Is a life not spent in complete servitude to Christ a sinful life, when we are sorrowful should we seek solace only in Him, when we rejoice, no matter the reason, should we praise His name first. For the born-again believer, no matter the circumstances, no matter our emotional state towards the current or known upcoming situation, if we do not glorify His name in it, are we committing a sin. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3:6) You have heard me say in previous letters to you that to know the totality of a thing, we must understand the inverse of that thing, so if we do not acknowledge Him, will our Lord continue to direct our paths if we do not acknowledge Him.
There was a time that God winked at sin, (Acts 17:30) but that time is over, we have the complete and inerrant Word of God at our disposal, there are no excuses available to the believer anymore, we have been given commandments and we are expected to obey them, if we make a personal choice to go against the will and Word of God, then we have sinned. If any say that they have no sin, then they lie, and the truth is not in them, (1st John 1:8) everyone sins, every day, praise God for (1st John 1:9) but the question still remains, is a life not spent in complete servitude to Christ a life of sin.
The fear of the Lord, in part, is the hatred of sin, (Prov. 8:13) not a dislike, not a nonchalant passing thought of contempt or disgust, but a fervent hatred of sin. A few months ago my lovely wife and I were watching a nature program on the television, and a part of this show was about a female moose and her young calf, as the two were beside a river bank, a large grizzly bear rushed out of the woods, attacked and devoured the young calf. Just a few nights ago a similar program was on that was following a leopard mother and her small, three months old cub. It was the first hunting trip that this cute, forty plus pound kitten had attended with his mother, and the emotions of what we call love, care and concern were quite evident between the two.
The mother leopard quickly taught her young cub how to climb a tree, and in a way that God alone understands, informed the cub to wait in the tree until she returned with food. Almost as soon as she reached the ground, a large male leopard rushed up the tree, killed the young cub, and dropped it to the ground just feet from where its mother was. She went over, nuzzled and licked the dead cub, and would not leave its side for three days. These are not the types of programs I generally watch, for I can still hear the screams of the dying cub, and in my own way felt the emotions of loss and love that we feel in these instances, what the leopard felt, again, only our Lord knows. But one thing I know for certain, when I see and hear of these types of things, whether they be in the animal or human realm, I give God the glory for showing me yet another way that I can fervently hate sin and all of the effects of it.
This is not the normal order of things my friends, this is not the way it was in the beginning, while we yearn for the lion to lay down with the lamb, we tend to forget that in the beginning they laid down with each other, grizzly bears did not eat young moose calves, they played together in an earth before the effects of sin that we cannot begin to imagine. Have you ever given any serious contemplation as to why the Lord cursed the earth in the first place, (Gen. 3:17) why it still groans every day, (Rom. 8:22) have you ever thought about what Cain said to the Lord when He punished him for killing his brother Abel, “All who find me will kill me,” (Gen. 4:14) was this the first murder, or the first recorded for us, did they know the word ‘kill’ because they were killing animals for their physical needs, beyond the sacrifices. Death entered into the world because of the sin of one man, without sin, there is no death, if Adam had not sinned, would he still be alive.
Animals live by instinct, an instinct that is placed in them by our Lord, they are not sinning when they kill, the difference between killing and murder is as far apart as night is to day light. They are provided their food by our Lord when they call for it, (Psalm 147:9) some are created to be food, but there is never any evil intent within their actions, it is instinct alone that drives them. Not so much with man though, there is within man the ability to sin, a concept that nothing else in God’s creation, save for the angels, understands, animals do not sin, only man sins, and always of his own free will. Beyond the most rudimentary thoughts in animals, to turn left or right, to seek shelter here or there, all that is within their thought processes is mandated to them by the instincts that our Lord has placed in them, when they kill they are not murdering, they do not see it as evil, because it is not evil.
What we are seeing by their actions, and by nearly everything else in God’s creation, is the effects of sin, the degradation, destruction and death that follows sin. This world and all that is happening in it today is not the normal order of how things are meant to be, it is abnormal, it is not nature following its prescribed course, it is the course that is followed because of sin. All things serve the will of God, but not all things are in the will of God. The choice was simple, I have given you dominion over every single thing that I have created, all that I have created you may use and enjoy as you see fit, save for this one tree. Satan wanted more, and so did Adam.
It is not in our nature because of sin to live a life devoted in servitude to our creator, it is in our sinful life to live for self, to devote ourselves to ourselves, it is the Holy Spirit within us and the Word of God that convicts us of this fact. Man has no instinct whatsoever, we are employed in our thought processes in only one of two ways, self-service or service to Almighty God. Those who serve their fellow man with no forethought whatsoever as to how it will glorify God, those who spend the entirety of their lives seeking the welfare of the other human beings who inhabit this planet with us, but never accept Christ as Savior, will be in the same place as Satan will be for all of eternity, the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:10 and 15) Good men in the eyes of the world go to eternal damnation, only those who have trusted Christ will enter into His kingdom, such is the effect of sin.
If we do not give glory to God in all areas of our lives, if we are only speaking Proverbs 3:5+6 and not applying it, if we are not trusting Him in all that we are and do, then we are sinning. Every aspect of our lives always needs to be recalled with the knowledge that what Christ did on the cross He did not have to do, that God is Sovereign, that though we have been given free will, that the choice to choose whether to serve Him or not has been left in our control, but, it is a much more limited control than we would like to envision.
Do you know why the Lord created the heavens and the earth, do you have any idea why He allowed Lucifer to continue in his very first thoughts of pride and rebellion, do you realize why He has made all souls to exist throughout all of eternity, it was and is for His pleasure. (Rev. 4:11) God is holy and righteous, there is no sin in Him at all, He has no equal, no better, He answers to no one, He is sovereign. He created a tree whose fruit held the very knowledge of good and evil, the epitome of the inverse of two things. Have you ever wondered if there was more than one fruit on that tree, were some of them too high up to reach, while others were low hanging and easier to grasp.
This is how sin is, some are way up there, so evil in their intent that we dare not seek a way to reach them, but others are always in front of us, they are easy to reach and have become common place to us, we have become callous to their effects, when we should hate them with the same intensity as those we deem as worse. Is a life not spent in service to Christ a sinful life, are there small sins in your life that you have glossed over, as it were, have these small sins made the larger ones seem less important, less sinful in your eyes. Are you aware that you are only dust, (Psalm 103:14) that your time is finite here, has pride and self blinded your eyes to these small sins, and caused you to forget that God is sovereign, and that He alone is the only eternal one. If He is not Lord of all, He is Lord of nothing.
I will guarantee you this my friends, He is Lord and master of all. Our free will is a gift, it is a choice to choose to serve fully or not to serve, but in the end that is all it really is, and that decision that you make will be all that matters in the end.