In serving God, we must pay close attention to how we offer ourselves unto Him because not everything we offer is pleasing to the eyes of God -- no matter how good, noble, or admirable it may appear to be on the outward.
Much of Christianity today has evolved from faith and heart religion toward God to a religion of laws based on Christian principles -- principles that we have instituted to dress the appearance of the outward person and yet hide the true condition of the person's heart.
For this cause there are many people that come to the house of God knowing how to put on the right behavior, dress, and talk, yet remain inwardly separated from God in their inward being because they are only upholding these principles just like they would any other law governing their lives (e.g. traffic laws, job related regulations etc.).
I am not saying that teaching Christian principles is wrong nor am I saying that they should not be taught. They are right and should be taught, but their observance should result from the person yielding their complete heart to the Lord. They fulfill them because they stem from their love for God and no other reason.
Modern Christianity tells us how to dress and therefore any violation of the "dress law" means we have sinned.
Modern Christianity teaches us what phrases to use what behaviors to demonstrate etc. And to the innocent believer any violation of these are a sin in the sight of God.
We must be firm in the fact that true Christianity is not in the keeping of laws whether it is Mosaic or Modern Christian. Rather, it originates from the the heart of man as he yields himself to God through His holy word. It is through the rendering of the heart and not the mere conforming of the flesh to a set of laws, standards, and principles where faith is born and lives.
This is the very reason why God was so displeased with the sacrifices that were being offered unto Him (Hebrews 10:8). They were offered through the law and not by faith.
It became a mechanical task to those that offered sacrifices before the Lord. Their hearts became completely uninvolved with God as they came before Him to make their offerings.
So too has become Christianity. We come to service because it is a law that we have set up as part of our lives as believers. We tithe, we work around the church, and a lot of other things because we have made them laws in our lives to govern our own Christianity. Yet in doing so, our love for God is cold.
It's easy for us to come looking holy and spiritual. And many of us, while praise is being offered, can stand with hands lifted up and mouths making utterance, but yet our minds are on other cares and concerns.
We've mastered the "law of Christianity" and can portray the ideal believer to others -- but it's sad to know that in this, beauty is only skin deep. We've fulfilled our Christian laws but have failed to give God what He really wants -- OUR HEART.
The Apostle Paul says:
"But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph 4:20-24)."
We must understand that laws simply govern the behavior of the flesh and have nothing to do with how one offers their soul and spirit unto the Lord. It is very possible for a person to live a life free from the deeds of sin (e.g. smoking, drinking, cursing, fornication, stealing, etc.) yet not be pleasing in the sight of God.
It's easier for people to conform to laws than it is for them to change the way they yield their inward being -- their soul and seat of their personality.
God desires and yearns for the person that will give themselves to Him in faith -- heart religion toward God.
Heb:10:38: "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."
Written By: Bishop Lloyd R. Ocampo
Taken from IGF's "Renewed" Newsletter click here to subscribe
Read more articles by Lloyd Ocampo or search for articles on the same topic or others.