There is story of the guy who could not decide what side he wanted to fight for during the American Civil War. He put on the coat of the North and the trousers of the South, and guess what happened? He got shot from both sides! This is what happens to the compromiser, the person who tries to live in two worlds. It is one miserable place to be in. Sadly, there are many in the church today that live, a compromised life.
The Bible gives us an example in Revelation 2 of such a church: the Church at Pergamum. Pergamum was the capital of Asia Minor. Idolatry, wickedness, and sexual immorality were commonplace there. The sin of the church at Pergamum was its tolerance of evil. Listen to what Lord Jesus has to say to that Church. ”Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.” (Rev.2:16)
This is how most believers want it today, a life of compromise. They want to go to church—when they get around to it. They certainly want to go to heaven, but they still want to live in sin. They want to party and sin and commit immorality, lie when necessary, cheat if they have to, steal if it suits them, and hate and take revenge when someone crosses them.
Compromise begins with leaving your first love for the Lord. It is only a matter of time that you will find yourself in big trouble. If there is a breakdown in your relationship with God, compromises will start making their way into your life, you start lowering your standards here and there. The boat will start sinking. Keep your guard up. Stay close to Jesus. I don’t promise that you will be sin-free. But you will have the power and resolve you need to live a life that pleases God.
Living in Compromise:
Most of the time we think God’s way is “too hard”, “too boring” or just “too weird” compared to the world’s. So we end up making small tweaks in our living, thereby compromising with the world.
Let us look into some pointers regarding a Compromised Christian Living:
When we Christians compromise with the world and think that nothing bad has happened yet, and perhaps all is fine, do not be quick to conclude. The damage is on its way.. you will soon see it popping up in your life.
King Jehoshaphat was a godly man. He sought the Lord with utmost diligence, walking in the Lord’s commandments. He brought about radical reforms in his land, and was instrumental in bringing the people of his kingdom back to the Lord. He was humble at the face of godly rebuke from men of God and quick to mend his ways. At the imminence of war, he fervently sought the Lord for help and victory. Jehoshaphat was not an average believer. He was a diligent man in the things of God; also, he was a king.
But if he could slip in his ways, how much more we need to be cautious!
Compromise with the world IS a danger even for the godly!
Compromise works very subtly.
Jehoshaphat was a man who walked in the ways of the Lord. He was the ruler of the Southern Kingdom. Now, if the king of the Northern Kingdom, Ahab had declared war against Jehoshaphat, Ahab would have been mopped up. For Jehoshaphat was indeed very strong in military. Ahab understood this very well. So, to get matters working for Ahab, he schemed a plan- ask Jehoshaphat’s son in marriage with his daughter. Jehoshaphat faltered in his footsteps here. Wealth and success and pride because of his feats in spiritual cleansing of his kingdom too had made his heart swell. And he missed to recognise this as a bait from the enemy. Jehoshaphat said ‘yes’ to the idea. He perhaps thought it would be benevolent on his part to be instrumental in re-uniting the Southern and the Northern kingdoms through this new alliance. Remember, this is the same Ahab, whose wife was the evil woman called Jezebel. So you see how things start going south from here.
The wedding happened…
And now, they were a family. And you know how things work in the family. You would find it difficult to take stands against things you don’t agree to. So Jehoshaphat was subtly forced to say yes to a suggested military feat to attack Ramoth Gilead. Long story short, Jehoshaphat almost got killed because of heeding to Ahab’s strategy. Do not forget that Ahab himself paid with his life in the same battle. Someone in the battlefield was careless in handling the weapon and it pierced into Ahab, cutting through his armour. He lay wounded in the battlefield and he died there at sunset.
See the way the devil works. He doesn’t destroy you with a plan in your face. He works very subtly. He doesn’t show you the disastrous consequences of compromise. Instead he makes the proposal very attractive. For instance, to the young unmarried ladies, Satan will present you a nice young guy. He treats you right. He will seem to you to be the one you always wanted to make your home with. He is just what you always wanted… But with an exception. He is not a committed Christian, or even a Christian for that matter. But he attends the church with you and he has also promised you that he will raise your children in faith… What a trap!!! This is the beginning of things going south!
