Please give glory and honor to God for anything that we have done. It is only through Him that we were able to accomplish the things mentioned here.
Message Updated January 2020
This is Chapter 17 of Dave's book "Zambia (Prophetically Speaking) On the Move."
COMPROMISE - MOVE AWAY FROM THE LINE
When the church comes together expecting something to happen, God doesn't disappoint. We know that many times we are disappointed with other people because of their actions or because of them not keeping their promises. Sometimes, we probably even feel disappointed with God also, but the truth is, God does not disappoint.
And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem:and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. (Luke 5:17)
Notice that the power of the Lord was present to heal them. No healing was taking place at this time, but healing was available to them. Whenever the church gets together, two or more gathered in the name of Jesus, the power of the Lord is present to heal.
And, behold, men brought in a bed, a man which was taken with a palsy (paralysis): and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went on the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the middle before Jesus. (Luke 5:18-19)
Not much was expected by the Pharisees and doctors to happen that day. There was, however, a determined group of men who came to get what they expected. Otherwise, they would have never gone through all that effort to carry the sick man on his couch and find a way no matter what it took to lower the man through the ceiling tiles to get near Jesus. These men were coming with an attitude! They not only expected the power to be present, but they expected that same power to heal, and they knew the healer who could do it - Jesus.
To the Pharisees, it probably seemed like just another service until they saw the commotion on the roof. I would also suggest that many of us (including myself) would not be expecting something that dramatic to happen today. Yet, during that service with Jesus, similar to most church services today, the power to heal is present.
And when he saw their faith, he said to him, Man, your sins are forgiven you.(Luke 5:20)
But that you may know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins, (he said to the sick of the palsy,) I say to you arise, and take up your couch, and go into your house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that where on he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God, and they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things today. (Luke 5:24-26)
The key for that group of men was to get the sick man near Jesus. They could have sent a messenger, wrote a letter, called on the telephone(ha), but no, they had to get this man near Jesus. Jesus probably kept on teaching until the man was before him. Imagine, though, the congregation. Indeed, they had seen some strange things that day. It is possible that we could see the same type of strange things here today? It probably won't happen through the roof, but certainly possible through these doors. A small group of people so determined to get near Jesus that they would be willing to do whatever it took. It is the same God, the same Holy Spirit that moved on that small group of men that is also here today. Remember the woman with the issue of blood? She literally pressed through the crowds and wouldn't be satisfied until she touched the hem of Jesus' garment. And yet, some of the disciples tried to stop her and told her not to bother the master.
Today, some of us might get in the way when we think that strange things (unknown or something different or new) would happen.
Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (Hebrews 3:12)
Our pride gets in the way and says that we know how something has to happen. It has to be this certain way, because that's the only was that we could imagine it. Our heart begins to harden, and we begin a slow departure away from God and away from what He's doing. This was the state of the Pharisees. With their doubt and hearts of unbelief, they were starting to deceive themselves and thought they had it all figured out about what God can do and what He could not do. Indeed, there were strange things going on that day!
What am I saying? What was the purpose of this group of men? The purpose was to get the sick man near Jesus. It is important for us in the church today to get and stay near Jesus. Oh yeah, we'll come in and go out of His presence, back and forth at our pleasure. We'll run to God when all else fails, and we'll cry out to Him when we're desperate; but what I'm talking about is our everyday walk in choosing to dwell in His presence; choosing to sit at His feet; chosing to rejoice evermore in worship and praise; choosing to pray without ceasing; choosing to not only hear His voice through the Word, but also to obey it; and then choosing to continue to give Him thanks in everything. It has got to be our choice, every day, in all situation, and in all circumstances.
I believe that most of us desire to get closer to Jesus than we are now, but what is it that keeps us from really getting closer to Him? What is it that keeps us from having an attitude like that small group of men determined to get what they came for and determined to see God's power and authority manifested in their lives?
I believe that a key issue that needs to be addrressed is compromise. We need to move away from the line. In Webster's dictionary, compromise means: a settlement in which each side makes concessions. Compromise is something midway and down the middle, a setlement that lays itself open to danger, suspicion, and disrepute. Compromise becomes a stronghold in our minds. What are the two sides in our compromise? One side of the settlement is the world and its ways, and the other side of the settlement is the Kingdom of God and His ways. We have one foot in the worlld and one foot in the kingdom.
We have found middle ground, not fully commmitted to either side. At times, both feet seem to be solidly entrenched in both worlds, and at other itmes, one foot moves from one toward the other. Sometimes we go in either direction for a while, sometimes toward God and sometimes toward the world. The line runs between our feet, separating the world's ways from God's ways. This middle ground lays itself open to danger, suspicion, and disrepute (disgrace, and decline in your reputation.) We become very unsteady in our walk and ways, and pretty easily swayed by one opinion or another, constantly on the move, changing direction often.
