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Echoes From the Campfire

     “When a man believes in a thing strongly enough, there is a price too high to pay. There is a point where compromise costs him too much.”
               --Elmer Kelton (The Time It Never Rained)

     "Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him."
               --Malachi 3:18 (NKJV)
     Complacency, compromise, and outright rejection is becoming prevalent in our society and in our relationship to God. God cries, "what do I have to do to find a people who will fully trust me?" (see Numbers 14:10-11). After all the miracles and God with them day-by-day, the people still murmured and complained and doubted.
     The writer of Hebrews said this, "Watch out, brothers, so that there won't be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that departs from the living God." (Hebrews 3:12, HCSB) The church, and that is speaking in generalities, is more interested in being entertained than developing a heart of faith. One reason is that there is the thought out there that faith is instantaneous, however, in reality faith may take a lifetime. The term for faith in the Old Testament is actually faithfulness. Being faithful should be a lifestyle of trusting in God, not a fulfillment of a random wish or fancy.
     Part of the duty in this last days, these days of terror and turmoil, is to build each other up. That is not done by a few half-hearted bless you brothers. Daily we are to be an encourager so that others will not develop a hard heart. Look again at Hebrews 3:13-15 (HCSB):

          "But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin's deception. For we have become companions of the Messiah if we hold firmly until the end the reality that we had at the start. As it is said: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion."

     Therefore, in these days in which we now live let the reality of seeing Him make you prudent. This current season of testing may end, but our battle against the flesh and the devil are never ended. Do not become complacent! Do not compromise with the world! You need to prepare for new battles. You need to do away with compromises and distractions that render your faith ineffective.
     The year is half-way over. Maybe it is time to make or recall resolutions that were made at the beginning of the year. Maybe it is time to get rid of compromise and the cloak of complacency. Here are three suggestions for resolutions by Carlos Murphy for the person who sees themselves drifting into Hebrews 3.

          1) Do not seek your comfort, but His glory. There is a shaking that is beginning to happen. The complacent and compromising man will be swept away. Remember that God is ever dealing with the earth.
          2) Place your eyes squarely on God. Attention focused on the world will only cause grief and faintheartedness.
          3) Resolve new allegiance to God. Do not let other "things" become you master. Do not seek to please men. Be as the Apostle Paul, "For me, to live is Christ...." (Philippians 1:21, NIV).

     This is a time of choosing for the church. This is a time to stand and after having done all, to continue to stand--no matter what. "We are not promised the world will get better; only that He will never leave us. Do not drop your sword or take off your armor in these days of sorrows!" (Carlos Murphy)

D.C. Adkisson

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