Now, Boys! Watch out…! The girl who comes with you to church could be Jezebel herself or her daughter, like in the story of Jehoshaphat! Or like Delilah, who trapped the mighty man Samson and disarmed him and rendered him powerless and useless. Samson’s life had a very tragic end. He ended up killing himself, though he took so many of the enemies down along with him. Now, that may sound heroic… but that was utterly foolish, to end up under the beams of the Dagon temple when he pushed the pillars and its roof landed on his head.
Compromises can come in because of
Wrong marital relationship –
Jehoshaphat compromised here when he gave his son to marry Ahab’s daughter. And that brought him all the trouble that was mentioned earlier.
Wrong spiritual relationship –
Jehoshaphat compromised when he sat in the company of Ahab’s prophets who were no less than diviners and watched a lone prophet of God being slapped in the face and jailed and then he went marching into a battle, proposed by Ahab which almost killed him.
Wrong social/political/business relationships –
Jehoshaphat compromised in all of these when he gave his consent for the business marriage which kept vested interests at high priority and he had to pay the price later… where we read the Southern kingdom slipped into heavy idolatry. The idolatry we see around us today is nothing in comparison to what went on in the Southern and Northern Kingdoms of Israelites. Witchcraft, human sacrifice, child sacrifice etc were the norm… It was all wrong… very very wrong.
Ask God for His forgiveness and cry out to God for mercy, if we have compromised. He will deal with you kindly, if He decides to. But be ready to accept whatever God sends your way as correction and admonishment.
Now you may think, this is too much for us to do… But the truth is, God does not allow anyone to let down His glory, anyone to show His Holiness and Glory in bad light. He did not spare Moses, the one whom He called His friend. He did not spare David, the man He called was after His own heart.
Am I being harsh about God’s grace? If you think so, then you have not read about the jealousy of God in the New Testament, in the message of grace. You might say God of the New Testament is a loving and all forgiving God. Sorry! that’s an idol of God we have made for ourselves, and it does not fit the way the New Testament sketches Him. “Our God is a consuming fire” (Heb.12:29).
Annanias and Sapphira story is a good example of God judging the sin in the church. Because the couple decided to agree on a lie, the Holy Spirit struck them dead and was made an example to the new community of believers that was thriving.
If we live uncompromising life as Christians, then listen to what the Word says about God Almighty rewarding us.
“Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess” (Deut.5:33).
To the one who conquers, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God (Rev.2:7).
The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death (Rev.2:11).
Let me conclude with an illustration. The Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, California is a wonder in itself. It is listed among the most beautiful bridges around the world, and certainly the most photographed Bridge. The Bridge has steel cables hanging the bridge across the bay which are made up of steel wires. The Bridge is a unique piece of architecture and thus maintaining it, is a high cost affair. But the cheapest way they say to maintain the bridge is painting it regularly, to guard the salty air blowing from the Pacific Ocean from corroding the core of the steel cables that are the main support of the bridge. If they neglect to do this simple and relatively low cost maintenance measure on a regular basis, the safety of the Bridge will be compromised, the oxidising air will work its way deep into the core of the cables and rust it away, and one day the Bridge will come crashing down into the bay causing a big disaster.
The learning point is: we are not to compromise in our Christian lives in the simple, yet crucial instructions God has given us to follow in our lives as His children. If we flout them, be sure, our lives are going to be messy and hellish and we will miss the final destination.
If any of us is touched by the instruction and the admonition the Word of God has brought in through these words of meditation, if any of these thoughts pricks your conscience, then Praise the Lord, our conscience is not seared. There is some life left still. Earlier life is not where we feel comfortable in our trespasses. It is rather the place where we become conscious of our condition, make decisions about the way we live, receive the forgiveness for our trespass from the One who alone is able to forgive us and make a new beginning. For the Lord says, “Behold, I make all things new!”
Sam K. Paul
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