disobedience increases, agape grows cold. In  Ephesians, they had left their first love—their first agape—and He commands them to repent (Revelation 2:4,5) that is, to turn away from their lawlessness. When there is compromise, or the setting aside of God’s standard of righteousness and holiness, then the submissive love toward God and the sacrificial love toward man will begin to grow cold. It is a simple cause-and-effect relationship. A cause of this deterioration is found in the preceding verse: “Then many false prophets  will rise up and deceive many” Matthew 24:11. While a true prophet always upholds God’s law . (Deuteronomy 13:3-4, Isaiah 8:19-20, Romans 8:7) , a false prophet is willing to compromise with God’s standard of holiness when it suits him. Followers of  a false teacher will likewise slide into lawlessness, becoming separated from God Isaiah 59:1-3)

Sin literally means “to miss the mark.” Sin is imperfectly loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and imperfectly loving our neighbor as ourselves.

 What should we do?

 – Matthew 24:13 says, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” When many are letting their relationships with God deteriorate, the emphasis is on patient, active endurance.

– We may need to take a step back and look for facets of God’s love that are present, rather than focusing on what may be absent. We have to remember that nothing inhibits or damages our ability to see things clearly like focusing on the self.

– As Paul writes this,  when he says “watch,” he is not speaking about an occasional absence of sleep but a determined effort at vigilance so that our spiritual liberty will not be endangered by compromise with anything in our environment.

– It means not playing with temptations. He is telling us to be stable, not to be flitting from one fad and fashion to another like the people in this book were doing. He tells them, “Be like men,” meaning, “Be mature, stable, responsible to duty.” Being strong in God is not something inherent within us. It does not come naturally. Human nature is at war against God. It resists seeking Him. Being strong in God is derived from the relationship with Him, and this relationship must be worked on, even as a good relationship with another human being must be worked on.

– Finally, he speaks of love, the love of God.  Love is doing what is right from God’s perspective. Remember, this is the same apostle who admonishes Timothy to rebuke people before all–even right before the entire congregation. If that is what it took to turn a person back to God, that was what was to be done, and it was an act of love. Love is being responsible, honest, loyal, trustworthy, faithful. Love is being zealous toward God, and it is many other things as well.

Be careful 

a.  2 Corinthians 6:14  do not get doubly harnessed with unbelievers -they will not pull together because their minds do not work in the same way. Do not rush into just any relationship because one’s faith is weak or self-esteem is low that one would be willing to marry just about anybody. If one does, he will very likely make a compromise that lowers his Christian standards.

People of the world cannot truly understand the actions of one who walks by faith because their perspectives on the value of things are usually quite different – without God’s gracious calling and gift of faith, the unconverted will adjust through compromise and self-justification.  The world of the unconverted is governed by its limited, carnal senses and feelings, not by faith in God’s character. They walk by sight.

b. 2 Timothy 4:3-5 We see here indications of the influence of the world,  which gradually wears down simply by its presence as well as by occasional, open persecution against Christians. These Christians were gradually weakening rather than growing, and beginning to feel that the best thing to do was to give in—inch by inch—to what was happening. They were beginning to request of the ministry teachings that were deviating from the truth that the apostles had given them.

Constant danger promoted closeness to God; the apostles relied on God to keep them safe and provide deliverance for them at every turn. The danger we face today is far greater—spiritually— It promotes a slow separation from God.

We live in a time when the majority of those with whom we once fellowshipped have compromised the beliefs they used to hold dear. Many of these people have joined worldly churches, or worse, losing faith altogether, have slipped back into the world. Some have contrived strange new doctrines to live by, and despite attending services among the scattered churches, too many have nearly lost their faith and zeal for this way of life.

We must learn to spot and avoid the little compromises that lead to big sins.

What produces danger for us, the called-out children of God?  It is compromising with the laws and principles of God.

In these perilous times, it is of the utmost importance that we resist the urge to use our human reasoning to compromise with God’s law. We must be particularly careful in what we perceive as the “smaller areas” of God’s Word. Why? Because Satan often makes his greatest inroads by getting us to relax in little things and gradually convincing us to do the same in more vital matters. If he can just get his foot in the door, he feels he has won a great victory and can make us slip away from God. Paul, however, exhorts us, “. . . nor give place to the devil” Ephesians 4:27

Once we compromise, the process of sin  has commenced, and godly character, which is so precious to God, begins to erode, opening the way for sin on a larger scale. We, too, can certainly yield to the peril of compromise. We must learn to spot and avoid the little compromises that lead to big sins.

There is healthy lingering – There also is that type of regret that lingers still, even after one knows that he cannot undo the wrongful deeds of his past, and he is confident that God has forgiven him. This is a healthy regret; one that motivates to action.

Prior to his conversion, Paul had been a determined persecutor of the Christian Way. He was a missionary of mayhem who sought to destroy the church of God (Acts 9:1,  23:9-11; Galatians 1:13; 1 Timothy 1:13). But those bloody days were not without lingering regrets, even after his soul had been refreshed with cleansing (Acts 22:16). In his epistle to the Ephesians he chastised himself as “the least of all the saints” (3:8).  His anguish was expressed to Timothy in his claim of being “chief” of sinners. But the indomitable apostle did not wither away, indulging himself in self-pity and unproductive anxiety. Rather, he channeled his memories into a fiery zeal that would take him some 12,000 miles of rigorous travel in three missionary campaigns and sundry other preaching adventures on behalf of the gospel of Christ. He resolutely endured persecution, and was made stronger for it (2 Corinthians 11:24; 12:9-10).

May the Lord help us know when we are lingering unhealthily and to stop it. We need Him to open our eyes. We need to listen to His Voice and obey.

About ptl2010

Jesus Christ is coming soon
This entry was posted in A CLICK A BLESSING TODAY, CHRISTIAN LIFE AND THE WORD, CHRISTIAN NUGGETS and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Nuggets – Just lingering – Banking on Retail

  1. granbee says:

    Being full of care (careful) for others is an extremely good antidote to lingering “in all the wrong places.”

    • ptl2010 says:

      So right Ms granbee. When we are full of self that is when we are used by the enemy to go where he wants us to be. Not when we are filled with the love of God.

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