ESTHER’S WARRIORS MINISTRY
Seek: Stay Equipped, Empowered, Kingdom focused!
I pray this finds you well and prospering. A concept that kept surfacing for me all week is hypocrisy. I have spent some time pondering hypocrisy and the fruit thereof in one’s life. The dictionary gives insincerity, pretense, duplicity, two-faced, falseness, unfaithfulness and double minded as synonyms of hypocrisy.
What is Your Life Worth?
Job 27:8 says, “For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he may gain much, if God takes away his life [KJV soul]?” This reading was my first and profound encounter with the word hypocrite this week. Despite what a hypocrite may gain through false living God can take away his/her very soul. I never really thought about that. Did you? Often in life it is easy to only see what you want to see and to justify your response based your judgment of another. When you judge and justify your own behavior you can miss making a Godly response in a given situation. Yet your very soul lies in the balance weighed by the choices you make on a daily basis. Think about that. Jesus tells us in Luke 12:1, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”
Would You Recognize Hypocrisy?
Let us look at a few concrete examples of hypocrisy. First, if you say you are a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ yet you gossip, speak ill of or demean other people, denominations or races you are in fact a hypocrite. If you criticize someone because they do not look like you or talk as you do you miss it. You profess one thing but believe and live something quite the opposite. That is hypocrisy. You may not even be aware that you are living a life of duplicity. The roots go deep and are often generational.
Here is another example. Do you drive while talking or texting on your cell phone? If that is illegal in your state it is against the law. If you rationalize that “everyone does it” you are still breaking the law. It is that simple. You may be inclined to think that this is legalism. It is not. God will not honor rationalizing behavior outside the law no matter how trivial it may seem. “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” Luke 16:10 New Living Translation (NLT) How you act is who you are. You can say whatever sounds good but if your actions are contrary to what is right you are still wrong. “…Hypocrites…drown themselves in destruction and perdition.” Charles G. Finney, “Stewardship”
Being hypocritical is being double-minded. James 1:8 tells us that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. How can you have stability in your life when hypocrisy throws the entire balance of your daily walk out of order? If you are dishonest even on the seemingly smallest level it is nonetheless deceitful. The way of the world may accept such dishonesty as acceptable. However, deceit is never okay for one who wants to live according to principles of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus tells us to love one another. You alone are responsible to safeguard your heart (for it is always a heart issue). You are responsible for every word you speak and every action you take. What you speak becomes the life you live. It all starts in your heart. Really be aware of your thoughts and words this week. Are they life affirming to you and those around you or are they two-faced and false? You can change the direction you are going by changing your thoughts and words. Take the challenge!
How Are You in the Small Things?
God wants you faithful in the little things so it will be well with you. The more He can count on your integrity the more He will trust you with. Do not compromise what He has for you. Do not chip away your integrity one word or action at a time. Do not walk in hypocrisy even on the smallest level. It is just not worth it.
You either live a life of integrity or you do not. There is no in between. Personal responsibility is becoming less and less visible today on all societal levels. It is up to each of us to live accountable lives. Does this mean you have to live a life void of joy? Absolutely not! It simply means that if something is wrong it is wrong. Period. All the rationalizing in the world does not make it right. My mother used to say, “If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you?” As a child I thought she was a bit daffy. Her words make so much sense now. Just because “everyone else” does something that does not make it right in the eyes of God. I always like to think that if Jesus were visibly here would I justify my behavior by telling Him “but everyone else does it?” In reality He is ever present. Choose whom you follow. Is it the way of society or is it the life affirming way of the Kingdom of God?
Hear the Call and Arise!
God is looking for folks with integrity to stand up in this season. He is looking for those He can count on to arise with wisdom and balance and be the light in the darkness of the world. Take some time this week to re-read what hypocrisy means. Search your own heart and weed out any areas that are false. Be specific in your life. Your thoughts, words and actions have results. Start afresh with single-minded focus on the things of the Lord. Walk in the way He prepares for you and leave the unsteadiness of the world behind. We are to be the light in the darkness of the world. The picture I chose this week was taken from my room on a visit to Pennsylvania. The sunrise displays the light of the cross rising after the dark of night. Be the light.
A Prayer Request
Thank you for your continued faithfulness to pray. Please keep all who serve our country, our servicemen and women and their families in prayer for salvation and safety. They are our frontline on the battlefield, let us be their frontline in the spirit. Also, let us cover all who have come home wounded that they and their families will receive the kindness, help and support they need to go forward in their lives. God bless all our diplomatic and military personnel and their families. Please pray for all in authority over us, for the full truth to come forth concerning Benghazi, for all affected by recent devastating weather conditions and for safety in Israel. May God richly bless the United States of America and keep her safe. May we may arise united in this auspicious season in our country’s history.
My Prayer for You
Father I lift up my friend reading this and I thank You that You see the deepest thoughts and issues in their heart. I thank You that in Your infinite mercy and grace You lead them to those places not in line with Your best for them. Help them in the power of Your Holy Spirit to renounce worldly ways and patterns and to fix their focus on You and You alone. I thank You, Father, that Your desire is that none should perish. Show us Your way even in the smallest things. Continue to lead and guide us that our life will be pleasing to You in Jesus’ name. Amen and amen.
Do Not Miss This: Tonight begins the miniseries, The Bible, at 8 p.m. on the History channel. It will run through Easter Sunday. As more Bible movies are being developed in Hollywood, pray that these endeavors will reach far beyond what we can think or imagine in Jesus’ name.