In the perilous, deceptive times in which we live, we ALL face a serious human dilemma relative to a need for belonging, acceptance and sociability that challenges our commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and our fulfillment of what He has called us to do. The truth is that built into the human frame is a desire to be liked, accepted as well as approved of.
We seek to fulfill that innate need through people pleasing.
I watched a movie written and directed by Lawrence Fishburne that graphically makes my point. Called “Once In the Life” with two of my favorite actors—- Fishburne and Eamonn Walker as the main characters,— these two men played the part of the closest of friends from “back in the day.” In fact, they had developed an intimate alliance from having shared the same prison cell when they had been jailed for the crimes they had committed as street hoodlums. “In the life” is a colloquial phrase used by pimps and prostitutes, gamblers and those who “do what they do” behind closed doors and in the darkness of night in unsavory places.
Once these two were released from prison, Fishburne counted on that friendship to his own destruction, for Walker had lied to him and said that he had left the life of dope dealing and crime. In fact, Walker’s character was sent to kill Fishburne for a dope deal gone bad and Fishburne gullibly dropped his defenses, not believing that his best friend would be the one to kill him. Walker not only shot Fishburne while they were in an embrace, he poured gasoline all over the hideout and burned it down along with Fishburne’s dead body.
The point of the movie is in its title. “Once IN the life,” there is no getting OUT! Like the mafia, life in the underworld is a precarious place where even your best friends can become your worst enemies. The Lord Jesus Christ has spoken to His elect in like manner:
“AND A MAN’S FOES SHALL BE THEY OF HIS OWN HOUSEHOLD!” (Matt 10:36)
How does this scripture play out today among Christians? What I have discoverd from personal experience is that some who may fundamentally agree with your position and even your beliefs can still be your worst enemies because they refuse to face the truth themselves.
Not to waste time is truly an important accomplishment for I must work while it is day, for when my night comes, my work will be over. Recently a professing Christian came into my life that I could have wasted loads of precious time on because “we agreed on ALL of the essentials doctrines.
We agreed that the age of the organized church is over. The enemy also sent someone with a confirming sign that I did not buy into. It was quite an uncanny sign that was suppose to confirm that this particular “friend” was sent by God to assist me in the work that I am called to. Even though I grew to care for this person, I did not allow my emotion or a need for a friend to override my commonsense. In this particular case , Satan was more clever than I am used to. With a tongue full of flattery, and a feigned commitment, this “friend” appeared to understand my ministerial work and calling better than anyone had done in 30 years. Yet it took less than 3 months for the enemy to be exposed. The Satanic agenda was to bring about such disappointment and confusion, as well as to actually turn others against me by lifting me up—by “selling” me to others way too profusely.In fact, my faithful friends were getting turned off by my “frienemy’s “hard sell” of me to them. Then when the axe of rejection was suddenly dropped upon me, I was supposed to become so grieved that I would “give up” the message and become despondent.
Disappointed, I certainly was. However, the message IN me is as clear and as strong as it ever was. I remain centered and on task. For I have long given up the notion that I need anyone but the Holy Ghost to either exalt or abase me.
This is the key. If you put the truth in the face of those around you without fear of rejection from those you care about, their reaction will expose “what you need to see and to know ABOUT THEM!!!.” And you will redeem your time WITHOUT INCURRING EMOTIONAL ABUSE OR SPIRITUAL DAMAGE.
Below find the issues that those who are stuck on being accepted are facing from an anonymous author”
“Saints cannot participate in most of that which is offered by the churches. Participation with the events of most churches (or even the goals and membership requirements) violate their covenant with Jesus. The dilemma of the saints in 2011 is where can they fellowship?
Those who truly hear the Spirit will be grieved. Or like Lot, they will be vexed in their spirits with most of what is offered in the religious buffet served up today. Because of loneliness, some have compromised and re-entered the religious playground. The majority of emails and letters I receive are from those who have been dislodged in various religious circles and have nothing in common with the milieu of today. When they have tried to re-enter the congregations, they do so as spectators who are often looked upon as “outcasts.”
Some, after being awakened, rationalize their desire to stay “churched.” They claim that “God wants me to remain and be a witness.” How can this be? God said “Come ye OUT from among them and be separate.” Besides, I believe very few of them rise up in meetings or elsewhere and declare openly the errors they encounter.
Reformation simply is Not Going to Happen! Reform of the masses of congregations is not on God’s agenda. It wasn’t in Jesus’ day, nor is it in our own. Nowhere in the New Testament account of Jesus’ ministry is there found one trace of evidence He believed the Temple would experience reform or revival. The same is today! STOP TRYING!”
These are not my words but they certainly COULD BE!
My testimony of how I overcame authoritarian spiritual abuse is described in Come Out of Her, God’s People.