Some of us are standing too close to the line. Our lives are like a rollercoaster ride, with praising the Lord on Sunday and groaning and moaning on Monday. One moment we're experiencing the presence of Almighty God, and the next feeling loneliness, rejection or depression. One time we experience joy, the next anger. We try to function according to two standards. The problem though, is that they are opposite standards: the world's ways lead to destruction and death, and God's way leads to life and life abundantly. When the gusts of wind or storms come near the line (a trial, situation, or circumstance) we trip, stumble, and fall because our confidence was in the flesh (circumstance or situation). It is much harder to recover when we fall on or near the line.
Compromise requires us to give up some of the promise, to void some of the covenant, to withdraw some of the power and authority given us, so that we can appease the world and satisfy our flesh. In compromise, one does not have to forsake all, just give up some. Therein lays our greatest problem.
I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth (Rev 3:15-16).
Lukewarm can no longer be an option.
But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil. (Matt 5:37)
It can be yes or no, but not gray.
When we're totally committed in the kingdom and have moved away from the line, when the same trial, situation, or circumstance come, we may trip, but won't get knocked off our feet. The effect won't be as severe as it would have been standing on or near the line. We find out we are actually better prepared to handle it. We can even encounter the same problems, situations and circumstance as one would near the line, but we'll handle them totally differently. We must move closer to Jesus and farther away from the line. It is important to plant both feet firmly and securely in the kingdom and as far away from the line as possible. We must put our confidence in Christ, in His word, believing all of His promises are true for us.
The reason so many of us have little problems that grow into mountains is that we're either not prepared or standing too close to the line. The Holy Spirit can't speak to us clearly and give clear direction, because we get so caught up in what's going on around us that we don't hear or recognize His voice. The further you get from the line of compromise toward Jesus, the more clearly you will hear and the more confidence you can put in Christ to see you through and deliver you than the confidence you've put in yourself or the circumstance with which you are dealing.
Compromise causes the church in general today to look too much like the world for the church to radically influence the world.
And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness. (I JOhn 5:19).
The world already has its heros and stars that infuence it and its policies, and corrupt thinking to rule it. The reality is that it will take something a whole lot different than what the world has already seen to have any impact on it. It will take some strange things to occur to get their attention. However, the same is still also true in the church.
The truth is, we will not reach people in our city, community, or country by becoming more like them. Christians today have the same statistics as that of unbelievers; divorce rates, abortion, etc. We have compromised our words, our actions and our integrity. We live like the world all week and try to bring that lifestyle into the church on Sunday morning, and then wonder why we become so uncomfortable in church. After all we weren't that uncomfortable at home or out on the town with our friends.
We often consider what is happening during the week at our jobs, or in our homes, as normal. That is why it becomes so difficult to participate on Sunday. To the world, the world's ways are normal and acceptable. To the church, the world is lost and getting darker and darker. To God, the church is supposed to be the norm (if we're conducting oursleves in a God-like manner) and shining brighter and brighter. We are called to be light in the world. Scripture says that we are not of this world, but are in this world. If we are not of this world, why then do we try so hard to keep imitating the world and its ways?
The kingdom of God is different from the kingdoms of this world, and we are supposed to be serving a different king. Praise God we do that. I'm only speaking to the enormous amount of influence that is coming from the world's ways. What should be considered normal for the Christian life is what hapens in Church. After all, isn't that where we come to get equipped, edified, encouraged and built up? What happens in church must be our "normal" for our lives each day of the week, and then we take that normalcy to the outside world and influence it with Christ-like faith and action. It should never be the opposite. Because in the world, we want control and seek to satisfy the flesh, bring pleasure through our lusts, ect., and let the flesh rule; however, in the churh, we crucify the flesh and let the Holy Spirit direct, guide and control our lives.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me: and the life whih I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. (Gal 2:20)
To change the hearts of man, others must first see the changes in our hearts. We're still enjoying far too many of the pleasures of this world and are not willing to pay the price. We are trapped with the maybes, should haves, could haves, and what ifs, when we should simply say yes or no.
The devil is still in the business of orchestrating compromise in our lives. Compromise runs rampant in the body of Christ today. We must get rid of the copromise in our lives.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mannon. (Matt 6:24)
Yet some of us have figured out how to just get by, so we run back and forth between our fleshly desires in the world and our spiritual position and calling in Christ.
In compromise, we all too often settle for a whole lot less that what God has planned. Compromise gradually deadens our senses to the things of God. It deadens our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and weakens our ability to hear God's voice. Compromise extinguishes our faith. In compromise, we're always figuring how to get by rather than how to press in closer. The more we compromise, the more we settle for less than God's best, the more we'll entrench both feet along the line. People are deceived with compromise.
