July 1

Jeremiah 51-52, Psalm 27

The world that we leave behind as Christians often maintains it's claws on us, which prevents us from living the Spirit filled life that God desires for us. John Piper said, "If you don't see the greatness of God then all the things that money can buy become very exciting. If you can't see the sun you will be impressed with a street light. If you've never felt thunder and lightning you'll be impressed with fireworks. And if you turn your back on the greatness and majesty of God you'll fall in love with a world of shadows and short-lived pleasures." John Wesley said, "The best means of resisting the devil is, to destroy whatever of the world remains in us, in order to raise for God, upon its ruins, a building all of love. Then shall we begin, in this fleeting life, to love God as we shall love Him in eternity." Lastly, Andrew Murray said, "A true revival means nothing less than a revolution, casting out the spirit of worldliness and selfishness, and making God and His love triumph in the heart and life."

Despite all that Jeremiah prophesied to the people of Judah, they would not listen mostly because their worldly desires and the status quo in which they lived blinded them to the things of the Spirit. Now in Babylon he offers them the same plea in the future to flee from Babylon and its worldliness (this also holds true in end times in the future Babylon of Revelation). In Jer. 51:6, he says in no uncertain terms, "Flee from the midst of Babylon, and every one save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity, For this is the time of the Lord's vengeance; He shall recompense her." Again he says in Jer 51:45, "My people, go out of the midst of her! And let everyone deliver himself from the fierce anger of the Lord." God knows our reluctance to leave the old ways behind and draw near to Him and depend on Him. When Moses led the Israelites through the Red Sea, if they had walked straight to the Promised Land it would have been an eleven day journey. But God took them on a circuitous course which took one year (it was their disobedience which made it take 40 years). It has been said that God made them take the year because He knew it was easier to get the Israelites out of Egypt (always a picture of the world) than it was to get Egypt (the world) out of the people of Israel.

The world blinds us and lulls us into a stupor. Jesus knew this, that is why he cautioned in the end of His discussion of end times in Matthew 24, to stay vigilant and maintain our focus on Him, so that we do not find ourselves unprepared when He comes back (Matthew 24:36-51). For us to live the Spirit filled life , we need to give him more than the slivers of the pie of our life we are willing to relinquish, but instead allow Him to be the filling of the pie which permeates every area of our lives. May we adopt the vision of the author of Hebrews, where he wrote in 12:1-2, "...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...".

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Aaron Salvato