"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:1-2
The order of the day seems to be, "If you want to do it, go for it; everybody's doing it." Few seem to make any effort to control their passions, live by any just standard of truth, or uphold any rational guideline of morals. We are living in a pluralistic society, which is making inroads into our traditional evangelical churches. They proclaim, "It really doesn't make any difference who your god is. There's good in all religions; they all lead to heaven, so worship whatever god pleases you."
Materialism has engulfed our lifestyle to the extent that we think "matter" is the only reality. We should grab all we can get, because "the one who has the most toys wins." It's good to have lots of things, but it's better to have more. Surrounded by the accumulation of things they have sought to make them happy, they find themselves living in a superficial world of materialism, without fulfillment, without God, and without hope.
Another false philosophy making the rounds is "hedonism." The goal of this lifestyle is "pleasure." It is our "moral duty" to obtain gratification in a pleasure-seeking life. Pleasure is paramount, so enjoy as much of it as you can. Solomon sought this approach at the end of his life and found that all such efforts are but vanity, vanity, vanity!
Why do I say all of this (and there are many more such philosophies that people embrace as they seek the "real meaning of life") and why should we be concerned? Because the secular world, under the beguiling influence of Satan, is seeking to redefine our values and undermine the standards of believers. Followers of these beliefs infiltrate our churches and try to influence Christians to live compromising lives. One destructive thought is to envelop our thinking to compartmentalize our behavior: "Go to church on Sunday, identify with Christians, join in the services rendered, but live as you please the rest of the week--or as soon as you get out of church. Don't expect the truth you have heard to be effective in any way in your life. Simply give a mental assent to what you have heard, and set your own course in life."
Another entrapment is the willingness to violate our own conscience. We know better, but we act anyway. We lower the standards to accommodate our own desires, and the danger increases. We rationalize our thinking by comparing our standards to the lives of others. Jeremiah said, "The way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walks to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). Our standards, our direction, our way must be found outside of ourselves in Jesus Christ, in the Word of God. There is nothing within man to give him a true sense of direction. "Thy Word is a lamp unto thy feet and a light unto thy path" (Psalm 119:105). Until we align our hearts to God's Word, we will never find what our soul seeks more than anything else: peace with God and true fulfillment in life, living under His Lordship and the Sovereignty of His will!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission