Some world religions teach that God is far-off, distant, and unconcerned with the daily activities of human beings.
Some people believe that they cannot personally talk with Him, that they need an intermediary or someone “holier-than-thou” to speak to the Almighty on their behalf. Countless times have people asked me to pray for them, but it becomes clear they have no intention of doing so themselves. Prayer on the behalf of another is never wasted, but it would be more effective if the requester would join in with faith of their own.
Others have followed the New Age movement’s suggestions to “look inward,” attempting to empty the mind in order to find enlightenment, self-actualization, or nirvana. More and more Americans turn toward Eastern religion, incorporating yoga and kundalini worship practices into their lives and joining the pop culture fascination with anything nonChristian. My advice to aspiring yogis: yes, stay healthy, eat some yogurt, but skip the yoga. My friends from northern India who happen to be evangelical missionaries attest that yoga is indeed rooted in Hindu religion and they are saddened (appalled, really, but they are shy to show it) by the Western embrace of these dark influences. They risk their lives preaching the Good News of Messiah and rejoicing when bondages are broken as people reject idolatry and come back stateside only to be bombarded by American Christians who get all defensive about their exercise routines.
The Scriptures used by thousands of Christians around the world instruct plainly what ought be done. Paul, the Apostle, wrote to the Romans that believers should “renew their mind,” (Rom.12:2) and assured the Corinthian believers that by the power of the Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh) and faith in His Name, they now had the “mind of Messiah”(1 Cor.2:16). Followers of Jesus (Yeshua) are to set their minds on things above (Col.3:2). We must choose to live differently. There are plenty of ways to demonstrate our faith without compromise.
It is also a sad reality that so many people do not realize that their Maker, their Creator, will hear them (and answer them!) if they would call upon His Name. Too many appear to feel ashamed by the knowledge that they are sinners – they are afraid to speak to the God of Heaven. Many choose not to overcome this barrier, embarrassed that their peers or family will judge them for choosing to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (Yeshua haMashiach).
Many echo David’s wonderings:
“Who may stand in His Holy Place? (Psalm 24:3b)
How can I receive a blessing from the Almighty One?
How can I know He will touch my life?
How can I know He will heal a loved one?
“Who may go up on the mountain of Adonai?” (Psalm 24:3a)
It is easier than you may think.
David was inspired to give the answer:
“One with clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully.” (Psalm 24:4)
The next verse assures us of this:
“He will receive a blessing from Adonai, righteousness from God his salvation.” (Psalm 24:5)
If you sincerely come before Him, bearing no agenda, lifting your soul not to the idols of this world but to the Prince of Peace, He will bless you. May it be said of you, like of Nathanael in John 1:47, “in him there is no deceit.”
But if you have failed and your hands are unclean due to dishonest dealings and impurities in your heart,
let this be a message of hope for your life.
You can be clothed in righteousness if you choose to be wrapped in the garments of His salvation (Isaiah 61:10), the greatest blessing available to anyone on this earth.
So be blessed today. Receive the blessing that He has for you – it is yours, just for the asking. That is what we call, “grace.” And His grace is more than sufficient for you, today. Make the decision to follow the Savior of humankind and you will certainly receive the blessing and favor of God Most High. And when you do, let me be the first to say, welcome to the family!!