Compromising Our Loyalties
Thus far we have seen Pharaoh put two compromises before Moses and we have seen Moses flatly refuse them both. We saw also how theses compromises embodied the same compromises that the devil serves to you and I as Christians. The first compromise was to worship God in Egypt, i.e. worship God the world’s way! Oh so many Christians are still in their Egypt trying to worship God with the ideas and ways of the world! And it just won’t work! God says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you”, (2Co 6:17) Separating from the world’s ideas and philosophies isn’t my idea; its God’s idea!
The second compromise was more subtle than the first but was still not exactly what the lord wanted. Pharaoh was basically saying, “Ok, you can serve your god, you can be saved, but don’t go very far away, don’t go very far in the things of God!” “Be a Christian but don’t be serious about it!” “If you must be a Christian, then be a half-hearted one, a mediocre Christian, a lukewarm Christian.”
If you think that just being mediocre is ok and sufficient for you and your life, then let me ask you; when you are facing an operation do you want just a mediocre, half hearted surgeon cutting on you or do you want someone that is the best at what they do; do you want someone who is what they are supposed to be? I sure do!
If you were facing a serious lawsuit where you would have to pay a hefty fine and maybe even serve jail time; would you feel comfortable with a soppy, mediocre, half hearted lawyer, who didn’t give your case his all? I wouldn’t feel too comfortable! You wouldn’t like it either, and can I tell you that no one likes mediocrity in any area of life. People expect Doctors to be doctors, lawyers to be lawyers, Police to be police and believe it or not the lost expects if we name the name of Christ we should at least be serious about it!
Away with this half hearted Christianity! You may have someone that just despises the fact that you are saved. But I assure you of this they might not like that you are saved, but if you live rightly before them they will respect you for what you believe, even though they may dislike you. They may joke about you behind their back, but when their child is facing death, their wife facing cancer, then they will come back, not to joke about you but for you to have prayer for their loved ones! Personally, I would like to have a person respect me and like me; but if I had to chose, I would choose them respecting me for my beliefs and life. How about you?
Moses refused that second compromise because he knew that if they weren’t serious for their God then they would not be worth nothing! And the same goes for us! This world needs to see some folks who take their walk with God seriously!
Well, that leads us to the third compromise of Pharaoh to Moses, in v8-11. Notice again, what is said here in v10, “Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD;”
Pharaoh is suggesting now that only the men go and serve the lord their God, leaving their children and wives back in Egypt! Here we see that the compromise is in the area of our responsibilities, our loyalties. Pharaoh was trying to divide the men’s hearts; so some would have had a mind to stay with their wives and children while others would have had a mind to obey God and leave Egypt. What the devil was trying to do was to produce what is called “double mindedness” in the people. What does being double minded mean? Turn to James 1; 5-8 James says to be “double minded” — that is, he has a divided spirit; literally two minds; he is drawn in two opposite directions — It is applicable to a man who has no settled principles; who is controlled by passion; who is influenced by popular feeling; who is now inclined to one opinion or course of conduct, and then to the opposite. James says he is “unstable” in all his ways. The idea is that the double minded man is unstable as the ever changing ocean, always ebbing and flowing.
So the goal of the devil is to divide us concerning our loyalties, thus making us double minded, unstable as water, and no good to God.
What does double mindedness look like? Well, eventually this double mindedness would make its way into the hearts of the people of God. Turn to 1 Kings 18; 17-24. Israel is in some pretty dark days, the worship of Baal has become popular because of their wicked leader Ahab. But God rose up a man named Elijah to stem the flood of idolatry. The days may be dark but God will always have himself a witness! Chapter 18 is when it all comes to ahead. Look what Elijah says in verse 21, And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. Did you hear that, how long halt ye between two opinions? If the lord be God then serve him, but if Baal be God then follow him. Elijah put it to them like that because they were double minded, they would follow God’s man for a while and then they follow directly the opposite, an idol! Their double mindedness could be seen in their messed up, carnal, mediocre lives too. Why? Naturally, because you become what you think! Elijah was saying “make up your minds! Quit being double minded, fickle, and flighty! By the way, God did answer that day by fire and for awhile they renewed their lives to the Lord. But that’s what double mindedness looks like.
There are some areas where the devil wants to divide us in; where we might be double minded as well.
I. You and your Church.
I think is a given that whatever, or whoever the Lord loves the devil will naturally hate! We are told, Eph 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” Christ loved the church and is still in love with His Church. If you can’t see how important a local, assembly of liked minded believers is to your growth and continuance as a Christian then I don’t know what more can be said. The reason some never see the real importance of the church is because they are really unsaved to begin with; they think that the church is just an necessary evil for playing the part of a good Christian. They come bodily but their hearts are somewhere else. They go through the motions of worship and mouth the words to the hymns; tip God for being such a good servant to them. The church and Christ are so intamely connected that you can’t love the one and hate the other! Before I got saved I didn’t like church, didn’t understand church but after I was saved you couldn’t tear me away from church. It was like a light bulb came on in my head, and I knew why there is a church. Though the church may not be important to some, we have to conclude that the church is important to the devil, why? Because of his efforts and energy that he devotes to stopping and hindering it; he wouldn’t waste his time and energy if the church wasn’t important to God.
I believe just as Pharaoh wanted Moses to choose between their loyalty to their families and God; the same is being tried concerning you and the church. The devil wants you to pick. Here is two reasons why your loyalty shouldn’t be divided toward the church.
