Yesterday we looked at living and dying to God’s glory. This journey is never about ourselves but all for the Glory of God. In order to live and die this way, we must be totally surrendered to God. This means we live and die by His word. If we do this, the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon us in power. We need the glory of God to fill his temple once again just like at the temple with Solomon and just like Pentecost with the disciples. We then must continue to live in obedience and be submitted to God and live by his word. Unfortunately over time the word of God gets set aside for man’s word about God. Sadly the words and teachings of man dominate scripture and they are set aside for his traditions, reasoning and experiences. The longer this happens, the further from the truth we get. It is a very simple concept. When we stop reading and listening to the word of God, we disobey. When we disobey, God turns His face from us and the enemy prevails. This will continue until we turn back and repent as laid out in Chronicles. Here the Lord appears to Solomon and speaks to him. Notice this starts off with no rain, locusts and plagues. This is where the church stands now. Obviously God’s people have turned away. 2 Chronicles 7:13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. 17 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.’ 19 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21 This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22 People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.”
                So as man over time has sought out and listened to the likes of the early church fathers and writers such as CS Lewis, who was deeply influenced by Tolkien. Then at the same time because men and women were turning from scriptures, these writings then begin to carry a lot of weight in how we view God. We then end up with the likes of Young and his Shack which is the result of the journey away from the word of God and many in the church having zero discernment approve the writing as if from God. I mentioned Lewis as I believe the intrigue with the mythical and demonic was dangerous for the church. Notice it comes through children. Those children now adults think, what’s wrong with the Shack. One writer wrote, “Tolkien and Lewis shared the belief that through myth and legend—for centuries the mode many cultures had used to communicate their deepest truths—a taste of the Christian gospel's "True Myth" could be smuggled past the barriers and biases of secularized readers.” I’m sorry, is the word of God not able to do that on its own. This is what happens when we operate in the flesh. So is it really God’s word that the secularized hearers are hearing or is it the secularized church just speaking to the secular world. Maybe this is why so many Christians have no problem with the “The Hobbit and “The Lord of the Rings” and why so many are enthralled with Narnia. Are they really children’s fantasies or have they planted a dangerous seed of deception?  Wouldn’t it be healthier to focus on what Jesus said to his disciples as opposed to what satan says to his. (Screwtape Letters) These writings developed an unhealthy interest in mythical tales. Is it really true myth when filled with magic and sorcery?
                I noticed that Franklin Graham is upset about the “exclusively gay moment” in the new film Beauty and the Beast. Graham said, “I met Walt Disney when I was a young boy—He'd be shocked at what has happened to the company he started.” He also said, “Disney has the right to make their cartoons, it’s a free country. But as Christians we also have the right to not support their company.” So yes I do agree that homosexuality is an abomination before God according to His word but I also believe we must have the power of the Holy Spirit to bring healing to those entangled in this. This is not hatred towards a person but hatred of an abomination. We do not have this power as of yet. So now we protest Disney because of this issue when we should have already been concerned with all the witchcraft / black magic and sorcery in Disney’s movies like Disney’s 1940 movie Fantasia - The Sorcerer's Apprentice and all the other ones filled with witchcraft. See how this works in children. Hey it’s just a mouse practicing black magic, just saying! Again our discernment is lacking.
                Judges 2:10 tells us “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.” The problem is no one seems to be in any distress thus not repenting. Deuteronomy 19:32 The Lord saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. 20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful. 28 They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them. 29 If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be!”
                We have been warned over and over to obey. We have also been warned what happens if we do not. Why do you think Jesus, in the great commission said Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Deuteronomy 29:22 “Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it. 23 The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, which the Lord overthrew in fierce anger. 24 All the nations will ask: “Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?” 25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”
                It is pretty obvious that the church has fallen away from following God’s word wholeheartedly. 2 Kings 17:34 “To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the Lord nor adhere to the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands that the Lord gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel. 35 When the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. 36 But the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. 37 You must always be careful to keep the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. 38 Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. 39 Rather, worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” 40 They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. 41 Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.”
                We must obey the word of the Lord and do what the bible tells us. If we trust God he will fight our battles and the tables will be turned. We must ask God for discernment. Solomon said in 1 Kings 3:9 “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.”
                In this day of deception, we need great discernment. We must continue to obey the word of God. We need our eyes and ears opened once again.
    Deuteronomy 30:15 “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.”