Wednesday, May 23, 2012

FOR THE SAKE OF CONVENIENCE


Most of us have been to a convenience store. It is so named because the store is within easy reach, and has a variety of items that you might need on a regular basis. You can buy anything from gas to toiletries to newspapers to breakfast sandwiches. It is a one stop shop, not specializing in any one particular item but offering a mixture of many things – for your convenience.

In the world we see mixtures in different arenas of life, and most of the time it is accepted as the norm.  However, even in the world system there is a kind of mixture that can actually get you into trouble. It is called commingling.

Commingling literally means "mixing together". If, for example, a friend puts you in care of his funds, and if you decide to place his funds in your own account then the money is mixed together. This creates a breach of trust, because eventually it would be difficult to determine which funds belong to whom. His funds must be set apart in an account dedicated for him only.

You yourself might own something that is set apart for a specific use. For example, you may have dinnerware that is used only for special occasions and special guests. If someone in your household takes those fine plates and stemware and uses them for a casual backyard barbecue, you would be upset wouldn't you?

God does not tolerate commingling either, even if it seems to be convenient. Anything used in the service of God must be consecrated – set apart for Him only. When Moses was instructed to make the Tabernacle in the wilderness God told him to consecrate everything in it. Thus, these items could not be used for any other purpose.

“And you shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it; and you shall hallow it and all its utensils, and it shall be holy. You shall anoint the altar of the burnt offering and all its utensils, and consecrate the altar. The altar shall be most holy.” – Exodus 40:9, 10

Even the priests were to be set apart – dedicated solely to service of the Lord.
And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister to Me as priests. – Exodus 30:30

God has not changed His mind about His house of worship. It is to be a place set apart - consecrated - for worship and service to Him only. However, today many churches have taken the world’s practice of commingling into their sanctuaries...for the sake of convenience. The sanctuaries themselves are often used for gatherings other than worship. This creates a mixture. God will not share His glory with any other!

Now commingling has come to the pulpit…for the sake of convenience. Several ministers now use laptops or electronic tablets to deliver their messages to the congregation. This seems innocent enough. After all, on the same device you can reference your notes and the Scriptures. But think about it....these are the same devices that are used to read the news, play video games, send and receive emails, visit social media sites and shop online! An electronic Bible has simply been added to the mix! Is God pleased with this? Are these devices - as convenient as they may be - set apart and consecrated to God only?

Your tangible, handheld Bible could not be used for anything else but what it was intended. When you pick it up you can’t play Solitaire or look for bargains in it. It is the written Word of God set apart for one purpose only .

When something is mixed its potency becomes diluted. Is it any wonder that in so many assemblies the power of God is not evident? This is exactly what satan wants.

Jesus warned the Laodicean church of this mixture.
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. – Revelation 3: 15,16

When one’s heart is neither hot nor cold toward the Lord it is easy to fall into a trap of commingling….for convenience sake. The reality is that nothing in the walk of a Christian is convenient or trendy. It is a life of discipline, obedience and sacrifice. 

Now don't get me wrong....technology can be used very effectively in the church to enhance the worship experience.  But for the most part the instruments (sound systems, musical instruments etc) are used in the service of the Lord only.

In these final days satan’s devises are more and more subtle, and therefore more difficult to discern. A laptop or Ipad in and of itself is not a bad thing. However, when it is used, for the sake of convenience, in a position that God has ordained as holy, it becomes a profane thing.

God warned of this mixture through the prophet Ezekiel and we are seeing it today.
“… priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.” - Ezekiel 22:26





9 comments:

  1. Had not thought of it in this way before, Audrey. Thanks for linking up this week.

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  2. Hi Audrey, interesting thoughts you have shared. Ones that I will have to ponder more. Like most things technology can be used for positive or negative means. In my area I see the church as the one edifice that is lagging behind in harnessing the power of technology to spread the gospel.

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  3. In my community, laptops are not use for the electronic bibles, but they are used for power point presentations. Isn't that OK? I mean it does make the talk more interesting and clearer. Patsy from
    HeARTworks

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  4. Interesting thought. This is a topic worth discussing…

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  5. What I get from this article is not about whether it is right or wrong for the laptop to be on the pulpit or not. Rather it speaks to me about the "thing" that we use on the altar of God that is not used solely for the purpose of worship unto God and how God sees that "thing". My mind goes back to the offering that Cain gave to God, as opposed to the offering that Abel gave to God. God accepted one offering and not the other. Has God changed? It’s not about what our opinions suggest, but rather what is pleasing to God and what He accepts. I thought this to be a very riveting piece, Audrey. May God continue to use you to according to His Will and according to His Plan.

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  6. Interesting perspective. I'm not sure I totally agree with you but it is certainly something to consider seriously. Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  7. I agree with Allison..... If we cannot the control the use of the "electronic thing" or consecrate it as such. Then it becomes "common" in that the use of the"electronic aids" NOT being used solely for God's work. Example: A various number of tablets on the market are available and provide means to read the bible (which I've done in church from my kindle). But if I use my kindle\nook via wi-fi to look at porn etc it will be commingling. Hence my bible will only be used for its intended purpose.

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  8. I agree with Allison. Yes the devises are very convenient but as she said - God has not changed and as you said which I had not thought of either, it has become co-mingled and what is for God should be dedicated to HIM ONLY! I agree with you Audrey.

    Gina

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  9. Ouch!

    I'm already thinking about and talking about this one.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the Word about this topic.

    LMM

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