A. The Church needs You.
In Acts 17, Paul and Silas were making their way down the coast of Europe when they came to Thessalonica. And just like always the devil raised up opposition. In verse 6 we have what the enemies thought about the church, And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; I like this verse because even the enemies of Christ realized that the church is not a one man show, “These!” They didn’t say Paul or Silas, Luke , Timothy, or this local guy named Jason, But “these!” If you think church is all about the preacher your wrong. Thank God its not! Though Paul and his ministry is forced on in the book of Acts, doesn’t mean that it was only him doing the work. Paul was only one man, with just two arms and two legs; he could be in one place at a time. The spread of Christianity from the Middle East to Asia then to Europe was the work of more than just Paul! There was a lot of Christians working behind the scenes so to speak.
If Paul didn’t have his Silas, Luke, Timothy, Titus and a host of others that he names in Romans 16, he probably wouldn’t have done what he did. Why? Because he was just one man! There is only so much one man can do!
There is no insignifact member to this church! One of the ways the church is desired in the New Testament is that of a body. Just as one would think that the head, legs, arms, eyes are important to the physical body, there are also some other important members of the physical body.
Your big toes are highly important! Did you know that in the bible days if a person really wanted to mess you up, they wouldn’t cut off your arms or legs. They would simply cut off your thumbs and big toes, and they would leave you alone. With no thumbs you couldn’t pull back a bow and arrow, or hold a sword. With no big toes, you couldn’t run away much less walk away! Just the lose of those little bitsy members would hinder you that much! In the body of Christ, there are some who are arms, some who are legs, some who are eyes, and some who are the toes, and thumbs! Though the toes and thumbs may not think they are needed, but the truth is they are greatly needed! If they were gone the whole body would be hindered!
B. You need the Church.
The second reason why you shouldn’t let the devil divide your loyalty to the church is because you need the church.
1. The church is probably the primary place where you will hear the word of God preached. The word of God is what’s going to make a change in your life!
2. You need the church because you need the fellowship of the other believers. To be a Christian and have no Church home is like saying God has abandoned you or that you have run away from Home! These homeless people that stand beside the streets asking for money, are homeless because they want to be homeless.
3. You need the church because you need to stay in the will of God. God hasn’t given up on his church. Everybody else has, so that’s why they go off and start some par-church group, totally outside the authority of God’s church! There are all kinds of folks trying to reinvent the church, but not call it a church, because the word “church” offenses people. Personally, if a group doesn’t have enough guts and beliefs to have the words “church” and “Baptist” on their sign; then I don’t have anything to do with them.
4. You need the church because that’s where you can grow and use your spiritual gifts.
Don’t let the devil divide you from your church.
II. You and your Family /Marriage.
The next greatest target of the devil has always been the home. The devil does all he can to hinder, facture, and break up homes and marriages. The reason why the devil hates marriage to start with, is because marriage is an institution of God. It was God that brought Adam and Eve together and made then husband and wife. Search everywhere you will, no culture or civilization claims that the idea of marriage originated with them. Marriage was God’s idea, and that’s why the home/marriage is under attack like it is today.
The devil will use any innocent looking thing to come in between a couple; to the point of breaking up the two.
Men, your loyalty and love to your wife should be above reproach. Your wife should never have to wonder or guess where your love lays. The bible says, Pro 18:22 “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.”
Men, so fellows don’t understand just how good a wife they had until she is gone. Men, we are to love our wives as Christ loved the church, Eph. 5; 25. How did he show his love? He died for the church. You ought to love your wives enough that you would die for her if need be! Men, the bible says, 1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. I.e. we have to try to understand them, that right there is where alot of problems could be resolved!
Wives, it’s not easy being a man in today’s world. You must remember that in a lot of cases that this just might be the first time he’s ever had to be a husband and father. Being a husband and father is something we growing into, not that we come that way already.
The major purpose for marriage is for God’s glory. The marriage represents the union that exists between Christ and his church, being one body, one flesh. If the devil can divide your marriage/home then he will. Stay close together in prayer, in intimacy, in friendship, in the everyday things of your life.
Don’t let the devil divide your loyalty from your marriage.
III. You and your Saviour.
Probably the greatest area of loyalty that takes a lot of shots from the devil is you and Jesus.
The devil also wants to divide your loyalty from your Saviour. Since your soul is the lord’s the devil wants to destroy your body, destroy your life, destroy your influence for God.
There is an interesting Old Testament story involving a man by the name of Balaam. Turn to Numbers 22; 5-6. The great multitude was Moses and the people of God as they were coming close to the boarders of Moab. Balak eventually hired Balaam a prophet for hire to cruse the people of God. Long story made short, Balaam couldn’t cruse the people of God outright; so he did the next thing of corrupting the people of God, (though the counsel of Balaam) to the point that God would have to Chastise them, Numbers 31; 8-16. That’s what the devil is all about, working in ourlives to make us unfit, unclean for fellowship and service for our Saviour. The devil may promise you what it takes for him to get a foothold in your life, and once the devil has that foothold he will corrupt your life to the point that God has to straighten you out. Point is the devil can’t break your relationship with Jesus, but he sure can corrupt it, to the point that instead of God’s blessings we have God’s chastisement on our lives. The devil will use anything that he can, your job, your past, your mistakes, even your good intentions to divide you from your Saviour.
Closing: Moses was wise to what pharaoh had up his selves. Moses probably saw this compromise coming a mile away! The devil wants to divide you from your loyalties tonight. Probably the only way to be as safe as you can is to be as secure as possible in your loyalties. How loyalties are you tonight to your spouse and kids? How loyal are you tonight to the church of God? How loyal are you to your Saviour?
We need to be as loyal as we possibly can.