“Abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (ESV)
Higher calling requires a higher standard! As we ascend the most holy hill of the LORD (Psalm 24:3-6), we must rise to new levels of holiness, purity and integrity. God calls us to be separate as He is separate. What was acceptable last year should not be acceptable this year as you ascend the holy mount of God. To ascend mean to climb, to go up, to arise, and to mount. As we pray for more of God we must realize there is a price to pay for more power, more presence and more intimacy with Jesus! We can come to Him as we are, but to journey onward with Him requires us to become more like Him. If you are the same as you were last year, doing the same things, you most likely have plateaued in your faith. Our faith is dynamic and if we are not climbing, we have either settled (stopped moving on) or worse, have begun to descend.
Here is one example. The word is clear about witchcraft being an abomination (Galatians 5:20, Deuteronomy 18:9-15, 1 Samuel 15:23). But did you realize that your TV is a portal? There is a reason it is called tele-vision. It’s channeling rubbish into your home! What is channeled in through that ‘medium’ defiles. You may be very intentional with what you watch, but let me tell you, the enemy is very intentional in defiling you with the commercials. If you’re not intentional with what you watch, well, that’s another issue you must address. I guarantee you have grown calloused to the wickedness you take in. Please ask the Lord if you need to get rid of cable, and/or even stop watching all TV!!!
Here’s some more examples. What about going to the theater? Most movies being shown are, to say the least, not wholesome! But when you go to the theater, those who know you may see you there and not know which movie you are going to see. Paul warns not just to stay away from evil but to stay away from the appearance of evil! Please pray about it! Having said that, I confess we are going to the theatre in early December to see The Chosen Christmas Special!
If that isn’t enough (and it’s not), what about Netflix? Here’s a company that loudly promotes, and financially backs abortion, and the LGBTQ+ agenda, and other things that defiles. By the way, God calls abortion an abomination. Should you be partnering with any company that is an abomination to God? While we are asking that, what about Starbucks or Disney? I know I am rocking some boats, but please do your homework and lay it before the Lord to see what He desires for you as you ascend His most holy hill. If you are ok with displeasing Him, and walking in compromise, go ahead and keep bringing this rubbish into your home and supporting those businesses that are an abomination to God. If you do care, lay it all before the Lord, surrender your life afresh and tell Him you will cut anything and everything that is not pleasing to Him! Paul tells us that all things are permissible, but not everything is beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23).
When Peter spoke at Pentecost he yelled out to the crowd, “Save yourself from the perverted generation” (Acts 2:40). How do you stand up against a twisted, perverse generation? The only way to do that is by walking in the Holy Spirit, intentionally ascending the Holy Hill and crying out for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our day!
Ask the Lord if there is anything in your life that displeases Him. Be honest and raw with Him. He promises to speak and lead His sheep (John 10:27). As He leads you, be relentless in cutting things out of your life. Ask Him to guide you up that Holy Hill. Ask Him for the grace to jettison worthless and defiled things. Thank Him for the promise of blessing those who do ascend and stand before Him with clean hands, pure hearts, without falsehood or idolatry (Psalm 24:3-8). Pray for your pastor and church to be gripped with a desire for a holy passionate ascension into more of God, His power, presence and purity! Cry out to God to establish a holy, “set apart” bridal church in our city!