It will take cosiderable effort on our part to change our behavior and turn totally away from the world and toward God, thus putting both feet solidly in the kingdom. Compromise doesn't happen all at once with one big step, but instead we start to depart one little step at a time. It is the small things that add up to where we lose our faith and trust in the Lord. Getting out of compromise is the same way. We must chose, one small step at a time to move farther away from the line. We will either move closer to God, or start departing one step at a time.
It is only by His grace and our desire to dwell with Jesus that living the Christian (Christ-like) life will work. We can't have a different lifestyle outside the church. Our church lifestyle has to be the only one. There is a reality in God that we must pursue and experience. We must press on and press in like we have never done before. We must make the choice.
It requires a great price to be paid and a living sacrifice to be made. We must walk out the Word that we know so well. We already have enough Word, we know how to do it, we just have to walk it out and live it. God wants 100% committment. Every promise in the Bible is 100% surety for us, when we accept our part. He gave us His only Son so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. How much are we willing to gve Him of our lives?
Let's separate the precious from the junk: let's separate oursleves unto God, getting away from the world's ways, and He will deliver us from the hands of the wicked. He'll deliver us from the grasp of the world.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Rom 8:28)
We must genuinely love God, submit to the things of God, and resist the things of the devil for all things to work for good.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
Resist means to aggressively move away. We must aggressively move away from what the world has to offer and move toward Jesus.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:18)
And Elijah came to all the people, and said, How long halt you between two oinions? If the LORD be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him, (I Kings 18:21)
It is the same today. Who do we choose to follow? God is elminating the gray areas in our lives. We can't advocate our choice. We must choose whom we will serve.
I really believe that God has been moving us out from an entertainment phase (one where we just come to get blessed in the church) to where we are now more willing to hear and accept the harder Word in the church - the Word that takes us deeper into the heart of God, into more intimate relationship, causing changes in our hearts, and taking us into areas that will prepare us for the coming days.
There is a new day coming to the church and body of Christ. Some of that new day has already arrived. We're beginning to see some of it, and yet another part is here, but we haven't experienced it yet. More of that new day is coming soon. As we move away from the line, we'll begin to see more clearly with our spiritual eyes. Let me share some thoughts regarding a new day. There are basically seven statement to that new day:
Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen on you. (Isaiah 60:1)
The coming revival is not directly for the church, but for the lost. We are His chosen vessels to reach the lost, to be a Jesus carrier. We must continue to lay down our lives as a living sacrifice. We must get ready now. We must prepare. Indeed, the power of the Lord to heal is present; the power to forgive is here, the power to reconcile us to God is here. Holiness will be restored to the people of God. We have what it takes to move away from the line and get closer to Jesus, more than we ever have before. Jesus has prepared the way and paved the road. The Holy Spirit will direct and guide as we allow Him. Jesus is drawing us; will we respond and obey? We must come to the place where we can clearly hear His voice. We must make a quality decision to hear His voice and then obey it. We must get serious about moving farther away from the line. We must get serious about getting the compromise out of our lives. Jesus has so much more in store for us in the days ahead. Today is a new day. Let's walk in this new day and prepare ourselves for tomorrow.
If we're committed today to start dealing with some of the ares of compromise in our lives, then let's step out as an act of faith and tell Jesus that we are serious. Just talking about it isn't going to change anything. Christ requires action on our part. We won't get out all of the compromise right away, but we can willingly commit to deal with them, one area at a time, and continue to move farther from the line and closer to Jesus.
Prayer and Declaration:
Lord, help us to deal with the compromise in our lives. Help us to better understand You and Your ways, and to move as far away from the line of compromise as we can. We want to remove all gray areas in our lives. Help us to move away from the middle. Our response shall be only yes or no. We as a people will not give up any of the promises that you have for us. We shall no longer settle for less that what You Lord, have planned and prepared for us.
We choose to pay the price and to make whatever sacrifices we need to make in our lives to follow hard after You.
Thank you, Lord, for the new day that is come to Zambia and it's people. It is Your day Lord, and it also our day. We declare that the miraculous will become more commmon place in Zambia. We declare that we shall experience tremendous growth in our churches, evangelism efforts, and harvest. We declare that the unusual miracles will begin to take place amoung Your people.
We declare that new ministries will be released in this new day, and that more saints will be equipped and released to do Your work. We declare that more victories will be won in prayer. We declare that our love for You and for others will grow stronger, and that we will come into more unity amoung us. We declare that the glory of God will be manifested through Your people.
We shall arise and shine for You this new day. Thank you Lord, for this new day in Zambia.
Blessings, Pr. Dave Keating
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