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A Wisdom Retreat - September 23

Becoming the Exception

Deuteronomy 8:6
Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

Believers once knew what it meant to fear God. Men like John Huss and John Wycliffe willingly faced death for refusing to denounce their faith, knowing that God had warned, "If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father."

Men like Jim Elliot and Nate Saint refused to use their guns against the attacking natives, believing that dying for Christ was far more important than killing unbelievers who would never have another chance at salvation. But this kind of reverence for God and His gospel is rare today.

Today, the church is not only losing its testimony—it is no longer living up to it. Warren Wiersbe writes in his book, The Integrity Crisis, these sharp and painful words:

For nineteen centuries the church has been telling the world to admit and confess its sins. Today, in the twilight of the twentieth century, the world is telling the church to face up to its sins and to begin living what it preaches.

I might add that is true for us in the twenty-first century! For hundreds of years, men have stood firm in the gospel despite being persecuted, laughed at, and at times, slaughtered. But a shift has taken place. Now, not only do Christians shy away from persecution and hardship, questioning God in the midst of it, but their lives are full of sin, hiding under the cloak of religion rather than living up to their testimony.

Part of the problem is rooted in our shamefully low viewpoint of God. When we hear truth from God's Word, we are convicted but not changed; we are challenged but not converted.

It naturally follows that an inferior view of God will birth a shallow view of His Word.

Today, the Bible is not only being questioned and debated, but it is being disobeyed. Why? The fear of the Lord is no longer before our eyes. Christ has become an after-thought, rather than an all-consuming thought.

Reverence for the things of God takes a back seat today in the public arena. The crowd who claim the name of Christ but float downstream in the current of popular culture find their lives swirling in the eddy of religious pluralism, inclusivism, and universalism— spiraling rapidly downward—moving farther and farther away from distinctiveness and purity.

This crowd becomes the rule. You must choose to be . . . the exception.

Prayer Point: Pray for the kind of faith in God that Abraham had, the kind of purity that Joseph had, and the kind of heart that David had. Pray that God will teach you to fear and love Him, and ask for strength to live an extraordinary life for Him.

Extra Refreshment: Read Hebrews 11—a chapter filled to the brim with the names of people who have lived in fear of God and who are being rewarded for it now.

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Christianity / Devotionals / A Wisdom Retreat with Stephen Davey / A Wisdom Retreat - September 23