“‘Every creature that moves along the ground is to be regarded as unclean; it is not to be eaten. You are not to eat any creature that moves along the ground, whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is unclean. Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them. I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground. I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.
“‘These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves about in the water and every creature that moves along the ground. You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.’”
- Leviticus 11:41-47
“I have something against the lying voices that noise our world. You’ve heard them. They tell you to swap your integrity for a new sale. To barter your convictions for an easy deal. To exchange your devotion for a quick thrill.
“They whisper. They woo. They taunt. They tantalize. They flirt. They flatter. ‘Go ahead, its OK.’ ‘Don’t worry, no one will know.’
“The world rams at your door; Jesus taps at your door. The voices scream for your allegiance; Jesus softly and tenderly requests it. The world promises flashy pleasure; Jesus promises a quiet dinner … with God.
”Which voice do you hear?”
- Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm
The Scripture is the conclusion of the chapter on unclean and clean animals. God wanted us to be holy, but the world demands the opposite of us.
Max Lucado is from my world. Okay, he’s a couple of years younger, just now enjoying the wonders of Medicare and supplemental insurance. Then again, the church may have a better deal for him.
No, his voices that he mentions in the quote above are the voices that I heard for my entire career. “Get the job done at any cost. I don’t care what vile thing that you have to do or what pedestrian you have to run over. Just get it done.”
No, I did not run over any pedestrians, but that specific bad thing was suggested. And I didn’t do any vile things. I got the work done while saving my integrity, but maybe because I never lost my integrity, that was the reason that they could not promote me. I had to be as vile as they were, and as tainted.
Don’t get me wrong. I am still a sinner, but those business things were kept above board, as if the customer had a spy looking over my shoulder.
But no, if Max Lucado would write that first paragraph again today, what would the evil voices say? “Have an abortion before you start showing, and no one will know.” “Come out of the closet as transgender, and you will be respected.” “You know. Committing suicide is something that you haven’t tried yet. Why not? Nothing else has brought you happiness.” These voices are spoken by the liars of this world. The stakes seem higher than a mere loss of integrity.
Steve Patterson, the Courageous Christian Father, quoted C. S. Lewis recently:
“Human history is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”
- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
The world out there provides a tremendous array of distractions, an array of lies. Satan is the master of lies.
I know people who rejected God, many of them. They thought themselves so smart that they were going to invent their own way. They were highly moral people, but their goals, values, and judgments ended up being every popular trend that came along. They did nothing unique. They followed the C. S. Lewis quote above to the letter, trying every terrible idea that others said was ‘OK’ just to thumb their nose at God, yet nothing made them happy, at least not lasting happiness.
This isn’t a story about one family. This is a story about countless families in every village, town, and city in the entire world.
The only voice that provides Truth is the voice of God. The only way to hear that voice is to spend time in prayer. The only way to distinguish God’s voice from the clamoring cacophony of other voices is to read God’s Word, the Bible.
It is time to balance your life. For a little time each day, turn off the radio, TV, cell phone… Too many people complain that they cannot spend time with God. They claim to have no free time, but they fill their lives with countless hours of entertainment. Why? Because it’s available, and it takes little skill or effort to press a button on the remote. Yet, it takes the same amount of effort to press the OFF button. They are simply listening to the wrong voice.
Turn on to God. Ask Him questions. Read His Word. And devote yourself to being more like Jesus every day. That’s the voice worth listening to, and as Max Lucado says above, he doesn’t shout.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.